Top 4 Off-the-Beaten-Path Memorial Day Destinations

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Photo by Travis Hall

Memorial Day Weekend is one of the most popular weekends of the year for outdoor activity. While this is good news for outdoor industry folks and lovers of the outdoors in general, it can make for crowded trails and packed out campgrounds. Use this list from our Editor in Chief Will Harlan to ditch the crowds and find some solitude this weekend.

Middle Prong Wilderness, North Carolina

“This gem of a wilderness area is right next to the Shining Rock Wilderness. While Shining Rock seems to get all the love and attention, the mountains, creeks, and trails of Middle Prong are just as powerful with far fewer crowds.”
Santeetlah Lake Trail, North Carolina

“This brand new trail system is similar to Tsali: purpose-built trails that roll along the shores of a lake. But unlike Tsali, which is so crowded that it requires user fees and alternating bike/equestrian days, nobody uses Santeetlah. You’ll have the trail all to yourself.”

Cherohala Skyway, Tenn.

“Forget the Parkway. The Cherohala Skyway is just as breathtaking but without the traffic. Hike to balds and waterfalls from scenic overlooks.”

Upper Bald River Gorge, Tenn.

“It’s probably the wildest and remotest section of southern Appalachia, and it’s been proposed for wilderness designation. The waterfall here is massive and jaw dropping, but few people venture this deep into east Tennessee to experience it.”


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