The longest and best-known hiking trail in the country, the Appalachian Trail winds from the north woods of Maine all the way south to Georgia. While you won’t earn the same kudos driving as you would by walking, the following scenic roads come very close to paralleling the pedestrian route, taking you through the almost continuous natural beauty without the sweat and blisters. Best of all, this driving route follows magnificently scenic two-lane roads all the way from the top of New England to the heart of Dixie, running past a wealth of fascinating towns and historic sites.
The Appalachian landscape holds some of the wealthiest, and some of the most needy, areas in the entire country. These contrasting worlds often sit within a few miles of one another: Every resort and retirement community seems to have its alter-ego as a former mill town, now as dependent upon tourism as they once were upon the land and its resources.