For those of you who think the backcountry in the Great Smoky Mountains is just a little too crowded, Backpacker Magazine has a solution. Their alternative? The Pisgah National Forest. In particular, the Middle Prong and Shining Rock Wilderness areas.
The Backpacker article points out that Pisgah has 850 miles of trails, while the Smokies clocks in at around 800. Pisgah also hosts 138 miles of the Appalachian Trail, while the Smokies has only 69.
Pisgah tops out at 6,440-foot Potato Hill; Great Smoky at 6,643-foot Clingmans Dome.
But the real selling point is that Pisgah has far fewer visitors, and less bureaucratic hassles than it's neighbor to the west.
Backpacker also has a few hiking suggestions as well. Just click here to read the article.