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Testimonials for Guided Hikes and Backpacking Trips

Women in Wilderness (3 days and 2 nights) was my first backpacking adventure, and I loved every minute of it! Our guide was Jen Kelley (aka Sprinkles), and she was amazing. She was experienced and knowledgeable, and she not only shared her backpacking skills but also gave us historical and biological perspectives of the Great Smoky Mountains. Because of her enthusiasm for backpacking/hiking, I am hooked and ready to plan my next backpacking trip.

G. Huntersville, NC 7/17

Hi my friend Patrick and I just finished the AT shakedown with Jen. It was amazing. I just wanted to say how wonderful Jen is. She is so inspiring and her enthusiasm is awesome! Her knowledge of plants is amazing! Such a wonderful and challenging trip! I will highly recommend Jen to anyone looking to backpack that's for sure. Thanks again for another great backpacking trip.

Kris, 06/17

Hi. :-) Had our tour yesterday with Jaime and it was awesome. Just passing along some pix to show her when we were lucky enough to see this bear out in the open. Super cool!! And Jaime was awesome! :-)

Sabrina S, 05/17

I recently used your shuttle service to get from Hot Springs, NC to Davenport Gap to join my daughter on the AT. I called three times to inquire about the service, then book the shuttle and subsequently make changes. All three times the phone was promptly answered and I received excellent service. On the day of travel, I was nervous about traveling to an unfamiliar area. I arrived at the parking lot that I thought was the pickup location but did not see the shuttle. I had no cell service! I asked at the nearby hostel and was directed to the parking lot right by the AT and there was my shuttle and Blue next to it!! I found out when I did have cell service he had contacted my husband when I was not there at the appointed time. My husband told him I was on the way and had a bit of trouble gettting my rental car. Blue immediately calmed this very nervous traveler and very novice hiker. As we drove along, he gave me many great tips, even helping me get my too heavy pack on when he dropped me off. He went above and beyond to do a great job and was one of the reasons my AT adventure was so awesome. I hope to do more of the AT in the future and would definately call A Walk in the Woods for shuttle service.

C. Tulsa OK, 05/17

Nancy and I enjoyed our time with Jamie very much. She is a terrific ambassador for your company. We appreciated her enthusiasm and showing us so much more than birds, as well as her knowledge of where the birds might be and her ability to ID them so well. We also appreciated changing the time to work with the weather that day. We saw and ID'd many more birds than we would have seen on our own, as well as fauna and flowers particularly the Red-cheeked Salamander. Jamie turned over every dead tree trunk we passed until she found a salamander! I've attached a few photos for her to use on your Facebook page. We'll be writing a review soon for TripAdvisor. Hope to do more with you in the future.

Larry L, 5/17

I would like to thank Sam, our tour guide, for just an amazing private History, Turkey, and Bears Van Tour Ride on Nov 11, 2016! First, she picked us up at our resort where we were staying and then she drove us through the Cades Cove area of the Great Smokey Mountains. Sam was so well informed about the historic area and told us so much about the Smokey Mountain we would have never known if we drove it ourselves. She also stopped at many of the scenic views of the Great Smokey Mountains and let us get out and take some beautiful photos! When the tour was finished she drove us back to the resort! My husband and I, along with my sister and her husband really had an awesome day with her! It was my favorite thing we did while visiting the Gatlinburg area! Thanks again Sam!!

D. Coldwater, OH 11/16

Just returned from a group multi-day hiking trip, with A Walk in the Woods as a subcontractor. Guides Blue and Bethany were great and very patient, adapting to our abilities--encouraging all the way. They quickly rolled with equipment challenges and altered the day's plan to still provide a great experience. Their wildlife and plant knowledge are second to none, and you can tell they truly enjoy teaching. Jen was an excellent cook and we were able to pick her brain about her AT experience. I would recommend A Walk in the Woods to anyone and we hope to someday plan our next adventure directly with them.

AQ. Williamston, SC 10/16

Hello Walk in the Woods! I apologize, I haven't had time to sing your praises on Tripadvisor yet (I will!) but wanted to let you know we did end up taking a walk with Hailey on Tuesday 10/11 at 10 am. She was fantastic! She shared a wealth of interesting information about the park and the environment. Our 6 year old daughter loved it. She was so excited to tell her friends that she ate a leaf from a Sourwood tree and thought it was hilarious that one of the other boys on the tour used ALL of his senses and licked a tree. We will highly recommend you to anyone visiting the Smokies! Have a great day!

Jodi 10/16

I just wanted to take a few minutes to say how much we enjoyed the tour. The driver was great - knowledgeable, helpful and informative. I would highly recommend the service to anyone I know coming to the park. We got your link from our hotel's website under 'things to do'. It was a very lucky find! Thanks again.

JL 10/16

Jamie is the best! Knowledgable, unscripted, She was able to tailor discussion to what we were interest in hearing about. Would recommend this company to all. Tried to schedule more hikes while we were here but all were full!

Sue. IL 9/16

We want to thank you for providing excellent service after our recent Appalachian Trail hike through the Smokies. Your staff provided helpful suggestions prior to our trip which helped us to complete a successful hike. We arrived at our pickup location much earlier than anticipated, and when I called, arrangements were made to pick us up early. The shuttle van was clean and comfortable, and our driver, Jaimie, was informative and friendly. We will not hesitate to recommend A Walk in the Woods to our friends! Thank you again for providing great service!

Barbara J, 9/16

We took the extended family on a children's nature walk. The two children ages 3 and 5 were hesitant at first but soon were hanging on Sam's every word. The salamanders were the highlight. My daughter-in-law is an elementary school teacher and she was very impressed. I will absolutely schedule a hike the next time we are in Gatlinburg.

Cindy M, 9/16

Our experience with A Walk in the Woods was phenomenal!! We booked the Hidden Waterfall Retreat! Our guide was Jen and she was amazing!!!!! She taught us so much about the plant and animal life along the way and made it interesting and fun! She even encouraged us to try some fresh blueberries and teaberry plant along the way! She was encouraging when we needed it (it is a pretty vigorous hike for us first-timers). She was patient and let us rest when needed and always had a story to tell us while we rested! The waterfall and woods were beautiful and worth the hike! Can't say enough nice things about Jen!! We would recommend this company to anyone visiting the area!! What an accomplishment when we were done!!! Sparked an interest in hiking for me! Keep up the awesome work!!!!

DC, Saint Lois 8/16

Thank you so much for an adventure to remember! Our guide Blue was a pleasure to be with on our 3 day hike. We originally thought we would go on our own, but with little experience, it was absolutely a good decision to go with a guide. A Walk in the Woods provided the perfect guide. He pointed out beautiful and useful plants and was very intuitive about the pace we were capable of. Blue made our trip an exciting trip to remember! I would choose their expert services again in a second!

Kellie T, Texas 8/16

Thank you, your drop off shuttle was timely. We had a great time on the deep creek trail hike. Was perfect for a 2 day hike. Didn't see a soul until we got to the tubers.

Bruce B, 7/17

Vesna, I have to tell you my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves today because of your two guides. Our day started with Sam wonderful lady with excellent knowledge. We then went with Blue and what a great time we had. He was wonderful as well. Please pass along our complements to both!! When we come back to Gatlinburg we will definitively be doing at least a walk and a hike with A Walk in the Woods!!! Thank you again.

Geoffrey W, 7/16

This past weekend we enjoyed 2 fantastic walks/hikes with Matt. We met him on Saturday for the waterfalls and natural pools walk where we learned so much about the plant life and wild life in that area. On Sunday we met Matt again for the Courthouse Rock Hike . We were able to see some amazing views of the Sugarland Valley and again learned more about the plant and wildlife in the area as well as the history of that land. Matt was very informative and we enjoyed spending time with him. We were able to enjoy our hikes feeling confident that he was very familiar with the area and kept us informed of any dangers (poison ivy, stinging nettle, yellow jackets). We have already recommended this group to a few friends and intend to contact them again when we return to the GSM for another hike. Thanks again Matt.

Angel, TN 7/16

Jen is terrific guide...very knowledgable and friendly and made sure us and our kids were enjoying our hike while learning. We saw at least six waterfalls, discovered native plants, and learned about animal habitats. Thanks for a wonderful morning!

Theresa, PA 7/16

Hi Erik and Vesna, My son, Brendan, and his friends had a most excellent adventure with Matt and Haley!!! I just received a handwritten thank you note from the brothers, Alec and Hunter, who were among the group. Said Alex, "This has been the highlight of my summer - maybe my life! It loved the hikes . . . like never before. Matt seemed like a friend I had known for years." All the boys agreed Matt and Haley were very friendly, down-to-earth, and wonderfully informative, whether teaching the boys about snares, fishing, or finding nature's salad for a meal. All the boys wanted to stay out there for a month. However, in close proximity when I picked them up, I wondered whether the wildlife was thinking, Enough already. You guys hit the showers! Again, a big thanks to A Walk in the Woods from all of us! Cordially,

Glen B, 7/16

Extraordinary Experience! Thank you to Sarah for helping to select the perfect hike - Courthouse Rock Trail. Quite a change from the flat land and palm trees of Florida! Jamie and Candace were fun and knowledgeable.

YJT, FL 7/16

We truly enjoyed Jamie’s Salamander tour from A Walk In The Woods. Jamie is a very experienced guide who shows her passion for nature through teaching others. She is excellent with our 8 and 9 year olds, keeping them engaged throughout our 4 hour tour. We caught and identified half a dozen types of salamanders, saw a variety of crawlers, in addition to learning about different kinds of trees in the forest. We highly recommend this tour to anyone but especially to family with young children!! Our Night Walk tour with Samantha was really fun and educational. Our children were fascinated by the history telling. We learned about fire flies, aka Flashing Beatles, and black bears in the woods. Sam encouraged us to explore the woods using all of our five senses. At the end of the walk, we became more connected to nature than we have ever been.

Shuwei, NH 7/16

Hi Vesna! We are back home from our adventure in the Smokey Mountains. I wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU!! Your prompt assistance with our last minute vacation was greatly appreciated! The Exploring Nature with Children walk was perfect!! If I am remembering her name correctly Haley, our guide did an excellent job!! We learned so many wonderful facts and enjoyed the beauty of the park so much more than if we would have done it on our own. she was great with the kids and kept their attention. This isn't easy with an 11, 9, and 3 1/2 year old (and we had another family with a pre teen and 6 year old). Once you have confirmed our guides name (and correct spelling) I will gladly write up a review on Trip Advisor and any where else that would be helpful. We can't wait to visit the area again and try another one of your adventures!!

Dawn 6/16

Just a note to let you know how much we enjoyed both of our guided walks last week. Both Jen and Sam were great. Our kids loved it too.

Melanie S, 6/16

Hey Vesna, I took your hiking 101 class last September and expressed my desire to hike the PCT. I'm already in the Sierras. My trail name is Stretch because I do my stretching every day about a half hour or so into my hike as you taught us. Here's my blog. http://devperk.tumblr.com Thanks for your training.

Lewis P, 6/16

Hi Sam - Before any more time goes by, I want to thank you for everything you did to make our trip to GSMNP so fantastic! Jack and I had a wonderful and memorable backpacking trip and feel like you created a diverse itinerary for us that highlighted several aspects of the park. We are very grateful!! Thanks also to Sara and Blue for the shuttles. It was a pleasure to chat with both of them. I write a blog under the pseudonym of Kathleen Ford and just posted some pictures plus a shout-out to you guys: http://kathleenford.blogspot.com/2016/06/backpacking-great-smoky-mount ains.html Also attaching one of our favourite photos of us on the AT. Sending lots of good wishes. I hope you have a great summer!

Debbie M, 6/17

6-24-16 We attended a nature walk and tour of the great Smoky mountains thru a time share vacation in Gatlinburg. It was a wonderful and relaxing experience. Vesna was very knowledgeable and kind. There were children, handicapped and elderly and International guests included on this event and all were taken very good care of and I feel came away with a deep appreciation of your beautiful mountains. Thank you for a memorable afternoon.

Bonita, PA 6/16

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