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Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Regional Hiking Series) Paperback – April 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Regional Hiking Series
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: FalconGuides; 1st edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762711108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762711109
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Lace up your boots and sample more than eighty hikes in the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains National Park that straddles the North Carolina - Tennessee border. Experience the densely forested trails of America's most visited national park, with its abundant wildlife, lush foliage, and hundreds of miles of cascading streams. Here you'll discover old-growth forests, waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, and a wide variety of mosses, lichens, ferns, and wildflowers. Local hiker and outdoor photographer Kevin Adams introduces you to this and more.
Inside you'll find: up-to-date trail information; detailed maps and elevation profiles; clear directions from major access points; difficulty and traffic ratings for each hike; zero-impact camping tips; vacation planning and a hiker's checklist.
Whether you are a day-tripper or long-distance hiker, old hand or novice, you'll find trails suited to every ability and interest throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

About the Author

Kevin Adams has had a lifetime love affair with nature, particularly in his home state of North Carolina. He is author of North Carolina Waterfalls, Wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians, and Waterfalls of Virginia and West Virginia. Additionally, he is an accomplished photography instructor and teaches numerous workshops and seminars.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
63%
4 star
37%
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See all 30 customer reviews
This guide describes 82 hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
David Prager
This book was informative for pre-trip planning and very useful for choosing which trails you want to hike.
Amazon Customer
The descriptions are an appropriate length, relatively accurate, and helpful along the trail.
Edward K. Dallwein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Gwen P. on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My family and I just returned from our vacation in the Smoky Mts. This was one of the two guides we used during our stay and it was very helpful. As parents of two smaller children, ages 5 and 8, we needed a guide that included shorter day hikes and not just the overnight type. This guide did just that. Here's what I liked and didn't like about the book:

Things I liked: The way it broke down each hike with acurate descriptions of the trail, what you can expect to see while hiking it (the highlights), where to find the trail head, a topicgraphical-type picture showing where the hills are on the hike, personal information about the trail and its history as well as beautiful pictures. The trails are organized by location within the park so when you're at a particular part of the park, you can zero-in on those hikes in that area. There are also maps to show you where the trail meets up with other trails in the area.

Things I didn't like about the book: Though the maps are helpful for showing the specific location, I found myself having to check our park map to be able to pinpoint exactly where the trail was located. I wish the book would include a more "overview" park map as well. Also, since we were looking for trails which were around 6 miles round trip or less, the author had a habit of running two or more trails together to form one big hike. Many of these hikes were ten-plus miles long. He did this to form a loop rather then having to back-track, but it would have been nice if he could have given the shorter version as an option.

Overall, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone. For those seeking to take 8-10 mile hikes or some over night hikes, this book is ideal.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Prager on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Anyone in the market for Smoky Mountain hiking guides has plenty to choose from. In my view, this one comes in at the very top.

This guide describes 82 hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The hikes range greatly in difficulty from flat 0.5 mile nature trail strolls to challenging 30+ mile multi-day backpack treks. The hikes are located almost uniformly throughout the park with 45 hikes in Tennessee and the rest either on the state line or in North Carolina. Not every trail in the park is described, but enough quantity and variety will be found here to keep most hikers busy for a long time.

Each hike contains a nice grey-scale map, directions to the trailhead, a detailed elevation diagram (drawn to scale) showing the trail's ups and downs, and an excellent trail description. I guess it would have been nice to have the elevations on the map (like a USGS topo map), but the method used here seems to work fine. The trail descriptions give good guidance on the trail without getting bogged down in excessive details or overly mechanical measurements. A few obvious examples of cut and paste can be found among the descriptions, but these cases are the exception.

With regards to the Appalachian Trail, Adams does commit a section to describe the Smoky Mountain section of the AT. However, this section comes at the end, and since many parts of the AT are covered in earlier hikes, the AT section often mounts to a list of references to earlier sections. Thus, those looking for dayhikes on the AT will find plenty to like here, while those looking for a complete, self-contained description of the Smoky Mountain AT will need to look elsewhere.

In summary, I have several Smoky Mountain hiking guides on my shelf, and this one is the best of the lot.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason D. Sattler on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This guide is typical for Falcon - First Rate. It has good trail descriptions, a mix of historical information, and the handy guide to get you to the right trails quickly. The only thing I'd like to see is a page dedicated to small scale reference maps at the beginning of each section. The trail maps are fine, but too close in to see the relative placement of the trails. Besides that, and a few typos, this is everything most folks would need for the park. This book is a definite buy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L. McNamara on August 31, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a great, very detailed book if you're local and want to experience all the great day hikes. The author does a wonderful job dividing them into categories - from couch potato to training to be a navy seal! However, none of them are longer than 1 nighters - he says you can split some of them up into two nights... but if you're out there to backpack for multiple nights, you're probably not interested in 6 mile days, right? I would suggest buying a good map of the park to go with this, if you're interested in multiple night outings in the Smokies. That way, you can plan a longer route, but use the book to reference details on the trails you'll be on.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By eljaysee on March 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book made our trip! Adams' trail descriptions and ratings were spot on. We came to rely on this guide when planning our daily outings.

Reverence for the Park and those who work there came across clearly in his prose, but there was plenty of delightful humor as well (as in the list of Hikes for People Training to be Couch Potatoes!).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just got back from a trip to the Smokys where we spent three nights camping (Cosby campground) and two days hiking. This book was informative for pre-trip planning and very useful for choosing which trails you want to hike. I felt that the author's scale of "moderate" and "difficult" (we hiked one of each) was accurate and I also appreciated the step-by-step descriptions of the trails itself (when you're hiking along three different trails and come to several intersections, this is useful).
One reviewer noted that they were all day hikes - I was surprised by this, because I found several 1 and 2 over nighters that I'm tempted to invest in backpacking gear for and another 2-4 night hike that sounds like an awesome challenge. I think this book is very comprehensive, a good collection for the beginner, moderately-experienced and experienced day hiker, along with several ideas for backpacking trips.
This is an excellent hiking guide that I would recommend for anyone planning on hiking in the Smokys.
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