A Conversation with a Woman of the Smokies

The National Park Service maintains over 800 miles of trails (walking and equestrian) within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whether your interests lie in a handful of hiking experiences or completing all the park has to offer, it goes without saying that good planning and organization is required. If you want to expand your hiking experience and tackle all of the trails, you need to understand a few tricks in efficiency and how to get to and from some of the remote park trails; and to complete all 800 miles of hiking trails, you have to hike a few of the same trails more than once.

Liz Etnier is a member of the Great Smoky Mountains 900-miler Club (the club name that is bestowed upon those who have “hiked them all”) and author of Day Hiker’s Guide to All The Trails in the Smoky Mountains. She has made Knoxville her home for the past 50 years, with the exception of summers, where she lives with her husband David at their remote island on the Minnesota-Ontario border.

Roots Rated sat down with Liz to talk about how she completed all the trails, the amount of hard work it took to then write a book about it, how you can get started with a few selected short hikes, and some additional research she has completed to enhance even more of a day hiker’s knowledge.

Here are some of her fascinating answers…


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