Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cover of Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I’m happy to announce that I have a new book! Well, actually, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not new. The book is 10 years old, but for various reasons I never publicized it. (Ask me about it over a beer sometime.) But the revised edition is totally new and all the issues I had with the first edition are now dust in the wind. I’m very proud to offer this book in my online store.

Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a Falcon Guide, Published by Globe Pequot Press, among the leaders of the outdoor publishing world. It features 82 hikes in the Smokies, ranging from easy 15-minute leg stretchers to 5-day backpacking adventures. In addition to the hike profiles, the book includes numerous sidebars containing information about all aspects of the Smokies.

And yes, this book is mine. I hiked the trails, I wrote the entire text, and I took all the photos.

I know a lot of you are familiar with the park and some of you probably own a copy of the official park guidebook on the trails of the Smokies—Hiking Trails of the Smokies—often dubbed the “little brown book.” You might be wondering how my book compares to it. Well, the truth is, it doesn’t compare. The two books are very different and serve two different purposes.

Firflies and star trials in the Smokies

Fireflies and star trails at a historic cabin in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Nikon D700, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. This image consists of mulitple exposures for the star trails, fireflies, and light painting on the cabin.

The little brown book profiles every official park trail, but it separates them. If you want to have the most information possible about a specific trail, it’s a good resource. But if you’re planning a hike that may include two or more trails, which is quite often the case with hiking in the Smokies, you have to flip through the book and try to cobble together the trails. In Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I’ve already done all this work for you. I’ve arranged the best trails into hikes and outlined them as such so you don’t have to flip back and forth through the book.

If you’re a local who knows the park well and spends a great deal of time hiking the trails—and you don’t mind doing a lot of pre-trip planning—the little brown book is the best trail resource for you. But if you only visit the park a few times a year and you want to make the best use of your hiking time when you do, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the book you need.

While my book doesn’t single out any hikes that are particularly suited for night photography, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great location for taking pictures after dark. As long as you use a little common sense, you can safety hike the trails at night and get yourself into good position for night photos.

I shot the accompanying image at a historical cabin located along Hike #75, Rough Fork and Caldwell Fork. It is one of many similar opportunities for those who come prepared to hike at night.

In my Night Photography in the Smokies Photo Tour, we visit several of these locations, although there is no serious hiking involved.

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