As Steve Garrett hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2008, he felt called to leave the corporate life he led near Grand Rapids, Michigan, and move to the mountains with his family. His wife, Johnna, supported his dream?so they and their children moved to Tennessee to run Smoky Mountain Llama Treks.
Their fluffy, pettable llamas don't spit, kick, or run off?rather, the gentle pack animals carry loads for hikers on treks through fields and woods. Though the llamas can't be ridden, their ability to carry food and gear makes it easier for hikers to enjoy mountain views and cartwheel down the trails. In addition to leading groups on hikes, the staff can also coordinate adventures including zipline tours through the forest canopy, rafting, and helicopter tours.