Backpacker Mag Reader's Choice Awards: TN and NC?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Backpacker Magazine recently published their 2009 Reader's Choice Awards. As part of the magazine’s annual awards, the best hike in each state is voted upon by their readers.

After reviewing the list, I have to admit that I have a bit of a bone to pick with the choices made for Tennessee and North Carolina. Obviously, this list is based solely on reader’s opinions. If, for whatever reason, there weren’t a significant number of people who voted, then there’s a chance that many of the best trails were overlooked.

For Tennessee, readers chose Rainbow Falls in the Smoky Mountains as the best hike in the state. I agree, this is a very nice trail, but it’s not even the best hike in the Smokies. What about the Alum Cave Trail to Mt. LeConte? Or, how about Charlie’s Bunion, Rocky Top, Mt. Cammerer or even Gregory Bald? Perhaps these last four choices didn’t make the cut because the trail and/or destination lies along the border with North Carolina, thus causing some confusion as to which state these trails actually belong in.

I also had a beef with the selection for the best hike for the State of North Carolina. Readers chose Big Creek in the northeast corner of the Smoky Mountains.

Again, this is a very nice hike, but I don’t believe it’s the best hike in the Tar Heel state. Personally, I would’ve chosen the Grassy Ridge Bald hike near Carvers Gap in the Roan Mountains. I would’ve even accepted Hemphill Bald or Max Patch as better choices.

Maybe I’m just partial to big views. What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Backpacker’s readers, or do you have a couple of other favorites that you think should’ve made the list?

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

Smoky Mountain Day Hikers Store Quality gear and apparel from some of the best outdoor brands.


troutbirder said...

First time visitor. Great blog.
I enjoyed your post on survival stories and to my amazement realized I had read all six. It appears I have had a big interest in this topic and wasn't even quite aware of it. Thanks

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

troutbirder - glad you like the blog!

Each of those books were great reads.

I checked out your profile. I noticed you like David McCullough. He is an excellent author. I had the pleasure of seeing him give a talk a few years ago. I also got a chance to briefly meet him afterwards. He's an excellent speaker as well.

Band of Brothers - is THE best war film ever (IMHO!) - just edging out The Great Escape. The book is excellent as well, in fact, anything that Stephen Ambrose has published is a great read.

Talk to you later.


Time Outdoors said...

It is amazing that every year a half dozen or so magazines pick the best trails in Tennessee or North Carolina and you rarely see the same trails listed. I am actually glad they didn't choose some of the other trails you listed because many of them are overcrowded already. There are many great trails in both states so I am glad they are spreading it around a little.