Appalachian Trail, Gatlinburg


Directions:    About 35 mi.:  Take I-40 East to Exit 407, turn r. to Sevierville, TN, cross Chapman Hwy. at traffic light, continue straight past several restaurants on l. and r. straight to next traffic light. Turn r. and go across hill about 3 mi. to Pigeon Forge (Home of Dollywood).  Continue through all traffic lights straight into winding road parallel to Little Pigeon River to entrance to Gatlinburg, TN.  Continue straight through Gat., TN to last traffic light, continue straight on to sign indicating "Entrance to Great Smoky Mtn. Nat'l. Park.  Continue on TN Hwy. 44l to very top of "Newfound Gap."  Parking area for Newfound Gap "is" trail head for A.T.  Appalachian Trailhead is on the immediately left, and is clearly marked.  Ask rangers or anyone where A.T. begins.

Trail Information:   T.I. should be posted at Newfound Gap next to bathrooms and main entrance. The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is a little over l,000 miles long, and runs the tops and valley of many of the Great Smoky Mtns National Park  peak mountains and valleys and major streams, but crosses Kentucky, Virginia, much Appalachian wilderness and territory, and finally peaks out at Mount Katedin, Maine.  The trail journey is exhausting, invigorating, and extremely training even perhaps some of the best and most experienced hikers.
IMPORTANT:  "Anyone taking the A.T. for any length of time, especially an extended hike or  campout, MUST  MUST  register all this information at G.S.M.N. Park Headquarters several months ahead of time.  National Park Regulations  require this.  Even overnight registration is required.  Casual or photography sessions on the A.T. do not require this.  BUT hikers must be prepared at all times in the "Smoky Mtns." for very rough weather. 
PHYSICS RULE OF THUMB ON G.S.M.N. Park is this:  For every increase in 500 ft. of elevation in the Smokys is akin to traveling by auto about l,000 miles due north. One must prepare everything accordingly.  
A "very beautiful" trail.   Opportunities for photographers  abound                           

Miscellaneous Information:  It is right at 35 miles to Gatlinburg.  Prices are often 50% higher in Gatlinburg, TN than in Knoxville due to tourist seasons.  (This includes gas for car.  Available of gas is plentiful; so are restaurants, if high. Parking in and around Gatlinburg is scare and can be at a premium.  Spaces in the trailheads of the Smokys are frequently plentiful.

 Harlan A. Hanna