The number of hikers in Asheville, North Carolina blows my mind. I just moved here and have already run into a couple dozen thru-hikers. Outdoor shops dot the city, with Second Gear on Haywood practically in my back yard.
The Carolina Mountain Club www.carolinamtnclub.com , which maintains a couple hundred miles of the AT, has three or four weekly hikes. Two hikes of varying duration and difficulty are on Sundays. They meet in the Earth Fare parking lot. If you decide to join, the annual dues are $20.
I think I’ve moved to the right town. At all times you see people speeding down the street on bicycles and hoofing it on backpacks. Some consider Asheville ultra-weird. But in reality the place is just high energy. It almost reminds me of Oregon, with its outdoor culture.