Any East Coaster feeling jealous of the Pacific Crest Trail should know that the
Appalachian Trail stretches almost as far—2,178 miles, and passes through 14 states. Much of the trail passes through deciduous forests, which are beautiful in their own way, but block out the view. So head to the Southern Appalachian Balds section, which stretches south from Troutdale, Virginia, into Tennessee. This section of the trail offers the opportunity to play with grazing ponies and take in the view from Roan Mountain, which, at 6,285 feet, is the highest mountain on the stretch.