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Most Scenic Place in the East

Old Nov 5th, 2005, 04:13 AM
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Most Scenic Place in the East

In your opinion, what is the most scenic place in the eastern U.S.? What is your favorite Hiking Trail, favorite scenic byway, and favorite national park in the Eastern U.S?
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 05:03 AM
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Dear asdaven, Since my East coast travel has been limited mostly to cities, this may not be helpful. Skyline Drive is very scenic. My favorite hiking place is not a trail per se but Washington DC area from Supreme Court to the memorials. The forest around Ashville is pretty also.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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Off the top of my head, I would have to say:

Cliff Walk, Newport, RI (www.cliffwalk.com) Not technically a hiking trail, but a nice walk.

Kangamangus Highway, New Hampshire

Acadia National Park, Maine
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 07:50 AM
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I think Acadia is the most beautiful place in the North east. My favorite hiking trail is the Precipice trail, which goes steeply to the top of Mount Champlain, and then walk across the ridge, and down the Beehive trail.

I haven't seen much of the Southeast. I've been to Shenendoah, which is lovely, but not as nice as Acadia in my opinion.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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I have been to Shenandoah many times. I live close enough, it is only 1.5-2 hours from my house, so it is a day trip. But, I usally spend a night there. I have been to Maine and seen the coastline. But, I only got as far up the coast as Rockland. I should have driven to Acadia, it was only 90-100 miles up Route 1 from where I was staying. Washington D.C. I have been to a couple times, but haven't been to the Washington Monument since it opened to where you can ride the elevator to the top. Should get back down there, only a skip away from my house, but parking is such a problem, so I usally take metro. Donco, Asheville,NC? That is where I am thinking of my next vacation. The mountains are bigger there than anywhere else in the applachians, only Mt. Washington in NH compares to the height of the NC Mts.
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Old Nov 6th, 2005, 02:07 AM
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We drove from Western KY to Asheville NC via Knoxville. Can't remember name of the highway, but it was a very beautiful drive around the Smokeys. After Asheville, we drove to Charlottesville VA and visited Monticello.
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Old Nov 6th, 2005, 03:09 AM
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Isn't the smokeys area much more scenic than Skyline Drive? The mountains are some of the highest in the east. The smokeys is about an 8 hour drive from my house in MD, which can be driven in a day. But, Acadia is a much bigger distance and I would have stay overnight somewhere inbetween. I am basically asking for your opinions so I can come up with trip ideas. So it is like half poll and half coming up with trip ideas. The other problem with Acadia is that I have only driven up to Maine once from my house in the Baltimore,MD area and the drive was horrible! I drove I-95 from Baltimore, hopped on NJ Turnpike, got on the Palisades Interstate Parkway, then went over the Tappin Zee Bridge, then got on the Merrit Parkway, then cut over to I-95 between Bridgeport and New Haven, CT. That part was alright with a little traffic over the Bridge and a little on the Merrit Parkway. But, once I got back on I-95, traffic was all backed up through Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Going around the Boston Beltway (I-95) was horrible, especially since it wasn't till 5 o'clock at night that I got there. Then, traffic started to free up past Boston up into Maine. But, I didn't arrive at the destination I going to that day. I had to stay the night at a hotel. It took me 11 hours or more to just get near Boston. And people say Portland,ME or further is only 11 hours from Maryland? I thought Connecticut and Rhode Island are small states, but it took forever to get through them making them seem very big. What way do you'all take to Acadia? I probably took the wrong way. But, I like the way I took all the way up to Connecticut, but then after that it was horrible. Going to Asheville on the other hand is a much better drive. Just uncongested interstate driving on I-81 and you don't go by big towns and cities.
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Old Nov 6th, 2005, 03:37 AM
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Asdaven, you need better directions and timing for your next trip north. When you get to CT, head up to Hartford on Rt 84, then Mass Pike I-90 to Rt 495. Rt 95 is just too congested. If your timing is such that you would hit heavy Friday night backup on Rt 95 in NH due to the toll booth, there's other ways. The Skyline Drive is beautiful but Acadia has the ocean as well. If you don't want a long drive, stick to Virginia and North Carolina. We hate the traffic congestion around NYC and the New Jersey turnpike but if you have a week's vacation, I might suggest you incorporate some interesting overnights on the way up and back. We prefer not to drive more than 8 hours. There are wonderful trails throughout NH's White Mountains. I would estimate driving time to be 9 hours from Meredith NH (Lake Winnipesaukee) to Aberdeen MD. Good combination of lake and mountains.
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Old Nov 6th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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I have found if you stay off the Interstate Highways and away from the larger cities a good part of the east, and the west as well, is what could be called senic. Its hard to top the GSMNP in the east. www.recreation.gov and www.byways.org
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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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There are many interstates that don't run by cities and are scenic. I-70 through the Rockies and Utah is a great example other than running by Denver but that is really east of the Rockies. I think I-81 to the Smokies is pretty rural. I-95 north of Portland,ME is also pretty rural. I have only been to the smokies once, a long time ago, forgot what it was like, but I remember that the mountains were pretty tall. What is Acadia like? Isn't it like the rest of the Maine coast? I don't think it has the tall mountains like the smokies do.
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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Hi Asdavan,
I've never been to the Smokies, although I would like to go. It may well be that they are more scenic than Skyline Drive and Shenendoah.

What dfrost said about the driving to Maine from Baltimore is correct. Staying off I-95 in CT and RI will make the drive a bit easier. that said, in the summer time its a very long way. It can be very rough driving through the northeast corridor. Its just really crowded.

The mountains in Acadia are not very big. So they are not so dramatic as other parts of the Appalachian range. But the confluence of mountains and ocean is what is so beautiful. The waves crashing on the dark granite rocks, with the mountains rising up behind them. The steep sides of the Somes sound, the only glacial fjord in North America, with mountains on both sides. the mist rolling in off the water in the early morning...its really special.

but that's all just my opinion based on the places I've been, which admittedly don't include much of anything south of Virginia. And Acadia is only a 5 hour drive for me, so that plays a part
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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I have seen the Maine coast and it is very impressive, not as impressive as the Oregon or Washington coast's though, but is much closer. Maine is the only place on the Atlantic side of the United States where mountains meet water. What is a fjord?
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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I'll only answer part of your question. Hands down, the most scenic place in the eastern US is Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Drive the Auto Road or hike it (I've done the Ammononusuc Ravine Trail which roughly parallels the Cog Railway)but, it must be done on a clear summer day which can never be pre-predicted. The Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains is spectacular. I've only done pieces of it but they were great.
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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a fjord is a narrow, steeply sided body of water that was carved by a glacier. They have them in Norway, most famously. There's one that runs roughly through the middle of Mount Dessert Island. It's a great place for canoeing or kayaking. And when the mountains are steep like that, there are sometimes peregrines nesting on the ledges, you might see them swooping down towards the water.
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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You know, I've been from Maine to Florida and everywhere (sorta) in between, and I have to say that "most scenic" is in the eye of the beholder. It certainly depends on whether you are more impressed by majestic mountains, oceans dashing against the cliffs, broad marshes and swamplands, or architectural delights in some of the cities. For me, I get pleasure from all of these. And I would have to agree with all of the previous suggestions because each is lovely in its own way.

So let me try a little something different, that is also scenic in its own way: Bayou La Batre, a lovely little fishing village in south Alabama where you can eat lots of seafood and see all kinds of old-fashioned boats anchored peacefully, with their reflections shimmering in the water below. If I'm not mistaken, this is also the location where the boating scenes were filmed in "Forrest Gump."

But to answer your question specifically, I think any number of hiking trails in the GSMP are great. A wonderful scenic byway is Blue Ridge Parkway. My favorite park is Acadia.
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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Inland Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley is scenic but as we progress into the winter the leaves will be gone and it becomes more of a ski resort. Skyline Drive is nice.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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Wayne- So, GSMNP park and Acadia are a tie, since the trails in GSMNP are your favorite and Acadia is your favorite park. What is Everglades National Park like in Florida? Though it is not mountains, it sounds very interesting. Let me reword my question, How about something in the east that you compare to the scenery in the West. Like GSMNP, for example, has tall mountains, so it compares to the west.
Thanks for your opinions-
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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If you like swampland and marsh, the Everglades Park is for you. Both the Okefenokee in Georgia and the Everglades in Florida are all about nature and swampland. You'll get a sense of history from either, also. An air boat ride through either of these is an absolute necessity; otherwise, most of what you see is lots of flat land, water, reeds, and cypress trees.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 06:30 PM
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I don't know the name of the place, but a couple of years ago, I was driving down Rt. 15 from New York State, barely over the Pennsylvania state line. On the right hand side of the road was a valley that was the absolute most beautiful sight I have ever seen. I had to stop the car and get out and just take in this sight. To my amasement, several cars also did the same thing. We universally agreed that it was a sight for the ages.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 09:28 PM
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It's tough to beat the Jefferson Rock in Harper's Ferry, W. Va., especially when the light comes at long angles.
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