Nestled deep within the Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains lies a hidden jewel. If you are serious about exploring the untamed wilderness of the mountains, you will find a wild and secluded backcountry area that is not well known to others. The Snowbird Backcountry Area encompasses 8,000 acres of gorgeous terrain and 37 miles of hiking trails. With many creek crossings (11 on our trail), rugged terrain, poorly marked trails and a lack of fellow hikers, this area is suitable for advanced hikers and backpackers who have experience in the backcountry. There are several large waterfalls to explore and the forest is vivacious, dense and lush. You will be bushwhackin’ a bit on your hike, but it will be well worth the effort.
On Saturday, we hiked 10 miles of the Snowbird Backcountry Area and spent some time fly fishing in the wild trout streams and lounging at the falls. The solitude was just what we needed–we had the whole area to ourselves. The Snowbird Backcountry Area also taught me a lesson or two, mainly to watch my step. For the first time in my life, I took a fall on the muddy mountain terrain and sprained my ankle (badly.) I had to hike the last two miles out on a sprained ankle, which wasn’t so bad. That night, however, I paid for those two miles immensely! I’m on the mend now and looking forward to giving Snowbird another shot. It was a great way to celebrate 11 years of marriage, sprained ankle and all.