In the summer of 2003, I moved to Durham, North Carolina from Plymouth, New Hampshire.  Plymouth is a little town in the foothills of the White Mountains. To many, the White Mountains mean ski slopes and foliage, but to me they mean hiking.  I spent countless hours wandering the trails of those mountains, enjoying the solitude or sharing a hike with a friend.  Living in Plymouth, it was as if the White Mountains were my backyard.
Upon moving to North Carolina, I began to wonder what hiking opportunities were out there.  Durham, with its city-like atmosphere, didn’t appear to present many options.  No longer could I look out my window and see mountains to climb.  It was in these initial homesick moments that the idea for this pathfinder was born.  It turns out that there are hundreds of trails to hike in North Carolina, a few of them right here in Durham.  Western Carolina’s mountains seem to be appealing to the hiker.  There is even a trail from the mountains to the ocean.

Hiking Roadsign

For many hikers, guidebooks are the only resource they will ever need.  For this reason, guidebooks are the bulk of the sources listed in this pathfinder.  More experienced hikers may also want access to maps, so I have included some information on those sources as well.  Additionally, I have listed a few websites and magazines that will help someone new to North Carolina become acquainted with the area. 

This pathfinder is for those people that, like me, want to hike in North Carolina, but do not have a clue where to find a trail.  While I assumed that the user of this pathfinder is an experienced hiker inexperienced in the geography of North Carolina, I hope that the sources presented are of use to anyone interested in getting out there and enjoying the scenery this state has to offer.  All of the sources presented in this pathfinder are available at the libraries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Image courtesy of Orion's US Road Signs

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