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Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains ...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park neighbors several small towns which provide attractions, lodging, restaurants, and unique shopping to the many tourists travelling to the Smoky Mountains area. Request FREE Visitor Packet

Read about us on USA Today Travel

Neighboring Towns:
Cherokee | Gatlinburg | Maggie Valley | Pigeon Forge | Townsend | Wears Valley

Park Map | 101 Reasons to Visit the Park

Smoky Mountain Outdoor Adventure

whitewater rafting
Whitewater Rafting & Tubing

Some of the most popular things to do in the Smoky Mountains are whitewater rafting and tubing down a cool mountain river. Several locations are offered for this sport which is enjoyed by children and adults.
White Water Rafting | Tubing

rafting in the smokies

ziplines smoky mountains
Ziplines

Zipping is where the nature-lover meets the thrill-seeker. The Smoky Mountains is home to many exciting outdoor adventures, but the zipline is one of the favorite outdoor adventures of visitors.

Fast, fun, and exhilarating, this spectacular adventure offers nature lovers and thrill seekers alike the unique opportunity to zip through the treetops on a network of cables suspended high above the forest floor, overlooking nature's finest show.

Friendly and experienced guides will give you a detailed safety and equipment orientation before you are fitted with your personal gear for the tour.

For thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike, it's the perfect adventure for families and couples seeking to escape the fast-paced city, or adults looking for something new.
Zipping

ropes course
Rope Courses and Climbing Walls

Enjoy the challenge of climbing a 50' alpine tower or a 40' climbing wall.

Trained staff will help all participants with the safety gear and will assist your climb with words of encouragement.

Whether testing your personal limits with friends and family or team building as part of a corporate outing, you are sure to love the ropes/challenge courses.

Families, church groups, and individuals ages 6-76 will enjoy this challenging activity.
Rope Courses & Climbing Walls

fishing smoky mountains
Fishing

Shore fishing is a popular sport in the Smoky Mountains. Trout and bass are the fish to catch.

You can also choose a 5-mile fishing trip down the river as you sit back in a raft, relax and take in the breath-taking scenery as you work your crank bait or grub and wait for the action! You'll drift along one of the oldest rivers in the world surrounded by the unspoiled beauty of the Cherokee National Forest. The river is about 1,100 feet above-sea-level. Around you are mountains that climb thousands of feet higher. This creates a deep gorge concentrating the fish right where you are. Fishing

hiking smoky mountains
Hiking

Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides many opportunities for walking and hiking. Much of the interest and mood present in the park depends on finding subtle variations in nature not seen from automobiles. For example, wildflowers, cascading streams, the scent of evergreens, and the sounds of birds are best seen and experienced away from roads. For this reason, the National Park Service maintains 800 miles of trails here.

The National Park offers frontcountry hiking as well as backcountry hiking. The Appalachian Trail crosses Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hiking

jeep tours
ATV Trips & Jeep Tours

Experience guided ATV trips. Ride ATVs on 6,000 acres of Smoky Mountain mountain trails.

You can also rent a variety of vehicle rentals for you and your family. Leave the family car behind and jump into a mountain adventure.

ATV Trips & Jeep Tours

helicopter tour smoky mountains
Helicopter Tours

See the awe-inspiring, vast expanse of Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the unmatched vantage point of a helicopter tour. Capture the grandeur and the glory of the most visited U.S. National Park from the seat of a helicopter.

Short sightseeing flights offer amazing views of various rivers, Douglas Lake. and gentle rolling farmland. Midrange flights put you above Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, surrounding high mountain valleys, pristine estuaries and the adjacent foothills of the National Park. The most popular flight puts you above Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The longer tours extend further into the National Park with views of such places as Cades Cove, The Chimneys, Clingmans Dome, The Sawteeth, and Mt LeConte.

(Photo courtesy of Scenic Helicopter Tours)

camping
Camping

Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers frontcountry camping and backcountry camping. Group camps are also available as well as horse camps.

Frontcountry Camping is camping close to your vehicle in a developed campground that has restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets. Each individual campsite has a fire grate and picnic table.

Backcountry Camping is for backpackers. It requires hiking several miles to a site located in the Park's backcountry. Guided overnight hikes are offered by Tremont Institute and by the University of Tennessee.

Group Camps will accommodate tents only.

Camping

 
   
parsons branch road
Driving Trails
There are several driving trails in the National Park. From the comfort of your vehicle, you can view rushing mountain streams, old-growth forest, well-preserved log cabins, grist mills, and other historic buildings along the trails.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers breathtaking views on its many motor nature trails. These driving trails provide pullover areas so you can capture the beauty of the Smokies on camera.

There are 384 miles of road in the Smokies. Most are paved, and even the gravel roads are maintained in suitable condition for standard passenger cars. Travel speeds on most of the park's paved roads average 30 miles per hour.

Driving Trails

horseback riding
Horseback Riding

Guided horseback rides are available at four concession horseback riding stables in the park from mid-March through late November. Rides on scenic park trails are offered lasting from 45 minutes to several hours. All rides proceed at a walking pace.

Whether you're young or old, expert or novice, a horseback, carriage, or hayride trip in the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an adventure you'll never forget.
Horseback Riding

fontana dam
Dams

There are two dams on the outskirts of the National Park, including Fontana Dam and Douglas Dam.

Fontana Dam is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains. It is located in Western North Carolina.

Douglas Dam is known for picnicking, camping, boating, and fishing.
[Image courtesy of Tim Seaver]

great smoky mountains railroad
Train Rides

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains and Fontana Dam. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of excursions and special events throughout the year. Gourmet Dinner Trains run Saturday evenings beginning early February. Mystery Theatre Dinner Trains run on select Friday evenings, early May through early November. Rail stations are located in Dillsboro and Bryson City, North Carolina.

bicycling
Bicycling

Bicycling in the Great Smoky Mountains offers breathtaking scenery and an opportunity to view wildlife more closely. There are several roads throughout the Park that are suitable for bicycling.

Bicycle rentals are available in Cades Cove; by the hour or by the day. Cades Cove loop road, an 11-mile one way road, is a popular bicycling area. It provides bicyclists with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and touring 19th century homesites. During summer and fall, bicycles may be rented at the Cades Cove store (located near Cades Cove Campground).
Bicycling

sightseeing
Sightseeing

Sighteeing in the Smoky Mountains is unlimited. There are a number of driving trails, numerous historic buildings, and many scenic pullovers throughout the Park.
Historic Buildings | Driving Trails | Fall Colors

gatlinburg trolley
Trolley Tours

Gatlinburg provides trolley service to specified areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg's trolley system is the fifth largest mass transit system in the state of Tennessee. Gatlinburg has 20 trolleys that service approximately 50 miles in and around Gatlinburg and surrounding areas.
[Trolley routes and prices]

The Pigeon Forge Fun Time Trolley routes go to both ends of the Parkway, the Gatlinburg Welcome Center, Dollywood, Dolly's Splash Country, and Wears Valley.
[Trolley routes and prices]

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