Your Guide to Spending A Day in The Smokies
It’s fall, y’all, and in my opinion the best time of the year to head for the mountains. Fall brings a canopy of reds, yellows and oranges to our already beautiful Smoky Mountains, and as the leaves begin to fall you will see views that are simply not there in spring and summer.
Whether you’re looking for something strenuous like the 11-mile round trip to the Mount Camerer fire tower, or something a little more lax like Grotto Falls, there are some essentials you should always keep in your day pack.
Here’s my list of five things to pack for your day in the Smokies:
1. Mini First Aid kit
I know, I know, we are all tough mountaineers and ready to conquer the wilderness, but you just never know when a rogue blister can come up. Throw some chapstick in there, too. The winds are always a little stronger at the top.
2. An extra pair of socks
Sturdy hiking shoes are a given but socks are just as important. Many hiking trails cross streams, so a little rock jumping may be necessary. There’s nothing worse than having wet feet in the woods. A dry pair of socks is instant comfort. Wool is always the best.
As a general rule, I don’t go anywhere without snacks, especially hiking. Load up with some trail mix, peanut bar, protein bars, whatever tickles your taste buds. For me, something sweet on the trail is always a nice treat. If you’re planning on eating lunch on the trail, treat yourself to some carry-out from one of our many great restaurants in town. Just be sure to pack up all trash and uneaten food.
The fall season makes for some spectacular photos. I like to take my digital camera in my day pack. Sure it adds a little more weight, but it’s worth it to capture the foliage in the Smokies. Your camera phone works just fine, too! It’s lighter and easy to store within reach for quick photo ops of wildlife.
5. A good friend
Awww… In all seriousness though, adventures are more fun when you share them. Load up the family, or your outdoor-loving friend and hit the trail! Don’t worry about your pace, just enjoy the place.
BONUS: Other favorite hikes in addition to the two mentioned – Mount LeConte via Alum Cave Trail, Middle Prong Trail in Upper Tremont, Porters Creek Trail out of Greenbrier.
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