The Benton MacKaye (pronounced like 'the sky') Trail (BMT) is a relatively new trail, having just been completed in 2005. It stretches 286 miles from Springer Mountain (GA) in the south to Davenport Gap (NC) in the north. It crosses through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) following a different route than the Appalachian Trail.
I admit that I don't know much about this trail other than being curious about it when I thru-hiked the AT northbound in 2011. I saw the signs for it and I knew that Benton MacKaye was the man who first proposed the idea for the Appalachian Trail back in 1921 but I really had no idea where it started or how long it was.
I got lots of help with maps and information from the good folks at the Benton MacKaye Trail Association. Check out their website at BMTA.org.
Finally, the only person I know that has thru-hiked it is So Way (from the famous A Team: So Way and E-Brake). He had hiked it with his sister in preparation for his first AT thru-hike. He was able to give me specific advice and show me pictures stored in his phone. To their credit, So Way and E-Brake were the only two people to say "Hell yes!!" when I first told them I wanted to hike this trail. I am grateful to them for their support.
Stay tuned to this blog for pictures and stories from this latest adventure. If you've hiked it before or have any additional information for me, please leave me a comment below.