Episode 30 – First Time Visit, Viewing Wildlife, and Quiet Walkways

In Episode 30 of Smoky Mountains Radio, we talk about best practices for first time visitors, best places to view wildlife, and all about hiking quiet walkways.



Want to have a good experience on your first trip?  Here are a few good tips:

1) Go to the mountains immediately.  They are the reason that you came, get there quick!  Take an auto tour on Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, or the dozens of other scenic parkways.

2) Go to places you don’t have at home.  Whether it is a restaurant or attraction or shopping, if you have it at home, skip it.  Use your memories and money on unique places that you will cherish for years to come.

3)  Plan a hike.  Regardless of how long or short you hike.  Get in the mountains!  Get out of the car and hike.  There is nothing like feeling your feet on the Earth in this huge wilderness.

4) Research!  Do your homework so that you can adequately plan your budget and time on stuff that you really want to do.  This area is just way to big to just wing it!



You can see deer, birds, bears, squirrels, and other wildlife anywhere in the national park.  But are there better places than others?  Here are my ideas:

1) Cades Cove for bears-Bears are more dense here than anywhere else.  Deer are also very abundant in this area?

2) Cataloochee for Elk-The elk population is heaviest in this area.  I’ve never visited this area without seeing one.

3) Birds/fish-Being around water for these is a must, and Fontana Lake is about the best there is.



These quiet trails that are not found on any park map have a ton to offer.  They are well maintained trails that seem to lead everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  They have no specific destination or mileage, so you can take your time and simply explore and take in your surroundings.  They are also a great way to get some solitude, away from the busy main trails of the park.

Quiet walkways can be found at small pulloffs on major roads all over the national park.  They are marked only by the 2×2 sign at the start of the trail.  Whether you do a quarter mile or two miles, they are certainly worth your time.  Many of them have some of the great features other trails provide.  There are scenic overlooks, streams, waterfalls, and a lot more.  Explore these hidden gems on your next visit.




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Intro/Outro Music: ”KM 19″ by “The Breakmen” www.thebreakmen.com




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