National Park Rangers Offer 2 Guided Hikes on Black Friday in the Smokies! #OptOutside on Nov. 25th

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating Black Friday #OptOutside on November 25, 2016 with 2 Hikes led by Park Rangers. Visitors to the national park in Tennessee and North Carolina have an opportunity to enjoy an autumn hike and explore the Smoky’s fascinating history.


This time of year, when trees are shedding their leaves, you can really see some amazing artifacts in the forest like stone walls, chimneys, and foundations from early settlers’ homes. Each of the free, guided hikes begins at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 25, 2016.

“The Thanksgiving holiday weekend offers a perfect opportunity for people to build memories with friends and family along a trail,” said GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Take some time to enjoy the serenity of these special mountains to recharge on your own or to reconnect with your loved ones.”

Since the weather can be quite unpredictable in autumn in the Smokies, remember to dress in layers, bring a rain coat or poncho, and wear sturdy shoes. Park Rangers recommend that hike participants bring a sack lunch, snacks and plenty of water for either of these adventures:

Smokemont History Hike near Cherokee, NC
Meet at Smokemont Baptist Church Parking Area @ 10:00 am*

Join a Park Ranger for a visit to the historic Smokemont Baptist Church before you begin a walk along a bit of the Oconaluftee Turnpike, once an 1830’s wagon road over the mountains used by troops during the American Civil War. The walk includes a stop at the Bradley Cemetary. Learn more about Smokemont’s rich history of farming and commericial logging in the days before the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with photographs and stories during this free, guided tour.

*The Smokemont Baptist Church is near the entrance to Smokemont Campground which is located on Newfound Gap Road 3 miles north of Oconaluftee Visitor Center and 5 miles north of Cherokee, NC.  Turn at the sign for Smokemont Campground. The parking area is on the right after crossing the bridge.

Old Sugarlands Trail near Gatlinburg, TN
Meet at Sugarlands Visitor Center @ 10:00 am
4.5 miles round-trip (approximately 4 hours)
Join a Park Ranger for an out-and-back hike on Old Sugarlands Trail which meanders through the once bustling Sugarlands Community, so named for the abundance of Sugar Maple trees that once grew there. Hikers will pass an old rock quarry that was used to build the first paved roads through the mountains. You’ll also get to explore the ruins of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp while enjoying the natural wonders of these historic mountains.

Ranger Guide HIkes OptOutside Black Friday in the SmokiesFor more information on other great ranger-led hikes and programs, visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These guided hikes may be cancelled due to inclement weather; please call 865-436-1200.

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Bears
Smoky Mountain Bears...
Smoky Mountain Bears are the symbol of the Smokies and sighting one is always a special event! With the tourist season in full swing and a recor[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Fairy Rings
Smoky Mountain Fairy Rings...
Smoky Mountain Fairy Rings. Finding a Smoky Mountain fairy ring is always a special event! Last year was one of the wettest on record, more than[Read More >>]
Smokey Bear Turns 75
Smokey Bear Turns 75...
Smokey Bear Turns 75. This year marks Smokey’s 75th year that he has cautioned Americans about the dangers of wild fires. Smokey Bear’s iconic f[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival
Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival...
The Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival will light up the Smokies on Saturday August 17, 2019. Beginning at 3 p.m. and culminating wit[Read More >>]
Jared Hard Smoky Mountain Music Tour
Jared Hard Smoky Mountain Music Tour...
Jared Hard Smoky Mountain Music Tour. Jared will be bringing his musical stylings to the HeySmokies region for several months in late [Read More >>]
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Porpoise Island
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Porpoise Island...
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Porpoise Island. Pigeon Forge, TN is widely known as a national vacation destination offering s[Read More >>]
Grainger County Tomato Festival
Grainger County Tomato Festival...
Grainger County Tomato Festival is scheduled for July 26th, 27th and 28th 2019. This delicious annual special event is fun for the entire family[Read More >>]
Free Smoky Mountain Ranger Events
Free Smoky Mountain Ranger Events...
Free Smoky Mountain Ranger Events occur each day all summer long. 2019 is the perfect year to enjoy some quality time with a ranger in Great Smo[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Loop Lope 2019
Cades Cove Loop Lope 2019...
Cades Cove Loop Lope is a Great Smoky Mountain Special Event! The Cades Cove Foot Race (AKA – the Cades Cove Loop Lope) hosted by Friends of the[Read More >>]
Ginseng Harvesting
Ginseng Harvesting...
Ginseng Harvesting. Ginseng; miracle plant? Fact or fiction? There are many uses for this fascinating native plant that grows wild and randomly [Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets. Get Your Fresh On!...
Yum Yum! Photo credit: Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets. Get Your Fresh On! Smoky Mountain Farmers Markets are open for business! [Read More >>]
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles...
Wheels Through Time Museum Showcases Rare Motorcycles. Seventeen of the world’s rarest bikes will be on display for a limited time. Dale’s Wheel[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's
Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's...
  Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's. Gatlinburg’s Pinball Museum offers a step back in time for gamers. The metallic sound of quarters dropp[Read More >>]
Biltmore Gardens Railway
Biltmore Gardens Railway...
Biltmore Gardens Railway is on display at Biltmore Estate from May 24, 2019 through September 29, 2019. For a limited time, in the Conservatory [Read More >>]
Rhododendron Festivals
Rhododendron Festivals...
Rhododendron Festivals at Roan Mountain and Grandfather Mountain herald the beginning of summer. Roan Mountain and Mother Nature team up to show[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban
Cades Cove Car Ban...
Cades Cove Car Ban began May 2019. Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed to motor vehicles from sunrise until 10:00 a.m. on both Wednesday and Sat[Read More >>]
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K...
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K. Asheville’s Catawba Brewing Company sponsors White Zombie 5k. The first-ever White Zombie 5k on will be run Sat[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon...
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon will be viewable Monday, June 17, 2019. The name Strawberry Moon was universally used by the Algonquin native Ame[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event...
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event. Star gazing is always a Smoky Mountains special event. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a stargaz[Read More >>]
North America's Longest Footbridge
North America's Longest Footbridge...
North America's Longest Footbridge. Gatlinburg Sky Bridge Opens May 17, 2019. When you travel to Gatlinburg you will have no trouble finding the[Read More >>]