One of the most daunting tasks facing hikers is choosing a trail. Start by deciding on what you would like to see. Waterfalls? Old-growth forests? Endless views? 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.
Hike the Smokies!
Reward yourself for getting out on the park's trails. The Hike the Smokies and Hike the Smokies for Families programs offer you a chance to earn mileage pins and stickers!
Bear pepper spray may be carried by hikers within Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the strict purpose of protection against bodily harm from aggressive wildlife. It should not be applied to people, tents, packs, other equipment, or a surrounding area as a repellent. Bear pepper spray is a chemical formula designed specifically to deter aggressive or attacking bears. It must be commercially manufactured and labeled as "Bear Spray" and be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and individual states. Bear spray must contain between 1% to 2% of the active ingredients capsaicin and related capsaicinoids.
Hiking Trails of the Smokies covers all 150 official trails in the park with in-depth narratives and profile charts that show mileage, elevation change, and major stream crossings. It includes information on all backcountry campsites, shelters, regulations, and permit/reservation information.
Day Hikes of the Smokies covers 34 of the best day hikes in the park, plus all of the self-guided nature trails. It includes shaded relief maps for each hike plus accurate elevation profile charts.
Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park's official online store for books, maps, and guides to the park. Operated by the nonprofit Smokies Life, proceeds generated by purchases at the store are donated to educational, scientific, and historical projects in the park.
Last updated: February 10, 2024