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4 Things to Know Before You Go Hiking in the Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
February 15, 2021

If you enjoy hiking, the Smoky Mountains are a great place to go hiking while you’re in town. Located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. There are many different trails with different features and levels of difficulty. Some are known for their wildflowers, while others lead to waterfalls or extraordinary views of the landscape. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a newcomer to the field, there is definitely going to be a hiking trail you will enjoy in the Smoky Mountains. Before you head out on the trails, check out these 4 things you should know before you go hiking in the Smokies:

1. When the Park is Open

view of the mountains

Before planning a hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains, there are several things that every traveler should know. First of all, you should know when the park is open. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. This is great because it allows you to plan your trip around your schedule rather than having to find a time during peak seasons. However, it is also important that all hikers know the conditions of the trail and to be prepared. For example, during the winter, some of the Smoky Mountain hiking trails may not be safe to travel. If you are planning to hike during these months, contact the local park officials or visit the National Park Service’s road closures page to see what the conditions are like before proceeding.

2. Various Lengths and Difficulties of Trails

The Smoky Mountain hiking trails vary when it comes to length and difficulty. These trails range from short (less than one mile) to long (around 15 miles) and at different levels of elevation. If you have never been hiking in the Smokies before, you’ll find plenty of short, easy hikes so you can have fun exploring without over doing it. For the average person who has gone hiking before, there are quite a few moderate trails, and, of course, there are difficult trails for hiking aficionados!

3. Natural Features You Can See

Abrams Falls Gatlinburg waterfall

The Smoky Mountains offer hiking trails that are great for day trips, picnics, or sightseeing adventures. There are several waterfalls as well, including Grotto Falls, Abrams Falls, and Rainbow Falls. These locations make excellent family destinations or romantic hiking afternoons. Some of the trails also lead to wonderful views of the scenery. The breathtaking views at these locations provide excellent opportunities for photos and for enjoying the beauty of the natural environment. Wildflowers are in abundance on the Smoky Mountain hiking trails, and these can also be seen from the top of a mountain on the hiking trails.

4. Safety on the Trails

One thing to consider when planning a hiking trip is safety. While there are places to park at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is always important to keep any valuables with you or to leave them at home. Also, if you plan on taking a longer hiking trail, it is a good idea to keep a first aid kit with you and to read your map if you feel lost. You should always bring snacks, water, and tell someone else where you are going before you head out on a hike.

Now you know more about hiking in the Smokies! Want to know what else you can do when you visit the Smoky Mountains? Look through our Luxury Pass to see what kind of attractions you’ll get free tickets to when you book one of our cabins!

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