Going to the Smokies

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking' started by Woodsman, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Woodsman

    Woodsman Barefooters
    1. New Jersey

    Jan 13, 2012
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    OK, so I'm getting dragged to my wife's family reunion, but on the bright side it is being held right outside Great Smokie Mountain National Park. The only way I would agree to go was initially could spend a few days hiking. Unfortunately this means only day hikes, no overnighter.

    I have one ambitious hike planned. I'm going to take the rainbow falls trail and continue it up to mount LeConte then take the trillium gap trail back, with a climb up Brushy mountain if I'm feeling good at that point.

    Is anyone familiar with the area? Can you recommend any other trails?

    Also,. I have a related question in the gear forum, if any of you hikers would care to indulge me. ;)

  2. Tristan

    Tristan Barefooters
    1. Ohio

    Sep 15, 2011
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    I've been there only once, went up LeConte too but I don't remember the trail name. I just had a day to spend and more or less randomly picked it. Its the one that takes you by the bluffs I think it was called? Anyhow if was nice, though crowded at the time. Was my first ever minimalist hike actually. Sorry couldn't be much help, but good luck and have a great time!
  3. scedastic

    scedastic Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Minnesota

    Oct 7, 2011
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    It's been about 10 years, but I've been on all the trails you mention, if I remember correctly.
    There was one I took as a day hike that was fantastic, up for 6-7 miles, then back, gently down. Huge fields of azaleas at the top, an amazing view. Can't recall the name of the trail. Somewhere on the Cades Cove side, I think.
    BTW, biking or running around Cades Cove in the morning is amazing. It's about 10 mi around, as I recall. You can take shorter routes if you don't go all the way around. Sometimes it's busy but it was really something.

    Hard to go wrong, in any case.
    Depending on the time you go, you may see lots of rhododendrun (sp?), azaleas, etc.
    On the wild life side, I've seen black bear, coyotes, the usual deer and such.
    Trails are pretty tame, sometimes rocky, but well maintained.
    Cooler than you think as you get close to the peaks.
    Rain is typical in the afternoons; it comes and goes in the summer quite often.
    Surprisingly NOT buggy. Although there is lots of water, it's mostly moving down hill, so not a lot of mosquitoes during the day.
    As evening settles, they can be nasty, though.
    Tristan-OH likes this.

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