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The Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT), named for the man who originally proposed the idea for the Appalachian Trail. The BMT is an approximately 290-mile trail in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. It shares the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT crosses it several times, and ends in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near the Appalachian Trail. As a result making it a possible to use the AT as an alternate route or loop.

The BMT is far less popular than the southern section of the AT. It is far less developed, so those attempting to hike it should be ready for a wilder, more difficult experience. Along the way, you’ll visit deep wildernesses in the Chattahoochee-Oconee and Cherokee National Forests. The trail also reaches high ridge lines and low river valleys. Then covers some of the more remote corners of the Smoky Mountains.

We do not have a town/resupply guide for the BMT. Therefore, we highly recommend you purchase one of the guidebooks for the trail before planning your trip. See the Info tab for more on the Benton MacKaye Trail Association and guidebook options.




About Our Partner

The mission of the Benton MacKay Trail Association (BMTA) is to preserve, protect and maintain the Benton MacKaye Trail. The BMTA was organized for the following charitable and educational purposes: to construct, maintain and protect the proposed Benton MacKaye Trail; to inform (by newsletter, brochure, correspondence, guidebook, map, and other means) its members and the general public of opportunities for outdoor recreation and public service; to conduct workshops, seminars and work trips to foster skills in trail construction and maintenance; to promote hiking, camping and a wilderness experience in the Southern Appalachian Mountains; and to instill in its members and the general public a conservation ethic.

Learn more about the BMTA at