When you spend time hiking in the winter weather when you visit the Smoky Mountains, you want to be as safe as possible. In order to guarantee everyone in your group is safe and warm, follow these tips:
1. Stay on Maintained Trails
Keep yourself on the trails that are maintained by the National Park Service. When you stray away from these trails, you may end up getting lost or off course.
Keep in mind the distance of the trail you will be hiking. Many trails in the national park can go on for miles and miles. Make your choice of trail based on the length and difficulty of that specific trail, depending upon the hikers in your group.
The streams in the national park can be dangerous and may actually be deeper than you can see. Be careful around streams and don’t attempt to cross any steam without a bridge. In the wintertime, you don’t want to end up getting wet and cold for the remainder of your hike.
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3. Stay Away from Water Sources
The water sources in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park aren’t safe for consumption. This is why you have to remember to pack your own water–the bacteria in the water in the national will definitely make you ill.
4. Don’t Attempt Part of a Hike if You’re Uncomfortable
Conditions in the national park are much different in the winter months. If you are uncomfortable along any of the hike, stop and turn around. Don’t attempt any part of a hike if you’re not comfortable! The same rule applies if you are feeling exhausted. Don’t force yourself to keep going if you feel sleepy or worn out, just turn around and head back.
Like always, if you come upon any wildlife while you’re hiking, keep yourself at a safe distance. Don’t approach the wildlife or hoax it to come closer to you. Remember the national park is the home for the wildlife, so it deserves to have its own space.
Most bears are hidden during the winter months, but you may see an occasional black bear souring the park for food.
6. Watch Out for Slick Leaves or Ice
When you’re taking a winter hike in the Smoky Mountains, you will most likely come across slick leaves or even patches of ice. You have to be aware and watch out for these areas in the park, so you can stay safe.
Where to Stay After Hiking in the Winter Weather in the Smoky Mountains
When you’re looking for the best place to stay nice and warm this winter, take a look at Cherokee Lodge’s Pigeon Forge condos.
For more detailed information about hiking safely in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take a look at the National Park Service’s website here: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/hikingsafety.htm
We have beautiful two bedroom and three bedroom condo rentals in Pigeon Forge. Each kitchen offers a large, open space for preparing snacks or meals, with granite countertops and breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains. There is free wi-fi available, too. You really can’t go wrong when you book your vacation with Cherokee Lodge Condos in Pigeon Forge, so give us a call and we will be happy to help you answer any questions you may have.