The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most scenic places in the United States. They offer many outdoor activities, breathtaking scenery, and an abundance of wildlife. In the middle of it all is Pigeon Forge, a town with dozens of family-friendly attractions, delicious restaurants, and hilarious dinner shows. But it is that blend of attractions and outdoor activities that draws so many visitors to Pigeon Forge each year.
In Pigeon Forge, visitors can try virtually any outdoor activity, whether they want to explore by land, sky, or water. In town and in the neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, activities include biking, horseback riding, rafting, and fishing, just to name a few. No matter what age or skill level, there is an outdoor activity suited to anyone who ventures to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Exploring the more than 800 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will bring you face-to-face with the various wildlife in and around the park. On a horseback ride through the park, look out for a family of bears, deer, and birds. During spring and summer, an array of wildflowers blooms across the fields, and cool mountain streams rush through the woods. The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Gatlinburg each year takes visitors on a tour of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with lessons in ecology and hands-on activities along the way.
Want to expend a few calories while checking out the sights, sounds, and smells of the Smokies? Bike trails in and around the park allow cyclists to see deer, fox, bears, or wild turkeys along the 11-mile loop in Cades Cove, take an easy ride with kids along the Gatlinburg Trail, visit historic areas from Mills Park to Bear Mountain, and test their skills on rough terrain at Newfound Gap. Hiking is another popular outdoor activity in the Smokies that will keep you active while sightseeing. Love hiking but want to mix it up a little? Want to try a two-day hike, but don’t want to carry your own gear? A truly unique experience, llama trek hiking takes you on a guided trip, from 2 hours to 2-day overnights, through the Smoky Mountains – with a llama as your companion!
While many visitors love to hike or bike in the Smokies, many also want to enjoy the scenery while taking it easy. With the gorgeous blue mountains, lush greenery, vivid wildflowers, flowing waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are the perfect places to do so. As you stroll the Parkway or take scenic drives in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, practice your photography skills and take home photos that will help you remember your Smoky Mountain trip for years to come. There is something gorgeous to be seen every season of the year. Take a pleasant, quiet stroll while bird watching, or take the kids for a fun hay ride and see the changing leaves of the Smokies in autumn. Others prefer teeing off at a local golf course or spending the day practicing their marksmanship at the shooting range.
With a fairly mild winters and summers, Pigeon Forge has water activities that you can enjoy almost year round. Bring your rod and reel and go fishing in the many streams and rivers in the area. There is even a spring trout tournament open to experienced and novice fishermen. When it gets warm, venture a little further into the water with whitewater rafting adventures, kayaking, or lazily tubing down the river. The River Raft Regatta, a competition for almost any floatable watercraft, lets you play around the water without getting wet. Of course, Dollywood’s Splash Country is one of the most fun ways to enjoy the water in Pigeon Forge. Kids and kids at heart will love playing here.
High in the Sky
If you want to see more than what land views can offer, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas are home to outdoor activities that will offer birds-eye views. Amazing views of the national park and downtown Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg can be had on a scenic helicopter tour. From the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, you can get soaring views of the city. Feeling really adventurous? Fly through the trees on a zip line tour, or get the ultimate adrenaline rush while skydiving! For less of a rush with amazing Smoky Mountain views, take a ride on the Aerial Tramway at Ober Gatlinburg. The ride will offer incredible views and will take you to one of the area’s most popular attractions with more fun outdoor activities!
One-stop Outdoor Fun
Traveling with kids or a large group can be tough, especially if you’re trying to visit a lot of attractions in one day. Ober Gatlinburg offers many outdoor activities – all in one place. In winter, ski, snowboard, and sled at Ober Gatlinburg ski park. In the warmer months, try the alpine slide, water rides, and maze.