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70 mile loop ideas


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Looking for 70ish mile loop ideas. Ideally also has views, waterfalls, solitude and challenging terrain. Willing to piece single trails together, and do a little repeating  but no long out and backs. Absolutely imperative that it does not involve a shuttle. Life threatening situation with a "respected" shuttle service has skewed our opinion. We're in Central Virginia, but it can also up to a days drive. Any and all ideas appreciated! We've done Quehanna, Cranberry, Linville,  Big South Fork, Mt Rogers, and Shenandoah.

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70ish mile loop hike on the East coast, esp within an 8 hr or so drive, may be difficult.

Imagine you could string together something in the Smokies.

If you push a little further, the Adirondacks or New Hampshire may offer something.

I'd get a good set of maps and see what looks good. 

Others who live in those areas may have more concrete ideas.

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If you have driven to Big South Fork, then the Smokies should be in range.

I have a roughly 60 mile trip in the smokies planned for the last week of the year. Going to start at Twentymile and head along the Lakeshore trail and then up to the AT and back down to the trailhead over 4-5 nights.

You can easily do a 50-70 mile loop starting at the Big Creek trailhead in the smokies (just off of exit 451 Waterville TN on I40). Hit the AT south to Clingman's dome and then loop back north will get you 50 miles without too much trouble.

A couple years ago I started from the Big Creek campground and did a roughly 50 mile loop that involved the edges of Catalochee and the last night climbed the Mt Sterling firetower. I got to wade across knee deep freezing streams and saw waterfalls and frozen cascades. Saw a total of 5 people over 4 nights, but this was early March.


Happy to provide more info if you like

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There are several options in the Smokies.

Look at starting at Cades Cove on Gregory Ridge Trail. Go over Gregory Bald and head south to 20 Mile Trail, eventually on Lakeshore Trail. Take Hazel Creek Trail up to Silers Bald and the AT. Take the AT  to Gregory Bald Trail, Gregory Ridge and back to where you started. Total distance is very close to 70 and the only crowds I've seen on this loop were on the AT section.

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  • 1 month later...

I did this 60 mile loop hike of the AT and NC section of the Bartram Tr recently in the fall and enjoyed it as part of a longer BT hike. Parked the car at NOC as stated. 


Solitude was very good since I did it in late fall. I saw only one other hiker on the BT and 6-7 on the AT mostly at lean tos or near NOC. 


Too bad you're shuttle shy as I'd rec a pt to pt of the Foothills Tr in SC. I've used Heward Douglas, who's well known, well respected, local, and affiliated with the Foothills Trail Conference. I don't give many blanket recs on shuttlers but he's one who I'd rec to anyone especially to one who has experienced what you have. FT is an excellent hike hitting all your other requirements.  http://www.foothillstrail.org/shuttle-service


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  • 7 months later...

The Susquehannock Trail in PA is isolated, many streams, meadows, great campsites.  Some views, no significant waterfalls.  It is an 85 mile loop.  I think it is the longest single trail loop in the east. This trail connects to the rugged Black Forest Trail, another loop, with awesome views and a couple nice falls.  Both trails can be shortened with cross connectors.


the Eastern States 100 route is what you're looking for, the loop can be shortened, but it is rugged, many vistas, some falls.  It follows a variety of trails.


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