There are a lot of harmless water snakes in the Smokies. They are generally not a problem at all but they can scare you really good. I don't know how many times I've stepped over them. Just last weekend I saw the first of the season up above Elkmont. It is usually a scary moment while I'm getting to a healthy distance. There are copperheads and the occassional rattlesnake in the Smokies also. These are the ones that you have to watch out for. Just be careful and watch where you are going and you should be fine.