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Where to park on Appalachian trail?


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Hello all!

This may be a stupid question, and probably so, because I can't find the answer by researching. But here goes:

Where do you park to access the Appalachian trail in NC?

My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to check out the trail, but I can't find where I would leave my car while we hike. 

I'll take any access lot at this point, but if you guys have some cool suggestions, all the better. 


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Basically anywhere the trail crosses a road is somewhere to park. Your car might not be in the best of shape when you get back, but that is a different story.

Are you thinking of a dayhike? A couple nights? A good starting point might be the AT through the Smokies, park at Fontana Dam and hike as far as you want before heading back.

I'm happy to help more, but need more details on what you are thinking

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I'm wanting to explore the trail by parking at various points and hiking for a few days in each direction before coming back to the car and moving to a different location. 

Thanks for your response.  

Do you have to pay to park at Fontana Dam od anywhere else along the trail?  Why will my car not be in good shape if I leave it for a few days?

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It will be fine a Fontana Dam, no payment required. Other locations are potentially very rural/middle of nowhere which means there is a chance that your car gets broken into.

The AT is ~70 miles through the Smokies, so start at Fontana and head north as far as you like. In the park, you have to stay at specific campsites/shelters, you can't camp anywhere you want.

You can also head south from Fontana if you like.

You might also consider the "Standing Indian Loop" where the AT makes a ~25 mile loop around an easy trailhead. This is nice because you don't need to do an out and back type of trip or worry about a shuttle.

You also want to take into account the AT thru hikers in early spring.

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