Many of the visitors who come to Gatlinburg, and the Smoky Mountains in general, do so to experience the natural environments and down-home feel that the region holds. When planning your stay in the area, you may be searching for a way in which you and your family can get in touch with both nature and the “rustic” lifestyle that is synonymous with the area’s history. Luckily, there is one activity that allows for both of these things at once – horseback riding, and there are several options in the area.
Guided Horseback Rides – Open mid-March through mid-November and located in Gatlinburg, this horseback riding stable offers a large and heavily experienced staff to help get you set up. No experience is required to ride, making this a great place for amateur riders. They offer 1 hour and 4 hour guided trail rides through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visit the Smoky Mountain Riding Stables website for more information on ride times and pricing.
Guided Carriage Ridges – For those who are not willing to jump on a horse themselves, Cades Cove features guided, horse-drawn carriage rides around the area. Each ride is 30-45 minutes allowing for a scenic, narrated tour of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Be sure to check out the Cades Cove Riding Stables website for more information.
Bring your own horse –The Great Smoky Mountains National Park allows visitors to bring their own horses to ride along the trails surrounding the Park. Keep in mind that there are specifically designated horse trails, and cross country or off trail riding is strictly prohibited. More information on horse and riding regulations, can be found on the Your Smokies website.
Hopping on the back of a well-mannered mare and taking in the fresh air and scenery of the Smoky Mountains is one contagious combination to be sure! However, even if you don’t find yourself hooked to such an extreme degree, you and your family are bound to enjoy themselves to the fullest while engaging in this exciting activity!