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January walking

Hoorn, The...
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January walking

Hello everybody,

My wife and i are from holland, and want to visit smoky mountains in january. We are not experienced in hiking, but like walking very much. So we would like to make a few long walks, what can you advice us?

keeping in mind the weather. We come by car. and have nothing arranged yet.

I hope to hear from you.

We realy would like to walk arround in the mountains. Have good walking shoes and clothing...


Edited: 24 December 2011, 00:18
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1,530 posts
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1. Re: January walking


This link has a feature that rates trails by difficulty. Since you enjoy walking, but are not experienced homers, I suggest some of the easier trails listed. One of our favorite strolls is the Little River Trail in Elkmont. Its a relatively wide road bed, mostly hard packed, almost flat, and scenic year round since it runs alongside the river.

I don't recommend walking along the paved roads within the park. They are hilly and winding, which makes them somewhat dangerous with limited sight distance for the traffic.

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2. Re: January walking

Hikers not homers. Getting used to this IPad :-)

Edited: 24 December 2011, 00:29
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
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3. Re: January walking

Definitely visit Cades Cove and stop wherever you wish. Would several miles be too long to walk?

Tullahoma, Tennessee
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4. Re: January walking

At the lower elevatiions you will find good walking but may find deep snow at the higher elevations.

In Cades Cove take the Abrams Falls trail--five miles round trip. If a longer hike appeals take the Rich Mountain Loop also in Cades Cove--8 miles.

Little River Trail at Elkmont Camp Ground is a lovely walk.

Purchase a hiking guide at the park visitors center--it will be a good souvenir and will be invaluable while in the park.

Edited: 26 December 2011, 18:48
Paris, Tn
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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5. Re: January walking

Cades Cove would be one of my first choices when selecting hikes. Most folks in here know I'm not much on hiking. {partially disabled} But if I were planning a hike, it'd be Cades Cove.Since you can park anywhere in the Cove, you can tailer your hike for any amount of distance. Hense there's no certain distance I have to hike to get to my destination. The road is wide and newly paved. Gentle on the feet and largly flat.


Spring Hill...
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6. Re: January walking

In addition to the wonderful advice you have recieved from other Trip Advisors, also take a few moments to go to the Sugerlands Visitor Center just as you enter the park having exited Gatlinburg heading east. There are National Park rangers on duty during the course of the day that can give you up to the minute weather updates, trail updates or alerts and recommendations of walks and hikes that will suit you and you hiking companion! A couple of my favorite trails to consider are Charlies Bunion, which takes you along part of the AT out to a scenic vista that will be jaw dropping; and the Porter Creek Trail which allows an easy deliberate pace along a roaring creek for much of the way...a little off the beaten path in the Greenbriar area but very EASY drive there!! Enjoy your time in the Smokies!!

Chillicothe, Ohio
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for Ohio, Sandusky
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7. Re: January walking

I concur with all of the above, great advice.

I'd also like to suggest some gear you may want to take with you, even on small/short hikes:

Waterproof hiking shoes/boots. Preferably made from treated leather, not canvas like a tennis shoe. Not a bad idea to get a half size bigger than what you nromally wear as well, due to the need to put on thicker socks.

SmartWool hiking socks. My sock of choice for any hiking. They are cushioned, provided good support and warmth while wicking away moisture from your skin. Put an extra pair in your backpack as well.

Layers of clothing:

First layer should be lightweight thermal type that will wick moisture away from your body. Middle layer should be for warmth, such as a fleece. Outer layer should be wind and water/weather proof, like a ski jacket. Always be over prepared, remember you can take layers off if you get too warm and begin to sweat.

Other items: Gloves, hat, hood on coat, sunglasses, hiking sticks or poles, bottled water, snack food, pocket hand/feet warmer packs, a whistle, trail map, and perhaps even snap on cleats for your shoes if you will be hiking where it is icey.

Remember sweating is bad. You don't want to sweat while hiking in the winter and soak through your clothes, even if they are the "right" clothes. Wearing cotton clothes is really bad, like jeans and tshirts. Cotton does not dry quickly and will keep you cold if you get wet.

I am not a fan of cold weather, but even I enjoy winter hiking! It provides views that can't be seen in the summer months, and you can see evidence of animals that normally wouldn't be seen with your eyes (tracks in the snow, I love looking for weasel tracks especially). I hope you have a great time!

8. Re: January walking

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