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Backpacking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Every season in the mountains of Southern Appalachia comes with its own charms and beauty that can make hiking a familiar trail a novel experience. Blooming wildflowers, fall colors, and snow clinging to trees are the most readily apparent seasonal highlights that make Great Smoky Mountains National Park such a paradise for hikers and backpackers. While the park is technically the most visited unit in the national park system, in nearly a dozen trips there I have found the backcountry to be surprisingly uncrowded. Additionally, the online reservation system used to book campsites is perhaps the most user-friendly of any that I’ve encountered when planning trips to areas that require permits for backpacking. I’ve backpacked in the Smokies in each season and, while all the trips were enjoyable given the right gear and preparation, fall is without a doubt my favorite time to visit. The heat and thick humidity of summer have waned, precipitation is often minimal, and the forest becomes a mosaic of colors...

In Issue 45, @Mark details this 3 day backpacking loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - check out the article below:

Return to Appalachia: A 3 Day Loop in the Smokies

A 3 Day Backpacking Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Issue 45 Page 1

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