Over the weekend the folks over at Trailspace.com published an excellent article offering tips for crossing streams and rivers.
As most of you are probably already well aware, there are numerous streams that hikers must cross in the Great Smokies. Many have footbridges, while others require just a step over to reach the other side. However, the Park has this warning on their website that you should keep in mind:
River levels can rise rapidly after a heavy rainfall. A localized thunderstorm dumping rain far upstream on the park's highest peaks can create sudden and unexpected flood conditions at lower elevations. You may not even have felt a raindrop!
After reading the Trailspace.com article, make sure to read the comments from the other readers who provide some additional tips that may be useful - should you ever be in the situation.
For those hikers that enjoy exploring some of the less traveled paths in the Smokies, Tom Dunigan has a list of trails in the Smokies that cross streams without the benefit of footbridges on his GSMNP Landforms website.