Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a luxury most locals don’t take the time to enjoy, but the trails and scenic sites are not just for tourist anymore. The old thought that hiking is just for young, fit individuals no longer holds true.
The park offers more than 150 different trails, totaling over 800 miles and 500,000 acres of land in all. Only Yosemite and Yellowstone have more hiking trails.
The winter season offers a special treat to those who dare brave the cold weather. During the winter, hikers can see structures which originated from settlements long ago because there is no foliage blocking their view.
Park officials recommend novices only attempt a five-mile roundtrip at one time. They also recommend hikers chose the start time of their walks by the hour in which sunset occurs. Park officials estimated individuals usually travel no more than 1.5 miles per hour.
Officials from the National Park Service have taken the time to break down trail types for those who want less of a workout and more relaxation. The park service has broken the hiking trails down into five categories and rated them by level of difficulty.
Abrams Falls 5 miles.
Juney Whank Falls .08 miles
Laurel Falls 2.6 miles
Grotto Falls 3 miles
Hen Wallow Falls 4.4 miles
Rainbow Falls 5.4 miles
Ramsey Cascades 8 miles
Pleasant Strolls and
Sugarlands Valley Trail .5 miles
Kephart Prong 4 miles
Gatlinburg Trail 4 miles
Oconalufcee River Trail 3 miles
Spruce-fur Selfguiding Nature Trail .5 miles