The Great Smoky Mountains offers many great hiking trails. One of the most difficult things facing hikers is choosing a trail. Start by deciding on what you would like to see. Waterfalls? Old-growth forests? Endless views? Historic Places? Then decide how far you would like to hike. If you haven’t hiked much recently, be conservative. Five miles roundtrip is a good maximum distance for novices.
All of our Gatlinburg cabin rentals, Gatlinburg condo rentals and Gatlinburg chalet rentals are conveniently located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are more than 800 miles of trails leading to cascading waterfalls, beautiful vistas, and quiet meadows in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area of the Great Smoky Mountains. The trails wind through deep forests, on high ridge tops, and along rushing streams offering spectacular views and awesome opportunities for taking pictures.
Important hiking safety tips to remember:
- Be sure to allow plenty of time to complete your hike before dark. As a rule of thumb, hikers in the Smokies travel about 1.5 miles per hour. Many people travel slower. Sunset times vary from just after 5:00 p.m. in December to almost 9:00 p.m. in June.
- Beware of parking lot thieves who break into cars parked at trailheads to steal purses, cameras, and electronic equipment. The best defense is to lock your car and take your valuables with you, or leave them at home. Be aware that thieves may be in the parking area watching as you slip your wallet into the glove box or “hide” your laptop under a blanket.
- Remember that the higher you go, the lower the temperature. Dress in layers and carry rain gear in case the weather changes. Wear comfortable hiking shoes and thick socks that will cushion your feet.
- Also be sure to stay on the trails, and never hike alone. If you do get lost away from the trial, stay where you are. The chances of being found are much better if you stay put.