Autumn is one of the most scenic times of year to hike in the Smoky Mountains. The bright colors of fall are painted across mountains and valleys, creating a setting that beckons one to explore.
With over 500,000 acres comprising the Great Smoky Mountains National Park choosing where to hike and sight see can be a bit overwhelming. Use this helpful list of the best fall hikes in the Smoky Mountains to get a head start on your journey.
Wake Up Early
To make sure that you and your group don’t get stuck on the trails after dark, plan to begin your hiking trek earlier in the day.
Be prepared for sudden weather changes. Cool, wet, and windy conditions can cause hypothermia.
Cotton is a fabric that absorbs moisture and takes awhile to dry. Therefore, if you encounter snow flurries or light rain when you are hiking in the Smoky Mountains National Park, you are more likely to end up cold and uncomfortable.
Never Hike Alone
Always hike with another person. Keep your hiking party together and stay on officially maintained trails. Always keep children in your sight when hiking-do not allow them to get ahead of you or fall behind.
Pack a Backpack
Don’t forget to pack a flashlight with backup batteries to help navigate your way back to your car. Take adequate water. Carry a small first aid kit.
Check the Smoky Mountain Weather Forecast
Check the current weather forecast and be prepared for quickly changing conditions. The weather in the Smoky Mountains can also determine which of the hiking trails will be open that day.
Have A Plan
Hikes can range from simple to very strenuous. Some hikes can be completed in a half day, a full day, or multiple days. A person could literally spend an entire vacation walking through the Smokies.
Know Where The Colors Are
The elevation affects the colors of the Smokies. The higher elevations will turn from the deep greens to brighter colors before the lower elevations.
Explore Less Crowded Parts of the Park
Visitors can avoid the crowds by traveling early in the day. Most people tour the park from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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