Map of Walking in Great Smoky Mountains including United States Of America

Surround yourself with nature and history in the Smoky Mountains

See some of the Smoky Mountains’ most stunning scenery on a 6-day round-trip small group hiking adventure which explores the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Walk some of the national park’s best trails, discover historic buildings along the Little Cataloochee Trail, tour The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, walk a section of the iconic Appalachian Trail, and dine on traditional Appalachian cuisine. With easy to moderate walks, comfortable accommodation, and a knowledgeable leader, this hiking adventure is big on history and natural beauty.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Asheville, United States
Finish
Asheville, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
SSXG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore the Great Smoky Mountains on several guided walks including the historic Little Cataloochee Trail and Elijah Oliver Walk.

  • Sample the Appalachian Trail which extends roughly 2,200 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

  • Explore The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, a museum whose mission is to preserve, interpret and share the history and culture of the local Native American peoples.

  • Discover the town of Elkmont and its story of hope, dreams, hard work, disappointments and fortunes made and lost in the pursuit of success in the 1800s.

  • Enjoy a meal in the famous Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend where you can dine on Appalachian cuisine and sample its iconic local ingredients.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a walking trip so a good level of fitness will help you to enjoy it.

  • There are a number of planned walks on this trip of varying lengths. Be sure to pack adequate footwear and clothing to suit hiking in the summer months.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

Start your trip with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm in Asheville, a city in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, including the dome-topped Basilica of Saint Lawrence, you’ll find plenty to do here during the day. The vast 19th-century Biltmore estate displays artwork by masters like Renoir, the Downtown Art District is filled with galleries and museums, and former factory buildings house artists' studios in the nearby River Arts District. After the meeting, head into town with your group for an included welcome dinner at one of many Asheville’s breweries where you can toast the start of your trip with a frosty local brew.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Asheville - Bhramari Brewery visit and Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be checking insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late, please let an Intrepid representative or your travel agent know.
It’s an early start for the drive to the town of Townsend, our comfortable and convenient base for the rest of the trip. On the way, we’ll stop for a walk along the Little Cataloochee Trail which includes several sites dotted with historical buildings. As you hike along the trail, enjoy a glimpse into the past when this was the largest farming community in the entire Smoky Mountains. After arriving in Townsend, settle into your accommodation then go for a walk along the Elijah Oliver trail where you’ll find the historic cabin built by the trail’s namesake. Tonight you may like to join your group for an informal dinner at one of the restaurants in town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Elijah Oliver walk
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Little Cataloochee walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 2.5 hours. Today’s total walking distance is 11 kms (7 miles) with minor elevation.
After breakfast, take a drive to Elkmont which was created when the Little River Lumber Company built a housing settlement for their workers. Strap on your walking shoes and walk along the paved Laurel Falls Trail where you can take in the view of the 25 metre (30 foot) high waterfall as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon, you’ll have free time in Elkmont to explore the town’s historic district which will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the early 1900s. This evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure back in Townsend.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Laurel Falls hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is 1 hour. Today’s walking distance is 4 kms (2.6 miles) with limited elevation.
Today is your chance to get a taste of the famous Appalachian Trail, the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Travelling all the way from Maine to Georgia, the trail passes through 14 different states and covers a distance of around 3,540 kms (2,200 miles). But, don’t worry, we won’t be walking the entire length of the trail today – just a short section from Newfound Gap. Keep an eye out for wildflowers in spring and beautiful autumn colours when the seasons turn. Along the way, we’ll stop at Morton Overlook to enjoy one of the most famous views in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Back in Townsend, you may like to visit the free The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum or Cades Cove Cellars which celebrates the rustic elegance of the surrounding region with its award winning wines.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Appalachian Trail hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance is 5.5 kms (3.4 miles) with minimal elevation.
Today is less about walking and more about culture activities which celebrate the area’s past, including the history and culture of the Native American peoples. You’ll also view 13 historic buildings that have been furnished according to the period in which they were built. After you have explored the museum, take a short walk to the historic wooden Dark Island Swinging Bridge. Tonight, you may like to join your group for an optional farewell dinner at Dancing Bear Lodge where you can learn about and taste traditional Appalachian cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Townsend - Heritage Center visit
  • Townsend - Dark Island Swinging Bridge walk
Optional Activities
  • Townsend - Dancing Bear Lodge dinner - USD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast start heading back towards Asheville, with a stop for the scenic Indian Creek and Toms Branch Falls hike along the way. This easy walk is short when it comes to distance but big on things to see with not one, but two, beautiful waterfalls. You’ll reach Asheville by 5pm when your trip will come to an end, so book your onward travel accordingly. If you wish to spend more time here, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Included Activities
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Indian Creek Falls hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 2.5 hours. Today’s total walking distance is 2.5 kms (1.6miles) with minimal elevation.

Meals

5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Asheville - Bhramari Brewery visit and Welcome Dinner
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Elijah Oliver walk
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Little Cataloochee walk
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Laurel Falls hike
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Appalachian Trail hike
  • Townsend - Heritage Center visit
  • Townsend - Dark Island Swinging Bridge walk
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Indian Creek Falls hike

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Walking in Great Smoky Mountains trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. FIRST DAY: Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please see Joining Point Hotel listed in the Essential Trip Information for this itinerary.

2. FINAL DAY: You are expected to arrive back into Asheville around 5pm and dropped off at the same location as the joining point.
There is no accommodation included on the last day in Asheville, however we can request any additional nights should you need them.

3. A single supplement is available for this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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