It's always fun to explore on your own along the trails and back country in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Part of the fun is discovering new places and the plants and animals that live there. Even experienced hikers take guided walks from time to time, especially in new surroundings, so they can learn everything they can about a place from experts who have traversed the area, and know all of its secrets.
In the park individuals and groups can take advantage of ranger-led walks and these programs can provide incredible insights into all of the creatures and growing things, plus how they interact and survive in their habitats in the park. Another alternative is to schedule a walk with a local guided walking tour company. One such company that gets very high marks from visitors posting to TripAdvisor is A Walk in the Woods. Not only do they get superb reviews on TripAdvisor, they won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 4 years in a row - from 2011 - 2014. Let's take a look at the benefits of a guided walking tour with this company:
1) They offer extensive knowledge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: They provided a guided tour of the Smoky Mountains that will be featured on the Travel Channel, and they are the Recipient of REI Adventures Top Guide Award! This company also routinely gets top reviews in The Washington Post, Outside Magazine and more. They have the reputation for helping visitors learn a lot and have a great time while hiking in the Smokies.
2) This company customizes its experiences so every group can maximize their outdoor enjoyment: It's okay to tell them about your group's preferences, and they will recommend a hike that's right for you. Take nature hikes, go backpacking and see the wonders of Mt. LeConte (6,593 ft high; third highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park), or if you don't have much time or don't prefer a strenuous hike, they offer a range of walks and backpacking trips, here are a few that you may wish to try:
One hour walks
Get started with a guided walk that won't be too strenuous. One of these walks is titled Intro to the Smokies and allows you to walk a paved trail and discover the history of the Sugarlands area. This is a good walk if you like a level path or wish to push a stroller along. This is a great walk for most everyone's skill level. You may request this walk here: http://www.awalkinthewoods.com/pages/wd_walks_form.htm
Mountain Mist LeConte Lodge Overnight Adventure - 2 days, 1 night
Why not try their group hike to Mt. LeConte? You will have to work to get to the lodge at 6500 feet, but the walk there is an adventure in itself. You'll learn all about the history of the Smoky Mountains and about the species found there; a number of which are found in the park and nowhere else. You can book an overnight trip to the lodge where you arrive near evening, eat dinner in the dining hall, view a magnificent sunset, then sleep over until morning. Weather conditions permitting you'll get to see an awe-inspiring sunrise and then enjoy your descent on a different trail than you traversed on the way up. You'll be escorted back to your vehicle by shuttle to complete your trip.
Hurry as these Mt. LeConte trips sell out fast! As of this writing the July 21st - 22nd (Tuesday Wednesday) and the September 28th - 29th (Monday - Tuesday) trips are still open.
Backpacking 101 - 2 days, 1 night in the woods
This is a great trip for people who have always wanted to know more about backpacking so they could apply their knowledge in a real situation. That's what this trip is all about. First you'll attend a short class about backpacking and learn what you need to know about what to bring and how to use the items you have. You'll learn how to adapt to changing conditions and how to react in an emergency. Plus you'll enjoy the hike through Great Smoky Mountains National Park and spending the night in the woods. This is a really popular trip and one that offers a lot of knowledge that can be used again and again.
If you'd like to get in touch with A Walk in the Woods, contact them here:
A Walk in the Woods
4413 Scenic Drive East
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone : (865) 436-8283
email : Erik@awalkinthewoods.com