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A Walk in the Woods
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 800 miles of trails, and you’ll only encounter crowds on about a dozen of those. Sharing the magical, remote parts of the mountain range is what led husband and wife team Erik and Vesna Plakanis to launch a hiking guide company in 1998. But why take a guide? The Smokies are one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, and A Walk in the Woods’ team of naturalists will unlock secrets of the rich flora and fauna’s interconnectivity along your journey. It’s also a fantastic, safe way to try out overnight backpacking, learning about backwoods cooking, emergency preparedness and gear. Both family and adult trips are available. Booking through the company is also one of the most reliable ways to score a reservation at LeConte Lodge, a sought-after, hike-in-only haven atop its namesake mountain. And if you’re all set for a solo or unguided adventure, they offer shuttles and equipment rentals to get your journey started smoothly.