Standing Indian Mountain, NC

Empty Peaks

Legend has it that a Cherokee warrior was turned to stone while standing watch on this 5,499-foot peak in the Blue Ridge. Your most likely fate will be a hike through mountain laurel in the still-wild Nantahala National Forest, followed by a splash in a swimming hole. Take the 11.3-mile Kimsey Creek/Lower Ridge Loop, which traverses bear and wild boar stomping grounds, and snares panoramas of Georgia's Tallulah River and Chattahoo­chee National Forest. Pitch a tent at Hurricane Creek campground ($6; recreation.gov), at the confluence of the Nantahala River and Hurricane Creek, a perfect spot to cast a fly for brook trout.

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