The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world famous for the diversity of its plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and many excellent hiking trails (over 900 miles). Designed to give you an overview of one of our most treasured National Parks, hiking there in October is definitely a peak experience. We'll marvel at the views, hiking at a leisurely pace to enhance our enjoyment of the scenery, take time to take pictures and identify shrubs and trees, and soak our feet in beautiful pools at the edge of waterfalls. Whether you are intrigued by salamanders or birds, waterfalls or mountain vistas, learning about the fascinating cultural history, or just seeking less traveled paths, you will quickly understand why the Great Smokies have been designated both an International Biosphere reserve and a World Heritage Site. Maximum group size: 12.
This trip is appropriate for any woman who exercises regularly at a moderate level (such as going for 45 minute brisk walks with hills 3 to 5 days a week), and who either enjoys hiking or is new to hiking and wants to learn in a safe and fun environment. This trip does require a certain level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the experience. The trails and terrain you will encounter will be well developed woodland trails with rolling terrain, with occasional steep sections, uneven footing, shallow water crossing, primitive bridge crossing, rocks and roots. Your hikes will be under forest canopy (trees) as well as a day spent at a higher elevation with spectacular views. You will be spending between 6 - 7 hours each day hiking or rafting. On this trip, there is also a special emphasis on cultural and natural history. Rating: 1  3 4 5
This trip combines hiking with learning about the natural and cultural history of the area. With lots of instruction and tips to make your hiking more enjoyable, this is an ideal trip for novice hikers and any active woman who loves to be out in the fall foliage. Although peak color is never possible to predict, leaves may be turning at the higher elevations in early October.
On this trip we stay the entire week in a luxury lodge, perched on a mountainside just outside Gatlinburg. There are 12 private rooms (some with king beds and others with Queens) all with private bathrooms. Amenities include a pool table, a covered porch with rocking chairs and a great view, a hot tub, fireplace, and a large dining and living room. Everyone gets her own bedroom on this trip. Rooms are assigned by lottery.
If you are coming with someone with whom you would like to share a room and bed, there is a 10% discount (limited to 2 people).
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
I especially liked the lodge, the rafting trip, the visit to Bud Ogle's cabin, & the bears. The group was kind to each other and included everyone.
Several things made this trip very special: the guides were excellent in their knowledge, accommodating our group, and sharing the history of the area. The meals/food and lodging were also exceptional. Hikes were varied and I appreciated that our guides made opportunities possible if you wanted more hiking than planned.
I had a great time and I enjoyed the company of all the women on the trip.
The guides were excellent. So patient, also excellent cooks! 😎
Seeing all the bears!
The guides and their expertise and how they shared it! I also felt the two guides worked well together and as a result we benefited from their expertise. Thank you.
This was my first trip with Adventures in Good Company and I am so impressed by the travel experience! This trip was made extra special by a few factors: (1) Our guides Jaime and Tori were absolutely fantastic, (2) The group of women traveling together meshed quite well with each other, and (3) the accommodations at Laurel Lodge were just wonderful. Thank you for a fantastic adventure!
Really appreciated the knowledge base of our two guides. Hiking was great, the accommodations were very comfortable, the food was delicious, and the scenery is beautiful in the great Smokies.
Hiking through the Smokies with all the leaves changing colors felt like walking through a calendar. Even though we had some rain on a few days, the guides did an excellent job of being flexible and selecting the best hike for the conditions present. The lodging was fantastic with plenty of room to spread out or gather - your choice. Everything was great - the hikes, the food, the views, the deck, seeing bears, meeting new people, etc. Very relaxing trip. Just the right mix of everything really!
Wonderful lodging, great guides, good itinerary
Beautiful hiking, wonderful lodge, great food, lovely group of women, and excellent guides
The guides, participants and activities....it was a great package!
The guides, Deb and Sarah, made every moment special. They consistently made every effort to ensure our complete satisfaction. Highlights: accommodations, food, scenery, historical aspects, and of course arranging the "bear show." Absolutely the best.
Very beautiful scenery. Great accommodations.
The Smoky Mountains are gorgeous. It was my first time seeing them and I think we were there at the perfect time.
autumn leaves, fellow participants.
Fall Foilage Other participatants were professionals Participatants came prepared with their equipment. Being on time was expected and accomplished
Had not done any hiking east of the Rockies before, wanted to see Smoky Mtn. NP, Having the lodge with each one having a private room.
I had never visited the Great Smokys before and I think this was the perfect time of year for that visit. We hit the Fall colors at exactly the right time. Also, the level of activity was perfect for me. We either hiked or walked or river rafted every day - I enjoyed the level 2 exercise on the trip.
Great guides Great group of women Excellent weather
Besides the company, the lodge was fantastic and our daily excursions were amazing!
Fantastic trip! The weather was great, beautiful fall calls, wonderful women, fun and beautiful hiking trails!! It was great to have a well-rounded trip with multiple activities. The best part for me was the hiking, but the rafting was a close second! Meals were delicious!
I really enjoyed the great group of women who gathered to hike and take in the beautiful fall foliage of the Smokies!
The guides were excellent at adapting to the group and weather. They created a positive and supportive group climate.
The Smoky Mountain National Park is beautiful, I loved the variety of trees, and how the trails and eco system varied from hike to hike. I loved that we went in to the park from different points and that the hikes started easy and built up to hard. Seeing the bears was also a highlight.
The guides were terrific and complimented each other. We had a very easy going, non complaining interesting group that got along well and supported each other.
The guides were amazing on this trip, went over and above!
Wonderful accommodations (loved having own room), fabulous guides, great food, great group of women and awesome hikes! Jenny and Deb were so accommodating and patient.
Deb & Jenny did such a great job setting the tone for our magical week. Our group of ladies fed off of all this incredible positive energy. The stories, laughter & conversations shared were awesome. Definitely some special kindership & friendships made.
1. The beauty of the area. 2. The amazing group of women 3. The Expertise, attention to detail, care and concern for each person on the trip, cooking skills, senses of humor, and obvious joy in everything that the guides were doing 4. The freedom to just be me and relax after a trying couple of years.
The guides, Jenny and Deb, were wonderful. They supported everyone in meeting their personal goals for this trip. They made even a slow hiker like me feel comfortable and subtlety helped me exceed what I perceived my to be my limits. I had a great time.
Wonderful supportive group, great lodge, beautiful scenery, interesting hikes, forest bathing
The guides and the other participants were amazing. The lodging was awesome and the pace of the trip was perfect.
The opportunity to spend so much time in nature with an amazing group of women. The guides were incredible, personable, fun, great cooks, interesting, informative, caring. So good!
The knowledge the guides had of the area, the way they worked together to make sure all needs were met. Accommodations were top notch.
The ‘good company’ and excellent guides made the trip special. Interesting women who like to laugh (& sweat) in a gorgeous setting - what could be better!
Heather and Krista went above and beyond to make this trip great for all.
Heather and Krista set the tone for a really great week, from morning to night!
Excellent guides, I always felt comfortable within the group and asking the guides for advice, location was gorgeous and a nice variety of hikes and rafting, etc available.
Our guides were serious about our safety and keeping us informed but so much fun to be with! They fostered camaraderie and sharing and made our week memorable in the best ways
Great guides, great fellow travelers, great adventures, great food, great accommodations
I did not expect the bears at the lodge and that was a very pleasant surprise and one of the highlights of my trip! I especially liked seeing the bear run up a dogwood tree, go out on the limb and eat the berries!! I did not expect the National park to be so crowded either. It was good that we tried to hike trails before the millions of tourist did. I would keep trying to do hikes that are not in the crowded areas, even if it's a longer drive from the lodge.
Wonderful group of fellow participants and fantastic guides. The housing was comfortable, clean and in a lovely settings. Every day was terrific. The food was fabulous and all dietary restrictions were anticipated and accommodated. It was a terrific vacation.
Exceptional interaction with other travelers and with the AGC guides. The scenery was wonderful and the activities were well planned.
I had no expectations, but if I had they'd have been greatly exceeded. So much fun, and so many wonderful memories.
I loved the relaxed feel of this trip. Because we stayed in a chalet the entire week with day-long excursions, we spent spent less time packing and unpacking and more time getting to know each other. Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Thanks AGC for arranging to have the mother bear and her cubs visit us at the chalet (LOL)!
White water rafting and the last hike
It was a great trip with great guests and guides. I really enjoyed having my own room and bathroom. The accommodations were excellent.
Loved the rafting, the guides, the cabin, the other ladies
The whole group got along so well and were so much fun. I feel fortunate that it turned out so well. Deb is an outstanding guide, so attentive to everyone's needs.
The lodging was outstanding. The guides were great, and the in house meals were fantastic. Hiking on the AT was fun.
Very well organized and implemented. I was pleased that we were allowed to go at our own pace. Good mix of activities
The rafting was not quite whitewater but we could not control mother nature....
Great guides, perfect accommodations and the smoky mountains. What more can you expect?
Excellent group of participants; guides were fantastic; location and itinerary were great. The lodge was so welcoming and went a long way toward facilitating cohesiveness in the group.
I had hoped to hike on the Appalachian Trail, also to get a feel for the Smoky mountains. Both were accomplished. AGC guides encouraged us to do as much as we felt comfortable doing and were very supportive in helping us accomplish our goals. I wantd to make it to the AT shelter, and I did, and back. Very excited about that.
Watched a bear family (from the safety of our deck), walking on the AT, meeting members of the Baxter family at the Baxter Cabin, sharing great meals with our group, sharing this experience with 13 marvelous women.
Loved the Clingman’s Dome and AT mini-section hike. All the hikes were fabulous. Exactly what I wanted.
I enjoyed the trip because of the camaraderie of the women who participated and the deep forested hikes that we took.
The other travelers, the guides were great, the weather held out and the house was unbelievable
Trip was very well run. Excellent.
Mountain Laurel Chalet was a FANTASTIC locale - just terrific to have our own rooms/bathrooms - lovely locale. Wonderful group of women and wonderful guides - Deb is a fabulous cook! Yum!
The guides, fellow travelers and accommodations were all wonderful!
Seeing so many bears, including on our deck! Great trails and waterfalls. Also, a great group of women to enjoy it with.
I loved the HIKING, the people, the itinerary and GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK and Appalachian Trail. The lodge was very comfortable and liked having laundry capabilities and the HOT TUB...great location, too, and loved my own room.
Exceptional guides who genuinely cared that we had an awesome trip. Itinerary was well-planned and executed. Communication ahead and during the trip was great. Hikes to grotto and laurel falls and hike at nature center was my favorite day but none of the days disappointed