Great Smoky Mountains National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Quiet Walkway
    Quiet Walkway
    by Basaic
  • Trail at Cades Cove
    Trail at Cades Cove
    by Basaic
  • Quiet Walkway
    Quiet Walkway
    by Basaic

Most Recent Sports & Outdoors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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    Appalachian Trail

    by Basaic Written Jan 6, 2012

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    Appalachian Trail

    Approximately 70 miles of the 2174 mile Appalachian Trail runs through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This part of the trail goes by Clingman's Dome and generally follows the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.

    Equipment: Good walking shoes, lots of water, food, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, weather appropriate clothing, don't forget your camera! Camping gear if you are walking far.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Camping

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    Clingman's Dome Trail

    by Basaic Written Jan 6, 2012

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    Clingman's Dome Trail

    The trail to Clingman's Dome is paved but parts of it is very steep. The trail is 1/2 mile long but rises 330 feet in that distance. Combine that with the elevation and the trail should only be attempted if you are in pretty good condition. If you feel faint or short of breath stop and rest or slow down. The views along the way, depending on the weather/cloud cover are spectacular.

    Equipment: Good walking shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, a snack, weather appropriate clothing, don't forget your camera!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Trails in Cades Cove

    by Basaic Written Jan 6, 2012

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    Trail at Cades Cove

    There are trails leading to many of the attractions in Cades Cove. Most of these are short and level.

    Equipment: Good walking shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, a snack, weather appropriate clothing, don't forget your camera!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

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    Quiet Walkways

    by Basaic Written Jan 6, 2012

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    Quiet Walkway
    1 more image

    There are a few pullouts along the road that serve as trailheads for what they call "Quiet Walkways". These are short easy trails that lead into one of the last areas of wildlands in the east. They are a great way to experience the sights and smells of the wilderness without needing a backpack or even hiking boots. Walk as far or as little as you want.

    Equipment: Good walking shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, a snack, weather appropriate clothing, don't forget your camera!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    D sure is a sport

    by richiecdisc Written Aug 8, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sure glad I found D

    D sure is a sport, hustling through this long hike in about 2/3rds the time alloted by the guides. We could barely walk by the time we got to Georgia!

    Equipment: Even for short hikes its best to wear decent boots with good ankle support as well as at least carry some warm and/or rain gear. We were surprised at the families strolling around in sneaks and tank tops, obviously cold once the storm rolled in.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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    "In its Big Orange splendor!!!"

    by bigorange1103 Written Jul 15, 2005
    Smokey and the band during the Volwalk.

    In a neighboring town of Knoxville, there is a phenomenon called Big Orange footall. At the University of Tennessee football is a religion not a sport!! On any given Saturday in the fall, you can enjoy some of the best tailgating in the country. If you are visiting the area, I highly recommend that you check out a game or a least some tailgating at its best!!!

    Equipment: Be sure to bring some orange clothes and maybe a poncho!!!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Hiking

    by Rickman77 Written May 3, 2005
    Ice Water Springs Trail

    Hike, Hike, Hike.

    The Smokies are filled with well marked trails. Day hikes, afternoon hikes, week hikes, the options are endless.

    Stop by a rangers office to get maps and information on trails.

    Also check out the website:
    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/

    Equipment: Good walking shoes or boots. Make sure they are well broken to avoid getting blisters.

    Always bring water and a snack for the trail as well.

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    A Paradise for Hikers and Backpackers

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Jun 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Karen on the Alum Cave Bluff Trail

    More than 850 miles of hiking trails lace the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and give opportunity for anything from a half hour stroll to a week-long backpacking expedition. With more than a mile of vertical relief in the Park, from the highest point to the lowest, it should go without saying that many of the trails are steep and strenuous. Others follow old railroad grades from the days when narrow gauge logging railroads penetrated deeply into these mountains.

    Some of the trails, such as the 1.3 mile paved footpath to Laurel Falls, can be crowded at times. However, those seeking a true wilderness experience and seclusion should have little trouble finding it in some of the more remote parts of the Park.

    Equipment: The trails can be very rocky and wet. Good hiking boots are advisable for those contemplating more than a short hike on one of the easier trails. Hikers should always be prepared for rain. These mountains create their own weather and thunderstorms or showers occur frequently.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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    Year Round Fishing

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated May 27, 2004

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    Fishing Regulations Sign

    An astounding 2,115 miles of rivers and streams are within the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All but a very few of these (posted to protect endangered species) are open to fishing every day from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset.

    Season: Open Year Round
    Bait: Artifical lures and flies with a single hook
    Size: Rainbow or Brook Trout 7"
    Redeye (Rock Bass) no size limit
    Bass 7"
    Limit: Combined total of five fish per day
    License: A valid TN or NC fishing license is required. Temporary permits for visitors are available from sporting goods stores, Gatlinburg City Hall, or Ace Hardware on Hwy. 321.

    Possession of the endangered Brown Trout is prohibited.

    Streams within the National Park are not stocked, but according to the NPS most of them remain at near their capacity for fish. I have seen some impressive catches while backpacking in the more remote regions. Streams just outside the park, especially in Cherokee and Gatlinburg, are stocked frequently.

    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • National/State Park

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