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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Hiking the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN

The Smoky Mountains have such a special place in our hearts. We found this little gem before it became the big touristy town it is today. While the area has so much to offer guests, I will say the Mountains are by far still our favorite part when traveling to Tennessee. The National Park surrounds three side of the Gateway city Gatlinburg so finding it is pretty easy. 
What is so fascinating about this particular National park? You can explore fantastic scenic views, historic homesteads, natural creations and splendid waterfalls that are simply breathtaking. 
There are over 50 marked trails, that you can find new things to explore each time you visit. 
Each trail is marked and you can bike, hike or some you can even drive through! Just stop at the Visitor's Center and they can help you plan your itinerary for that particular day/visit.
A few we have been luck enough to explore: Abrams Fall Trail, Rainbow Falls, Chimney Tops Trail and Cove Mountain Trail.
When we first visited the Smoky Mountains you could "Cliff dive". After returning last Spring (2018)  the area has been closed off due to drownings. This is a good time for me to suggest you do your research about the trails, swimming areas and pack accordingly. 
Wildlife lives here and they are not used to people. Whitetail deer, turkeys ,black bear and coyotes are frequently spotted here.  Keep alert and remember to keep your distance.
You’ll want to bring a camera, walking stick and a pair of binoculars, to see all the wildlife here at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you visit the Sugarlands Visitor Center they offer a free 20-minute orientation motion picture that provides an in-depth look at the Smokies. Natural history exhibits include mounted specimens of park animals in recreations of their habitats. 
You can also visit the Laurel Falls, a beautiful waterfall located off Little River Road. While I have pictures of this particular waterfalls I am not sharing it in this post because I really want you to experience it for yourself!
Ranger talks are provided daily they even do the Junior Ranger program. Which is a free and educational adventure programs that encourages animal explorations, scientific investigations and more. These programs are usually led by park rangers but geared toward kids ages 5-12. 
No matter how many times you visit this area each time will be different. If you are entering from Galinburg might I suggest leaving in the morning to beat the rush of tourists and stopping for breakfast at Crocketts Breakfast Camp!! This place is always packed so making a reservation is highly recommended. Bring with you lots of water, comfortable clothing, walking shoes, sunscreen, bug spray and a hat or sunglasses. 
Have you ever hiked the Smoky Mountains??
What trail is your favorite??
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