A teammate and I are hoping to take a small group (8 - 12 max) of middle school students on a backpacking trip on a section of the AT. We were curious about the sections around Franklin, NC. Could anyone give us any insight on this part of the AT in terms of appropriateness for a group? We would be coming from Colorado.

This trip would probably be happening late summer or early fall, if feasible / appropriate. We have a lot of experience taking students on backpacking trips and a lot of personal backpacking experience but mostly Rocky Mountain hiking. I took a group several years ago from Springer Mountain to Jared Gap / Lake Winfield Scott in GA but that's the extent of AT experience.