Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains

384 pages; paperback ISBN 978-1-889596-27-3 $19.95 Published by the University of Georgia Press (2009)

Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains is a hiking guide which covers the Blue Ridge National Heritage area.


The area spans the triangle from Pilot Mountain State Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (west) and down to Highlands (south) on the Georgia border. I discuss the unique heritage behind the trails so you know the history of the land you’re walking on.

Here’s what others have to say about the book.

Most people know that the Western North Carolina is full of spectacular hiking trails. Danny Bernstein’s Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains introduces you to the best of them, and gives you something extra: an inside look at the heritage behind the trails that even long-time residents and experienced hikers may not know. Of course, you get indispensable basic information such as reliable directions to the trailhead and along the trail, elevations, and rates of ascent and descent; but you also get insights into significant historical events and other features that make the region unique. With Danny’s book, your hike will be more than just a walk in the woods – you’ll develop an even greater appreciation for these wonderful mountains.
Penn Dameron  Former Executive Director, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area 

20120520MSTSkinnydipfalls-28ATrail guides for the mountain region of North Carolina date back into the mid-nineteenth century and perhaps earlier. They flourished with the rise of tourism following the Civil War and proliferated throughout the twentieth century, becoming, for the most part, progressively more informative and accurate as to logistics regarding access, length, difficulty, water sources, shelters, regulations, and so on. More recent guides have also incorporated various degrees of background information associated with each trail. Now we have Danny Bernstein’s Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, a guide for the twenty-first century adventurer.

One hesitates to call this book a “trail guide.” In addition to providing essential trail logistics for each day hike, it is a “trail compendium” that deftly assimilates into each description aspects regarding geology, geography, natural areas, flora, fauna, and human history, not excluding the region’s literary and cinematic heritage. The maps depicting the various geographic regions and individual trails are clearly delineated. The numerous photographs that enhance Bernstein’s crisp prose are of high quality. The eight appendices cover everything from safety to gear to terminology – and there is even an index.

I recommend Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains without reservation.
George Ellison, author of A Blue Ridge Nature Journal: Reflections on the Appalachians in Essays and Art