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Hunting for Hiking Trails

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Tupelo, Mississippi
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Hunting for Hiking Trails

Sorry I am posting so many inquiries, but we want to get this right. What are the must do trails/things to see in the Smoky Mnt Ntl Park? should we splurge for a Guided Hike? If so, are they offered by the park rangers or do we go through an outfitter?

Savannah, Ga
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for Cherokee, Tybee Island
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1. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

I would check out the National parks vistor center first thing when you get into town or the web site. They have some good guides on hiking trails, etc. Some of these don't cost but like a buck and some of the books are 10 to 20 dollars. I have found that most of the trails have parking areas, are well marked and can be done with out a guide. The guide books and visitor's center staff can tell you the length and difficulty of the trail.

Once you get to the park you will find that there is some much to do and so little time that you will return. I always like to do the Cades Cove loop drive and stop at the Wye on the way to Cades Cove.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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for Pigeon Forge
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2. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

You really don't need to hire a guide if you have any hiking experience at all. Not here anyway in my opinion.

Bring a small backpack to hold a little water and snack bars and such. As suggested above talk with the rangers at sugar land visitor center and get some ideas on trails. As already said, they are all clearly marked and you really can't get lost if you stay on them and have a decent map and sense of direction.


Lima, Ohio
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3. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

There also many ranger-led hikes that cost nothing. We did one a couple of years ago to the Walker Sisters cabin. Although we certainly could have done it on our own & I knew a little about the Sisters from books I read, it was really nice to have the ranger there. He had a lot of information about them that I didn't know. You can usually find information about the hikes on the National Park website or at the Park Visitors Centers.

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4. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

Here is a site that lists many hikes by location, miles, reviews and difficulty. Once you find some hikes you are interested in, google the hikes name and location and many sites will pull up that have more reviews on the hikes.


Sugarland Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road has many rangers on site that are very knowledgeable of the hikes and where the trailheads start.

Doing some research before your trip might make your hiking more enjoyable.

Hope you have a great trip!

Pigeon Forge...
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5. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

Here is a link to another TA page that offers some great books on the Smokies...there are a few great books with hikes info that I added to the list recently.


Depending on your comfort level or experience, here are some great beginner hikes in the area.

Walk to Cataract Falls (behind Sugarlands welcome center)

Trail behin Bud Ogle Cabin right at beginning of Roaring Fork Motor Trail

Laurel Falls (great waterfall at the end of it)

Greenbrier-Walker Sister Cabin

Porter's Creek Trail

Little River Trail

As for things to see...go to Cades Cove, Roaring Fork Motor Trail, have lunch at any of the geat picnic areas along the water, drive Little River rd as well as Newfound Gap road. Stop at the many pull offs along the way for pics or nature exploring at some of the quiet walkways.

Edited: 18 May 2012, 14:14
Tupelo, Mississippi
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6. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

Thanks for all of your great suggestions! It was very helpful.

Townsend, Tennessee
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for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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7. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

All great suggestions above. If you are still considering a guided hike, give Liz Domingue a call at: http://www.justgetoutdoors.com/. Very knowledgeable of the trails, flora and fauna in the Smokies and she will tailor a hike that will fit your ability and interests.

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8. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

Thank you for your great tip on the website! I was having some difficulty looking for detailed information on the trails I was finding and this certainly solved the problem!!

9. Re: Hunting for Hiking Trails

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