Thanks for listening to another edition of Smoky Mountains Radio! Here are the details from this week’s show:
Socks, Socks, Socks!
There are so many options when picking a sock for hiking. Luckily, i’ve got you covered on making the process easy.
- Materials: Wool, silk, synthetics, or synthetic blends (say it with me people, NO COTTON!)
- Sock Height: Best bet is to go calf height. Too low and your boots will rub your ankles. Too high and they slip
- Weight: Unless you are hiking in zero or near zero degrees, a lightweight or mid weight sock will work well.
- Sock Liners: I don’t like them, but if you do, silk is generally the best bet.
- Fit: Socks must fit in the boots/shoes you use.
Best Guidebook for Trails of the Smoky Mountains
If you buy a guidebook for hiking trails, make sure it is comprehensive, compact, and accurate. Here are the two best:
- 100 Hikes: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Russ Manning. This book is great. Hikes are arranged by area and has some interesting narratives about each trail including distance, etc. Its drawbacks is that it is large at 5×8 and almost a pound. It also doesn’t include EVERY trail. But it is a good resource for 90% of you.
- Hiking Trails of the Smokies : COMPLETE GUIDE to about every trail in the park. Nearly 600 pages of elevation maps, trail distance totals, and some narratives about what to expect on the trail. My only problem is finding information can take a little bit of time, but it is still fine. At 4.x4 and only 11 ounces, it is easy to throw in your pack for your next hike
Big Creek Trail to Mouse Creek Falls
- 4mile roundtrip
- moderate hike with 600 feet of elevation change
- I-40 to exit 451, past the Big Creek Ranger Station
- Lots of water all the way during this hike. Includes the swimming/wading water called “Midnight Hole” at 1.5 miles in
- 2 miles in you come to a side trail for Mouse Creek Falls. The falls are a 45 foot falls complete with a bench to sit, relax, and just enjoy it.