With easy access to wildlife and hiking trails, a wildlife viewing vacation could be a very exciting alternative to the usual spa by the pool. This makes an excellent family-style vacation getaway. You should keep in mind, however, that there are rules in place to keep both the vacationers and the wildlife safe; for instance, never feed any wildlife, regardless of their cuteness factor.
Much of the area within the Smoky Mountains is covered by thick forests, so viewing wildlife can be somewhat of a challenge. This vacation in the wintertime is especially nice because all the trees have lost their leaves, which makes viewing easier. It is still a good idea to bring a pair of binoculars. Many different animals can be seen, such as bear, white tailed deer, and woodchucks. Viewing is best in early morning or early evening.
Hiking is another draw to this type of vacation. Not only is it a great form of getting in shape, but it also provides you with spectacular sights that you cannot see anywhere else. Every season has something special to offer. In winter, the absence of the leaves in the trees opens up grand views. In summer, hikers can stop for a swim in a cool, crisp stream. Fall hikers can enjoy the beautiful array of colors that the many different species of tree have to offer.
With so much to see and do, perhaps the only drawback is not knowing which trail to choose. There are breathtaking waterfalls and endless views to stir the senses. There are hikes of various lengths and terrains. If not in good shape, the longer, more invasive trails are not recommended.
No matter which trail you choose, the most important thing to know is approximately how long it will take one to complete a hike. Hiking after dark is not recommended, as the chances of getting lost or disturbing an animal greatly increases after dark. The sun sets at different times throughout the year, so be sure to take all of this into account when deciding your best course of action. Smoky mountain wildlife viewing vacations are an excellent way to get away.