Hike this 4.7-mile loop on the AT and Benton MacKaye Trail, catching beautiful mountaintop views from multiple overlooks, hiking through a scenic hardwood forest and crossing through a shady, mossy stream valley. Departing the often-crowded Springer Mountain summit, this loop on the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) grabs some solitude from a second summit overlook, one that rivals the view from the true Springer Mountain summit.
The hike arcs south toward Springer Mountain, steadily gaining more than 350 feet elevation and climbing through a rocky, boulder-filled forest. The hike passes the Benton MacKaye Trailhead on trail left before reaching the Springer summit at just under 1 mile, catching summit views of the southern Appalachian mountains.
The Springer Mountain Loop departs the summit, descending on the Appalachian Trail to the Benton Mackeye Trail. The hike reaches the BMT trailhead at 1.15 miles, turning right to follow the BMT’s white diamond trail blazes northbound. The hike reaches the first of several stream crossings at 3.5 miles, hiking through the shallow bed of Davis Creek. The damp, water-filled creek valley is a contrast to the dry, windswept landscape of Springer Mountain summit: vibrant green moss covers water-rounded boulders, and abundant wildflowers add vibrant color to the forest floor.