Guide service offers WILD Women in the Wilderness adventure

women2Gatlinburgh, TN — Coincidentally timed with Academy Awards, which include dual nominations for Wild, the Great Smoky Mountains’ premier guide service is expanding its Women in the Wilderness backpacking trips.  A Walk in the Woods season begins March 8 and will kick off this year with 10 three-day backpacking trips designed just for women.  Customized longer trips designed for specific groups of women are also available. 

“Just like Cheryl Strayed’s experiences in Wild, our Women in the Wilderness Wild tour gives women an amazing sense of self confidence that transfers to all aspects of their lives,” said Vesna Plakanis, principal with A Walk in the Woods, a guide service that leads a multitude of hikes and programs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“Women who join us are forever changed,” Plakanis added. “They come away feeling so strong and confident after learning how to make a fire with just one match, how to deal with the sounds and darkness of the woods at night and how to make themselves comfortable in the natural world.  It’s empowering for a woman to give herself permission to do something just for her and to accomplish something she never thought she could do.”

Starting at $445 per person ($390 with your own gear) and offered March through October, A Walk in the Woods’ Women in the Wilderness tour includes everything guests need for the adventure, including: orientation, all gear, food and drinks and skilled guidance on how and what to pack and what to leave behind. The first day begins with an easy 3-5 mile hike including interpretation, light survival skills training, orienteering with map and compass, and camp set up.  Women also learn skills such as where and how to go to the bathroom, leave no trace backpacking and safety in bear country.

Helping people immerse themselves in nature and the Smokies since 1998, A Walk in the Woods is a recipient of the prestigious REI Adventures Top Guide Award, a TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence winner and a “Must See.” The tour company offers variety of curated, nature-based experiences, from day hikes to multi-day backpacking adventures for groups and individuals of any age and skill level, including seniors, teams and corporate groups for team-building exercises, schools, scouts, individuals and families. Additional information is available at, or by calling (865) 436-8283.


Media tours, color art, video and additional media information are available.  Contact Amy Weirick,, Mobile (614) 296-8513 or Office (614) 848-8380.