Springer Mountain Loop via Benton MacKaye Trail and Appalachian Trail
This hike is a loop from Three Forks to Springer Mountain via both the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Appalachian Trail. It is moderately strenuous with a few climbs, but mostly manageable and a great day hike. On this hike you will pass Rich Mountain, Big Stamp Gap, Ball Mountain, and the Stover Creek Appalachian Trail shelter. You can hike to the Springer Mountain shelter and summit via the Appalachian Trail, which adds about 0.2 miles each way.
Owen's Overlook is at mile 4.6 and provides a sweeping view of the valley below Springer Mountain.
This hike starts at the Three Forks parking area off of FS Road 58. This is a dirt road which is suitable for all cars, although non AWD vehicles will struggle after any rain and there are some large potholes and rocks which non high clearance cars will struggle with. At the parking area there is space for about twenty cars and it fills up on good weather days, so be sure to arrive early! Please do not park in the trailhead area and leave enough space for cars to drive through as this road continues on past Three Forks.
After parking your car, walk to the trailhead area and head south. The very beginning of the hike crosses a bridge, if you don't cross a bridge you're going the wrong way! Once you get to the AT/BMT split you can go either way to start the hike, although I recommend hiking the BMT segment first as it is tougher and you'll have an easier way back.
This hike would be good for children 5 and up who are in good physical shape. It is a longer day hike, but there are no particularly steep sections.