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Walking in Great 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.

6 days, from

$1,655

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: SSXG
Style: Original
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Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Meals: 1 dinners, 5 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • 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.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Asheville

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.

Day 2: Townsend

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.

Day 3: Townsend

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.

Day 4: Townsend

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.

Day 5: Townsend

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.

Day 6: Townsend to Asheville

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).

Unscripted experiences, insider access and authentic local flavors


Our team of travel specialists and local contacts have curated some of the best, most exclusive and authentic experiences, restaurants and accommodations in United States Of America to truly immerse yourself in a way that wouldn't be possible in larger groups or just on your own.

6 days, from $1,655

to book call 1-844-205-6226

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