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Want to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail? World’s Best Adventures is offering a guided, all-inclusive backpacking experience for beginners
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Albert Mountain Fire Tower will be one of the stops on World's Best Adventures' backpacking trip. Photo courtesy Alex Neumann

A new experience is coming to World’s Best Adventures, one that takes people on a four-day, three-night hike through a portion of the Appalachian Trail. 

No equipment or camping background necessary, this trip only requires yourself, clothes and a sleeping bag. Food and gear are all provided. The travel company intends to launch its first all-inclusive journey this fall at a to-be-determined date.

Alex Popp, co-founder of World’s Best Adventures, will lead adventurers through Franklin, North Carolina, sharing his hiking expertise and shedding light on the nature encountered. The trail includes views of Albert and Standing Indian mountains. 

“To be a beginner on the outside, it must feel pretty daunting to have to pick a trail and all the gear and find out how to cook,” Popp said. “We want to be the go-between and guide them so they don’t have to worry about all those trivial things, and give them a good experience without the hassle.”

Popp, who earned Eagle Scout rank at 17 years old,  is no stranger to trekking through the outdoors, having completed the entire Appalachian Trail in 2017. The backpacker said he was exposed to hiking and camping at an early age through his parents and the Scouts. 

After hitting a lull in his love for the wilderness for his first few years of college, Popp said the spark came back in full force and has continued to burn. 

Popp said he recently contemplated the idea of transforming his passion into a career while hiking with his dad. Five months ago, he brought the idea of offering backpacking trips to Charles Hill Morris Jr., co-founder of World’s Best Adventures, and it took off.

Popp left his role as editor of Dawson County News to serve as a full-time guide.

“I’m so excited,” Popp said. “It has been my dream for a really long time to do something professional with the outdoors because it has been such a large piece of my life.”

The trips will run during the fall, spring and summer, taking groups of around six to 10 people. Participants must be 21 or older to join the excursion. The cost is around $1,200 per person.

“We want to ignite a passion for the outdoors in people,” Popp said. “Now more than ever, it's really important for people to get out and see places like North Carolina, Tennessee and North Georgia that are so beautiful.”

The travel company plans to hold a test-run of the backpacking trek in September for those 21 and up. To apply for the trip or for more information about the upcoming excursions, email or visit their website at:

World’s Best Adventures is a part of Metro Market Media, which also owns The Times, Forsyth County News and Dawson County News. Proceeds from its tours help fund journalism in those communities.