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“Wouldn't want to hike without them!!”

A Walk in the Woods
Book In Advance
More Info
US$ 40.00*
and up
Great Smoky Mountains Waterfall Adventure
Ranked #3 of 20 Tours in Gatlinburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Often imitated, two decades later, still in a class of our own. Locally owned and operated since 1998, A Walk in the Woods is the oldest Guide Service in the Smokies. We are the recipient of the coveted REI Top Guide Award, as well as the Travel Channel Top choice award. Since 1998, A Walk in the Wood has been your doorway to the Smokies. For almost 2 decades, we have taken over 100,000 people into the beautiful National Park on a variety of excursions from driving tours, easy gentle guided walks for families and novices, challenging adventures, to guided backpacking trips on the famous AT and more. We are the only guide service in the region where all of our guides are professionally trained naturalists, historians, storytellers and all around educators. Our guides are passionate about the natural world and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Jewel of the Parks. We can also plan your adventure, rent your gear, shuttle you and help you safely explore the world of wild edibles and medicines, tasty mushrooms, tracking, birding, salamanders and more. As seen on Samantha Brown's Travel Channel Program, National Geographic Globe Trekkers, NBC Nightly News, Turner International, Backpacker Magazine, Endless Vacation, USA Today, AAA magazine Home and Away, National Geographic Adventurer, Outside Magazine, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Shape Magazine, Women's Health, Southern Living, the Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star, and more.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Baby buggy parking, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Rice VA
Level Contributor
220 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Wouldn't want to hike without them!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2011

Ask for Charles and his friend Sarah if you decide to hike Mt. LeConte. We were a group of 8 women (aged 50+). Charles and Sarah carried our overnight extras and made the experience very enjoyable and much easier. Both are experienced hikers/backpackers and were very kind and helpful to all of us. They quickly became part of our group experience! Can't imagine this trek without them. THANKS!!

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
Thank love2RiceVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VesnaGatlinburg, Owner at A Walk in the Woods, responded to this review, 4 October 2011
What the reviewer failed to mention is that these amazing ladies were hiking up the toughest mountain around to celebrate an 80th birthday! And according to Charles, she could out hike the best hiker on our staff! We were so very proud to be a part of this incredible event and can honestly say that you make the rest of us look forward to our retirement years:) We also want to thank the lodge for making this incredible 80 year old woman a birthday cake! What a very special experience, on behalf of all of us at A Walk in the Woods, thank you so very much for allowing us to share that time with you!
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296 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great introduction and learning experience.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2011

I did the Backpacking 101 trip last weekend. Charles was the guide. It provided me with a great introduction to the park itself. Charles' knowledge about the trail heads, map usage, and campsite registration made the logistics of starting an overnighter easy. His knowledge of the park was quite fun and I enjoyed identifying trees that are not native to the Piedmont of NC. The smell and taste of wintergreen from the Black Birch branch was a special treat for me and walking in the old growth forest, made me feel like a hobbit walking with the Ents from the Lord of the Rings.

The other thing that was really helpful was the ability to see other equipment and try some things out. While I came with some of my own equipment, the option to look at other gear, try the water filter, see the simple added comfort of a "kitchen sink" made me think more about some things I'm actually going to take back to REI and exchange for other gear that will suit me better in the future. It was even good to try the vacuum-packed meals, which weren't all that bad.

Next steps are to learn to build a fire. Charles made it look way too easy.

I'll be signing up for one of the REI trips you all host as soon as I'm able.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank SKHolt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southport, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The Company -A Walk in the Woods - is the Best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

I just finished an REI Appalachian Trail Hike in the Great Smokey Mountains. The hike was managed by "A Walk in the Woods". I can't say enough positive about the experience. Erik Plakanis, owner of "A Walk in the Woods" with his wife Vesna, and Chris Virden were our guides. Their leadership, friendship and teaching were the perfect formula for a first time backpacker. Even though Erik managed the pace, both he and Chris put the groups safety and comfort above all else. Erik's knowledge of plants and the Smokey Mountains is wonderfully conveyed throughout the experience. I would recommend "A Walk in the Woods" to anyone looking for an outdoor experience in the Great Smokey Mountains.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank dblouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodmere, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Required for any visit to the Smokeys”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2011

We took the Nature's Cathedral walk with guide Charles Savidge. All seven hours of the experience were marvelous and enriching. A Walk in the Woods should be on everyone's itinerary.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
Thank Grabag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark, Delaware
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“We had a GREAT time with Charles!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2011

Because everything about our experience with "Walk in the Woods" was so wonderful I am not sure were to start, but here goes! My husband and I we given a "Walk in the Woods" Christmas Gift Certificate from our son & daughter-in-law to use on our summer 2011 vacation to the Great Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg,Tennessee. Once we got to Gatlinburg and decided when we might like to use the GC we called and spoke to Vesna who was very helpful in helping us pick the appropriate trail walk for our level of experience. We choose the nature walk titled: A STROLL BACK IN TIME a 2 1/2 hour walk thought the deep forest. Our tour guide was Charles, a very nice young man, who was so very knowledgeable and just so enjoyable and relaxing to be with!! Our tour group was eight people and our age ranges spanned for three generations. Charles interacted with each of us throughout the walk and seemed to be so very in tune with all of our levels of walking experience and knowledge of the woods. He stopped along the trail to point out to us just so many wonderful plants and their uses that the walk was also very educational as well. We would highly recommend Charles as a tour guide to request! LisaRob - Newark, DE

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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