By Darryl Payne
Posted on July 21, 2014
A Beginner's Guide to Smoky Mountains Hiking
It's no secret that the Great Smoky Mountains offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Each season brings a delightful new look, from miles of brilliant greenery in the early spring to a stunning blanket of white when winter takes over. Visitors enjoy the view from cars, tour busses, and even on horseback, but to truly take in the splendor of the area, you'll want to pull on your boots and head for one of the hundreds of hiking trails that crisscross the landscape.
The stunning scenery and the crisp mountain air aren't the only reasons to hike the Great Smoky Mountains, though. According to WebMD.com, hiking is a fantastic workout with the power to improve your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure, and strengthen those important core muscles. You'll also enjoy better balance, easier weight control, and less stress and anxiety.
With all that going for you, it's easy to see why nearly 35 million Americans took to the trails in 2012, according to the Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report for that year, published by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. One reason for this trend might be that hiking is a sport nearly everyone can enjoy.
In fact, with little more than a sturdy pair of shoes, you're ready to head for any one of the dozens of beginner-friendly trails the Great Smoky Mountains has to offer. The Gatlinburg Trail is one of several that offer both flat ground and relatively short distance, making it perfect for every skill level. Not only that, but at just under two miles, it's also ideal for a family outing, even with small children or dogs along for the fun.
Best Hikes by Interest
With so many things to see and experience when hiking the Great Smoky Mountains, it's helpful to consider what each trail has to offer. Whether you enjoy taking a closer look at history, getting to know the local wildlife, or gazing upon miles of mountains and valleys spread out below, you'll find a handy trail to take you there.
While many of the park's trails are well maintained and monitored, the Great Smoky Mountains are primarily a wilderness area. As such, nature has the final say in trail conditions. Hikers are advised to keep safety in mind as you set out.
Thinking of visiting the Smokies? Don't forget to pack your hiking gear, because with more than 800 miles of trails to explore, you'll have ample opportunity for family-friendly fun. Not only that, but with a good mix of both easy and more challenging hikes, you'll also enjoy experiencing the natural beauty of the area while improving your health. Be sure to visit our site for even more to see and do in the Great Smoky Mountains.
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.