The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a sight to behold and one of the best ways to experience the mountains is by taking a hike. To ensure that your Gatlinburg vacation goes smoothly, it is wise to make sure your hiking trip is safe.

Before you begin your Smoky Mountain hiking adventure, research the different trails to see which one suits your skill and ability level. The website,, offers information about the trails, focusing on distance, elevation gain, features, and location of the trailhead.

A hike in the Smoky Mountains is more enjoyable if you bring all the necessary items. Water and snacks are a must. A hiking trail may only be a few miles, however, when you factor elevation gain, it may take considerably longer than your average walk around the neighborhood. A flashlight is also recommended, particularly if you get a late start.

Cuts, scrapes, and bumps can occur easily on the uneven terrain, so it’s wise to pack a small first aid kit. Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, so a raincoat or poncho is advisable. Also, it can be much cooler at the top of the mountain, even in summer months, so dressing in layers is recommended.

To enhance a hike in the Smoky Mountain National Park, it’s fun to learn about the area. Guidebooks can be purchased at the Visitor’s Center or most outdoor retailers.

If hiking with kids, it’s important to make sure they’re dressed in brightly colored clothing. Also, take time to explain that they should not hike out of eyesight and go over safety protocol if they find themselves lost. Carrying a whistle can also prevent hikers from staying lost.

To ensure the trails stay beautiful for your next trip, leave no trace and pack out what you bring into the mountains.

If you’re ready to plan your next Smoky Mountain trip, contact the Edgewater Hotel and Conference Center.