Hiking in the Smoky Mountains is one of the many must-do activities during any trip to the area. However, what people don’t think about is that hiking in the Smoky Mountains is a great activity that you can enjoy throughout the year. Each season in the Smoky Mountains offers visitors a special reward that they may not discover during different months of the year. Here are a few reasons to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains during the winter:
1. You Will Discover New Things
Even if you have hiked a trail multiple times during the warm months, it doesn’t mean you have seen all that that trail has to offer. During the winter months, hiking in the Smoky Mountains completely changes. By this point, the trees have lost all of their leaves, so many hidden items will appear to you and your fellow hikers. New vistas will open up along hiking trails in the winter, revealing stone walls, chimneys, foundations, and other historic remains of the Smoky Mountains region.
(See Also: 4 Things You Don’t Want to Forget When Winter Hiking in the Smoky Mountains)
2. Less Traffic
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the busiest national park in the entire country. With an average of about 9 million park visitors a year, you can bet things get a bit crowded during peak park visiting seasons such as summer and fall. That is what is great about hiking in the Smoky Mountains during the winter; the park traffic is much lower, so you will experience less congestion going into the park. Also, that means while you are hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you will encounter less people on the trails. This is a great time of the year for you to really enjoy the sounds of nature, since it is only you and a few other avid hikers on the trails in the park.
3. Smoky Mountain Snow
Winter is a beautiful time of the year; the country becomes covered in a layer of snow that is so purely white and fresh. This is especially true in the higher elevations of the Smoky Mountains, where the peaks becomes covered in a layer of beautiful snow. What is great about the Smoky Mountains is that you can hike up and experience all the perks of winter, while enjoying warmer temperatures at lower elevations. You can see trees covered in freshly fallen snow, or streams and waterfalls completely frozen in place when the temperature dropped.
Hiking in the Smoky Mountains during the winter allows you to see beautiful views that appear completely unreal. From Charlies Bunion and Andrews Bald, you can see amazing snow-capped mountains, while at Porters Creek, you can see a hidden frozen waterfall that is simply incredible.
Hiking in the Smoky Mountains is an experience that you don’t want to miss out on, no matter what time of the year it is. However, hiking in the Smoky Mountains during the winter is a completely different experience than going hiking during other seasons, and it is something that you will have to see to believe. While you are planning your hiking trip in the Smoky Mountains, don’t forget to book one of our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals for you to warm up in after your amazing day in the national park!