5 Benefits of Hiking in the Smoky Mountains
When the hustle and bustle of life gets to be a little too much, the Great Smoky Mountains provide an escape, where you can relax and find peace. If you have never hiked in the mountains before and wonder what all the fuss is about, take a look at our list of the top benefits of hiking:
1. It is a natural stress reliever.
Being outside in the fresh mountain air instantly boosts your mood; in fact, your brain gets more oxygen and reduces your levels of cortisol (a chemical related to stress). You also get lots of Vitamin D, even if it is a cloudy day, which helps to keep you feeling your best!
2. It is a great form of exercise.
Another obvious benefit of hiking is that you are engaging in physical activity. Walking is one of the best things you can do to keep your body functioning well, even better when your heart rate picks up when hiking uphill! Trails such as Chimney Tops or Alum Cave offer tremendous views after fairly steep inclines, so the end is well worth the effort it took to get there.
3. It is a fun way to spend quality time with loved ones.
Hiking is a great solitary activity, but you can also benefit from going on a hike with your family and friends. Spending that quality time together creates lasting memories and builds stronger relationships.
4. It teaches you something new.
You might be surprised at how much you learn about yourself by hiking! You may push yourself further than you thought you could go, expand your hiking experience, or try a trail outside of your comfort zone. Not only does hiking teach you something new about yourself, but it also shows you all kinds of interesting details about Smoky Mountain history. For example, you may come across the Little Greenbrier School or another of the hidden gems in the Smokies, from cemeteries to homesteads, and learn new facts about the people who once called this area home. Another example is the secret tunnel under Clingmans Dome! There is no better way to further your knowledge and appreciation of the Smokies than by getting out there and exploring!
5. It makes you appreciate nature.
Our list of the benefits of hiking would not be complete without acknowledging just how much beauty and wonder can be found in nature. From the various Smoky Mountain waterfalls to breathtaking views, the national park is for sure one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. No matter where you go– from the top of the Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower to the winding Cades Cove Scenic Loop, you will constantly be in awe from the array of wildlife and scenery.
So now you know all about the top 5 benefits of hiking. Your next adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park awaits! Get the inside scoop about popular hiking trails, best-kept secrets, and safety tips by following our blog!