The word “Free” is always an eye catcher, and I plan to indulge some information on free things to do in Gatlinburg since you were probably drawn here by my clever word choice. With that being said the reality is that nothing is ever really free; however, I know of some virtually free things you and your fellow vacationers can partake in while visiting.
Enjoy a Pinic – Picnicking is a great way to take in the pristine nature of the Great Smoky Mountains. Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg is the most popular and scenic one of its kind in the area. There are several picnic tables to choose from as well as charcoal grills if you plan on cooking food. The park also features a playground for children, a basketball court for the teens, horseshoe pits for the adults and a baseball field if you want to get everyone playing together.
Go Fishing – There are several streams in Gatlinburg perfect for fishing. Trout fishing is very popular in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is popular people of all ages. Before you cast your line be sure you and everyone in your party has the proper licensing and is aware of local rules and regulations. For instance, there is no fishing permitted on Thursdays in Gatlinburg and children 12 years and younger do not need a license.
Get a Bird’s Eye View of the Mountains – There are countless overlooks around Gatlinburg that you can hike, drive or bike to in order to get a breathtaking view of the mountains. Two popular locations are the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Gatlinburg Bypass. Another tidbit of information you should know is that the Roaring Fork trail has been known to have frequent bear and wildlife sightings. So, don’t forget your cameras because you’ll have several opportunities to capture priceless photos along the way.
Tube Down a River – Spend a day being lazy tubing down the Little Pigeon River. It’s a great way to take in a different kind of scenery with friends and cool off from warm temperatures. If you don’t have a tube of your own, many gas stations in the area will rent them out. The Townsend Wye, located on the Little River, is the most famous swimming hole in the Smoky Mountains. One good place to go to get information on tubing and swimming is the Sugarlands Welcome Center. Here is a video of people tubing down the Little Pigeon River by the Townsend Wye:
Although the aforementioned ideas are a great place to start, you’re definitely not limited to just those. Visit the welcome centers in the area for more information on trails, streams, and overlooks.