Looking for a family-friendly activity in the Smokies that’s safe for all ages? What about an activity that offers a first-hand glimpse of the Smokies’ outdoor beauty without the fuss of hiking or biking? You can have both when you book a hayride in the Smoky Mountains! Besides being a comfortable and affordable way to experience the great outdoors, hayrides in the Smoky Mountains are tons of fun!
Cades Cove Riding Stables and Waldens Creek Riding offer a fun way to experience the Great Smoky Mountains for couples, families, and groups of all sizes. Plus, they’re not too far from our Gatlinburg cabins and Pigeon Forge cabins, so you easily plan for an afternoon hayride and fit some other attractions in!
Cades Cove Hayrides
Inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove continues to be a fan-favorite destination with its variety of wildlife and assortment of historic treasures. And while it’s always fun to drive or ride your bike around the 11-mile loop road, Cades Cove Riding Stables offers the unique opportunity of guided hayrides in the Smoky Mountains.
As the only national park–authorized riding stable, Cades Cove Riding Stables provides a unique opportunity to all our Smoky Mountain guests. You can ride their comfortable, truck-pulled, hay-filled trailers while enjoying the protected beauty of the surrounding national park. Along the way, watch for:
Equipment and structures of early farming communities from the 19th and 20th centuries
-John Oliver Cabin and the John Cable Grist Mill
-A variety of Smoky Mountain wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, raccoons, woodchucks, and turkeys
-Impressive mountain views and the lush flora of the Cades Cove valley all around
Not only does Cades Cove Riding Stables provide you with the chance to see the beauty of this verdant valley, but also to learn about its rich history. Their knowledgeable guides will fill you in on the home life, religion, and recreation of the early settlers as you enjoy the beautiful scenery all around.
Hayride season at Cades Cove Riding Stables typically begins in March and ends in mid-August. At peak season (June through August), they run 4 hayrides a day, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. All hayrides must have a minimum of 2 riders but can fit as many as 65. A ride lasts approximately 1½ to 3 hours, depending on traffic around the loop road.
On special occasions, you can even join a ranger-led hayride with Cades Cove Riding Stables. And while you’re welcome to book your hayride in advance, they limit the group number to 15 riders unless you’ve signed a special tour contract and have provided a 50% deposit. All rides are subject to weather and trail conditions, and the cost is $12 per person (ranger-led rides are $14 per person).
For more information, contact Cades Cove Riding Stables directly at (865) 448-9009 or by clicking here.
Waldens Creek Riding Stables
Situated on 500+ acres that are conveniently located in Sevierville, Tennessee, Waldens Creek Riding Stables is a Smoky Mountain dude ranch like no other. This exciting attraction features horseback riding for all ages (children can ride by themselves or double with parents *weight restrictions), an outdoor wedding venue, picnic tables and a snack room for 30+ people, a cowboy-themed gift shop, a one-of-a-kind Wild West Supper Show, and of course, hayrides in the Smoky Mountains!
At Waldens Creek, enjoy riding over hundreds of acres of Smoky Mountain pastures, where your driver will take you right through Waldens Creek and down deep hollows. You’ll be surrounded by impressive Smoky Mountain views and get an up-close look at the flora and fauna! And be sure to keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready—you’re likely to see wildlife like turkey, wild boar, and bears on this family-friendly hayride adventure!
Hayride season at Waldens Creek runs from June through October. Tickets are $7.95 per person, and children 4 years old or younger can ride for free. For more information, contact Waldens Creek Riding Stables directly at (865) 429-0607 or check out their website.
Hayride Tips and Reminders
Hayrides are a great option for all ages and are sure to be a fun and memorable activity for the whole family. This is a great option for groups with young children and/or disabled guests who might not be able to ride horses, go cycling, or hike in the Smokies, but who still want to enjoy this area’s beautiful scenery and rich culture.
Before you leave the cabin for your hayride adventure, be sure to read through our short list of tips provided below to maximize your fun!
- Wear comfortable clothing
- Bring small, non-perishable snacks, especially if you’re bringing kids
- Bring a water bottle for each guest, especially if you’re planning a hayride in the summer
- Check the weather the day of your hayride, and bring extra layers if it’s going to be cool
- If you’re planning a hayride at night, especially in the cooler months, bring at least one warm quilt or blanket to protect you and your guests from wind chill.
- Also for night rides, bring a flashlight, which will help you find the parking area and/or restrooms after your hayride.