New podcast emphasizes water safety in National Park

“Water Safety and Day Hiking,” part of the recently launched program “Reward Yourself - Hike the Smokies Challenge”, recently was released.

The last of a three-part series of hiking safety podcasts for Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now available for viewing. The podcast, developed by Great Smoky Mountains Association, is a 4-minute video podcast that showcases the beautiful water resources in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and provides tips on safe water practices while hiking in the Park. The podcast can be viewed at http://thegreatsmokymountains.org/hike_smokies_challenge.

“We hope that this video will be another tool to help visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience in the Park’s backcountry. Hiking in the Smokies is not inherently dangerous, but there are incidents that can be prevented if people understand the potential risks that may occur in certain circumstances, particularly around streams and waterfalls,” said Cathleen Cook, Chief of Resource Education.

The podcasts were designed to encourage visitors to get outdoors and exercise, but also to promote safe practices. The first podcast developed for this program is “Day Hiking in the Smokies: Expect the Unexpected,” a 5-minute video on weather and how to prepare and respond to potential weather extremes and the mountainous terrain. The second podcast is a 6-minute video on “Day Hiking and Wildlife,” informing the viewer of wildlife behavior, particularly black bears, and the appropriate responses and regulations to be followed by Park visitors.

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