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I am in the midst of assembling a brief backpack into the Great Smokies next month. I’ve mapped out what looks to be an easy 22 mile loop from the Big Creek entrance.

The route will take us along Big Creek Trail to Balsam Mountain Trail to Mount Sterling Trail. So far I’ve roped in a couple of fellow NOLS alumni to come along (tough sell) and a friend from my WFR course. My goal is to get my wife to come along so I can prove to her that rocks can be comfortable forms of bathroom hygiene. (That’s a really tough sell.) Funny thing, too, because she can out hike just about anyone but would much rather have the last thing she sees at night to be a stucco ceiling instead of the Big Dipper. But hey, I don’t have much to complain about. Like I said, I watched her lead us through Zion’s West Rim Trail in less than six hours. With a stop at Angel’s Landing.

If anyone has some other trail recommendations for Great Smoky National Park, drop it in the comments section. I’d love to hear about your trip.

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