On a day when Tennessee has declared a state of emergency as a result of the ice storm, all I can do is think about hiking instead of getting out there to do a little hiking. This storm is probably going to mean I don't get to hike tomorrow either, Saturday, as I had planned to--and that's a bummer!
A hiking addiction with a full-time job and family responsibilities means there's a great deal of time spent longing to be on the trail when you can't really get out there. But I've come to find that the planning that goes into a goal like hiking all of the trails in the Smokies is half the fun.
Liz had divided the park into regional sections and has mapped out a way to do all the trails in the park as day hikes, albeit some of them very long day hikes. This book includes directions on whether you need one vehicle or two for a hike and suggestions on where to park them. It also maps out designations of "new miles" and total mileage hiked for those of us who are tracking those statistics as a way to show progress toward the goal. However, this book would also be an excellent reference for anyone looking for day hikes that most park visitors never consider--something that is of great benefit during the highest visitation periods of the year when the most popular day hikes are often crowded, far from the secluded retreat you might be seeking. The vast majority of the trails listed in this book will not be well-traveled. In fact, on most of the hikes we do, encountering other people is a rarity.
Between all of these resources, which can be found here, I can spend hours on a cold, icy day looking forward to and mapping out the hikes I hope to do in the coming weeks and months. I can think of better ways to spend a day--hiking would be choice number one! But if it's too cold and icy to get outside, this isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon.