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What Is The Remotest Place In NC?

Ryan and Rebecca Means with daughter Skyla
Robin Adams Photography
Project Remote

It takes one and a half days to hike there.  It's 5.5 miles from the nearest road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ladies and gentlemen, the remotest place in North Carolina:

Ryan and Rebecca Means are the couple who identified this place. Their Project Remote is one of the coolest things we've come across recently.

They are traveling from state to state, conducting fifty "documentary journeys." They will identify, visit and document the remotest place in each state. [Look at where they've been so far in this interactive map.] Oh, and they are doing it with a toddler in tow.

The images they are capturing are stunning:

It is very hard to get to any place in the US that is truly remote.
Credit Project Remote
It is very hard to get to any place in the US that is truly remote.

They say that one of the largest interrupters of remote-ness is roads. That is is actually no longer possible to get more than five miles from a road or a town in most of the continental U.S.

Project Remote, North Carolina:

To find the remotest place in North Carolina, here's what they did. (You can read the full journey here.)

Ryan, Rebecca, daughter Skyla Means and friends camped in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They awoke at dawn and started out. It was 24 degrees. "There is a 1400 foot long tunnel through a mountain to go through first before entering this section of the park."

This tunnel leads through a mountain.
Credit Project Remote

They passed incredible beauty. Here, two creeks converged.

Credit Project Remote

"Ryan’s pack is loaded up to 65 pounds and Rebecca’s weighs 47 pounds.  We are not proud of having so much weight, but rather, disappointed.  As much as we desire to go lightly, we still have to deal with the reality of carrying our 2-year-old Skyla (now over 30 pounds) and all her gear–plus camera gear."

The family camped at night and set out the next morning with a three-mile ascent. "We begin at 2500 feet elevation at camp and grind our way up, up, and up eventually to 5000 feet on top of Welch Ridge.  [Friend] Mary and Rebecca trade off between each other carrying Skyla on the ascent to the Remote Spot."

Credit Project Remote

The travelers use GPS to navigate directly to the remotest spot in North Carolina.

Credit Project Remote

The family headed over the ridge to the exact spot and recorded their documentary evidence. Here, Rebecca sits on the remotest log in North Carolina.

>> Take a look at their entire North Carolina trip on their blog, including the run-in with a two hundred pound black bear.

And remember. They've traveled all this way, a day and a half, while carrying a toddler. It's now time to head home, which will take another day and a half by foot. Skyla doesn't seem to mind at all:

Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
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