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National Parks Traveler Podcast

Jan 23, 2022

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the great hiking destinations in the mid-Atlantic region, if not the entire East Coast. Across its rumpled 522,427 acres there are more than 800 miles of trails. They range from relatively short footpaths to scenic payoffs like Rainbow Falls and Abrahams Falls to the more than 70 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail that crosses the top of the park.

Nancy East is well familiar with the park’s trail network, as she and a close friend set out in the fall of 2020 to hike every mile of that network, and then she wrote about it in a new book, Chasing the Smokies Moon. We talk with Nancy to understand what motivated her to embark on such a hike and what that endeavor taught her.