Poison Ivy Can Ruin Your Cabin Vacation

Feb 21, 2013

Poison Ivy in the Smoky Mountains National Park

Poison Ivy

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers almost endless opportunities for free, family entertainment. Guests to the Smokies can enjoy afternoon or multi-day hikes, horseback riding, biking, or just relaxing along one of the river banks and having a picnic. Whichever activity you and your family chooses, you'll want to keep an eye out for Poison Ivy. One frequently asked question is, "does this area have a lot of Poison Ivy?" Some guests have never encountered this plant, which generally grows in woody areas.


"Leaves of three, let them be."  Depending on the time of year and the age of the plant, Poison Ivy can look a little differently.  The leaves range from light green to dark green and are usually shiny, and the stems usually have three leaves.  Often, vines are seen on tree trunks as they become securely attached by numerous rootlets.  All parts of the plant --leaves, stem and roots--should be avoided. 


posion_ivy_arm.jpgNot everyone is allergic to Poison Ivy.  When Poison Ivy contacts skin, it can cause an allergic reaction including severe itching, inflammation, and/or colorless bumps that turn into blisters.  Over-the-counter products to ease itching and simple oatmeal baths and baking soda are be recommended by dermatologist for treatment.  (See your doctor if your rash is on or spreads to face or genitals, or covers a large area of skin.)

Before you start out on your Smoky Mountains adventure, make sure you can identify this plant and do your best to avoid it.  Your mountain vacation will be much more enjoyable without itchy skin!

Category: Area Information

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