Originally Posted by ikemouser
I have both the brown book and the falcon smokies books. The falcon lists trails that are supposedly not croweded year round. ARe there such trails in the smokies or will they all be packed leading up to and following the 4th of july.
Living right next to the GSMNP, I avoid it on holiday weekends. If I lived further away, and that was my only chance to go, I might have a different view.
That being said, there are 900 miles of trails with millions of visitors each year.
Of those millions, most never leave the trailhead. Of the visitors that do venture out on a trail, 90% will stop within two miles of their parking spot. If you avoid Fontana, Cades Cove, Cosby and the AT, you will reduce those numbers even more. The more remote it is, the fewer day trippers you'll encounter.
You'll need a permit, and may need to reserve a place at one of the designated camp sites. While designated camp sites might be a hassle, it is necessary to help reduce the impact of all those people.
That being said, I still prefer the outlying federal lands as it offers more freedom and flexibility for backpacking. I love hiking in the Smokies, but my overnite trips there are maybe 4-5 a year.