HIGHLIGHTS: The Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) is a footpath of nearly 300 miles through the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States. It is named in honor of Benton MacKaye whose vision resulted in the creation of the Appalachian Trail in the early 1900’s. The BMT is designed for foot travel in the tradition of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Benton MacKaye Trail passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas.
As of January 2009, the Benton MacKaye Trail Association reports that the BMT is open from end-to-end with nearly all of the trail in top condition thanks to the hard work of volunteer trail builders and maintainers, and to the National Park Service (Smokies). A few sections lack maintainers primarily in the remote stretches from the Tennessee/North Carolina state line through the Upper Bald River Wilderness Study Area and will continue to get overgrown by midsummer until a volunteer steps forward. Check the BMTA website for more details.