Last summer, I joined a video crew from Mill Creek Entertainment to help make an hour-long DVD about Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Check out this 10-minute preview—it focuses exclusively on the footage featuring the sights and sounds of hiking the park's best trails.
The video, The Great Smoky Mountains: Crown Jewel of the Appalachians, will be released September 4th and is part of the popular National Park Exploration Series.
The producers contacted me after learning about my popular FalconGuide book Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park and discovering that I am travel editor for National Parks Traveler. They asked me to appear on-camera, take them to some of my favorite trails, and tell viewers why the Smokies is such a great place to hike.
We hiked deep into the park, crossed single-log bridges spanning rushing streams, and climbed into spruce and fir forest atop the highest peaks.
The result—we hit some really scenic spots, such as the easy Oconaluftee River Trail (shown in the first part of this video, with the great Cherokee legend signs). I describe one of the fascinating interpretive plaques that explain local Indian beliefs. I confess, this kind of cultural experience is why Cherokee and this park are a few of my favorites. Check out this article about the Oconaluftee River Trail for more on the plaques and why this trail is such a stellar family walk.
Consider the National Park Exploration Series—other videos cover the Everglades, Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and other parks, with the new Smokies video available September 4th. All are a click away at Amazon and other locations where videos are sold.
Most of the hikes in my FalconGuide on the Smokies are easy—but I also feature harder trails—and recommend the easiest way to make the hike. (The book also comes bundled with the National Geo/Trails Illustrated map of the park.)