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Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails

All Smoky Mountain Vacations
214 Sharon Dr.
Seymour, TN  37865

With more than 800 square miles, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park features self-guided nature trails, peaceful quarter-mile walkways not requiring boots and back packs and moderate to strenuous backcountry mountain trails for the novice or experienced hiker. The Smokies supply an exciting opportunity to hike to elevations over 6000 feet, to experience part of the Appalachian Trail, to see wildflowers, old growth trees, a pioneer homestead, dramatic waterfalls, and other wildlife in their natural surroundings. For detailed trail maps, contact the Park Service at 865-436-7318 extension 26 or 865-436-1231 for reservations.


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Hikers in the Smoky Mountains generally travel about one and a half to two miles per hour, so allow plenty of time to complete your hike before dark. Sunset times range from 5:20 pm in Winter to 8:50 pm in Summer.

Due to elevation gain, inclement weather and the climate in the park, pack appropriate clothing, dress in layers, wear comfortable shoes or boots and quality socks that will provide the proper cushioning for your feet.

Streams and creeks should be maneuvered around carefully. Accidentally falling into water, even in the summer months can cause hypothermia, another reason for proper clothing. Experienced hikers also recommend taking a whistle or wearing bells to announce their presence to boars and bears and carrying 2 flashlights.

Appalachian Trail marker
Photo Courtesy of Rich Stevenson

Stick to the hiking trails! Getting lost is much more likely to occur if you stray from the established trail. If you are hiking in the backcountry, a compass and small first aid kit should be included with your gear. 

Stream water may contain impurities and parasites than can make you sick. All water should be boiled, filtered or treated with iodine pills before use. It is recommended to carry adequate water. A minimum of 2 quarts per person per day.

Trail maps, trail conditions and current weather information may be obtained at any visitor center, purchased at the Great Smoky Mountains Bookstore.

Pets are not allowed on any trails except for the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail and they must remain on leashes at all times. To avoid crowds, hike during the week, begin your hike early, avoid holidays and hike during the "off" season.

~ Backcountry Camping Permits ~

Backcountry Camping Permits are required for all overnight camping in the backcountry and are free of charge. You may obtain a permit at any ranger station by following posted instructions, but reservations are encouraged if your trip includes a rationed site, since some sites are rationed due to popularity. If no rationed sites are involved, you may obtain your permit via self-registration upon your arrival to the park.

You must telephone the Backcountry Reservation Office at 865-436-1231 to obtain permission for the use of rationed sites. Failure to do voids your Backcountry Camping Permit and puts you in violation of the National Park Service regulations.

No more than 8 people per party. Stays are limited to 1 consecutive night at a shelter and 3 consecutive nights at a campsite. Contact the reservation office immediately to cancel or make changes to your plans.

The Backcountry Reservation Office is open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.

All Smoky Mountain Vacations
214 Sharon Dr.
Seymour, TN 37865

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