I'm looking for primitive hiking/camping suggestions for a weekend in October for several adults and their boys (ages 7 to 13). We've hiked and camped in Shining Rock Wilderness and Panthertown several times over the past few years, so we are looking for something new to try.
Is Linville Gorge a good option for us? Is a group size of about 12 too many? Permits possible early Saturday morning or late Friday night (or can they be had via mail)? Given our fitness levels and ages, we tend to hike no more than about 3 miles per day -- given this, can you recommend a route/loop/trail for 3 nights/2 full days?
Any other wilderness areas or national forest areas (NC, SC, or GA) you would suggest we try? Areas with creeks are always fun for our group. I've considered the GSNP, but it seems camping areas are usually about 6 miles apart which is a bit far for our group.