Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the Smoky Mountains.  The outdoors, fresh air, sunshine and the adventure of hiking into the wilderness bring people out of their hotels and cabins, out of the theme parks and into the National Park and other areas to experience nature at its best.  From casual hikes to week long journeys through the wilderness, the hiking trails in and around the Smokies cover every level of hiking ability

There are hikes in the Smokies that take 30 minutes and there are hikes in the Smokies that could take you the better part of two weeks.  The choice is yours.  If you are hiking in the National Park, talk to one of the rangers, let them know what your skill level is, tell them what you want to see while you are on the trail – they will be glad to point you in the right direction.  Also, pick up the ‘little brown book.’  Hiking Trails of the Smokies is the official guide to the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  This book will be your best friend while you are on a trail in the GSMNP.

Hiking in the SmokiesPlan for you hike:

  • Take water.  Even if it is cold outside you are going to get thirsty and you are going to need to stay hydrated.
  • The rangers and other hikers are going to tell you that you will average 1 mile per hour on the trails.  Listen to them.
  • Give yourself plenty of time.  You don’t want to be hiking out of the Smokies after the sun has set.
  • If you are wanting to do some backcountry camping, you will need reservations, make them in advance.
  • Remember the elevation change.  The change in elevation is going to be hard to get used to when you are first on the trail.  Keep the climb in elevation figured into your hiking timeframe.
  • Let someone know when you are starting on the trail and when you plan to be off the trail.  Do not deviate from that schedule.  If something happens to you while you are hiking, your schedule will be the only thing helps people to find you.

Hike!  Get outside and enjoy nature.  Whether you choose a quick , easy hike like Laurel Falls or if you want something really in-depth – like the Appalachian Trail in the Smokies – there is a trail that fits you and will let you have fun while you enjoy the National Park and other outdoor areas around the Smokies.

Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

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