These wilderness areas are beautiful and worthy of exploration; however, this book is not accurate in its descriptions. Yes, wilderness trails are not highly cultivated or maintained, but the Beech Creek Trail that we did in the Nantahala Wilderness was one of the roughest wilderness trails we have encountered. It was filled with sizable rocks and sticks, making footing uneven and difficult, and there were many fallen trees to work around and streams to ford. Walking on the trail was like walking in either a soggy or dry, rocky creek bed. Ratings of trails are subjective, but we both found this to be strenuous when it was rated "moderate." The elevation just kept climbing, and while the trail was only listed as being 7 miles, it took us 8.5 hours to complete it without stopping to explore other aspects of the wilderness area. The area was unarguably beautiful, and we did not encounter other hikers anywhere are the trail; it was a rare treat to truly feel like we were the only ones around.