Hammock hangers- Much has been asked on threads regarding hanging hammocks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I spend a lot of time there and have many contacts. I have copied an email here that I received from a ranger friend of mine that I told her would be posted here. She was very supportive of hammock hanging! Basicly the NPS rule is "hammocks are welcome...just don't damamge the trees." Here, read for yourself.

"At this time, the Park Service has nothing stated in the compendium regarding use of hammocks in the backcountry. Hammocks create practically no impact to ground cover foilage, as do tents. The issue, as far as impact, would be to the trees to which they are attached. As long as care is taken to protect the integrity and health of the tree, hammocks, in my opinion are a great alternative to tent camping.

As for shelter sites, hammocks, just like tents, are prohibited, unless one meets the criteria for an Appalachain Trail thru-hiker. Thru-hikers understand that if the shelters are full they are required to tent in close proximity of the shelter. The same would apply to hammocks.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Backcountry Information Office @865-436-1297, and we will be happy to assist you.

Thanks for your care and thoughtful planning, regarding use of the backcountry."


There ya go! Hang those hammocks!

Jeff "Moonpie" Wadley
Maryville, TN.