Average Temp - 70 Degrees
By April in Gatlinburg, spring is in full bloom. The ice and snow has melted away and the vivid wildflowers and bright green foliage is here. The air is filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the season: bees buzzing, fragrant flowers, lush green grass and flowing streams. It is an absolutely beautiful time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains! Whether you're traveling alone, with loved ones, or with a group of friends, April is certainly a fantastic time of year to vacation to Gatlinburg. Here are a few of the things going on this month.
Things to Do Outside
Smoky Mountain Springfest
March 12th – June 2nd
The celebration of spring is carrying on through the month of April with bluegrass music, seasonal decorations, Southern food and lots of flowers. Leading horticulturists and landscape professionals will also be on hand to teach people how to tend to their own flowers and plants.
Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament
April 6th – April 7th
With categories for age, skill level, locals and visitors, the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament is fun for all! It is fun and challenging for both beginners and seasoned pros. If you're looking for a father/son outing or some quiet time to yourself, the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament is an event not to be missed. There will be over $10,000 in cash and prizes given away, including $500 for the largest and smallest trout, trophies, gift certificates and passes to local attractions.
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
April 24th – April 28th
Some of the nation's leading botanists and botanical experts will lead seminars and guided tours during the Great Smoky Mountain Association's Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage this April. “Through seminars and intimate guided tours, each participant will expand his or her skills and knowledge of the unmatched flora and fauna of the Smokies,” says botanist and UT Professor Ken McFarland. The program, dating back to the 1950s, offers instructional walks, guided hiking tours and lectures. Casual gardeners and serious botanists will learn more about plants, ferns, mosses, wildflowers, trees and shrubs, as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Ribfest, Wings and BBQ
Local restaurants and businesses come out in April for Gatlinburg's Ribfest, Wings and BBQ festival. With a $12 armband, guests can have unlimited sampling of ribs and wings. The smell of smokey ribs and juicy barbecue will fill the air – thankfully you can try all you want! And if you're brave, join one of the hot wing eating contests! There is also free, live entertainment all day. Enjoy delicious food and great music in downtown Gatlinburg on the Parkway.
Mountain Man Memorial March
April 19th - 20th
The Mountain Man Memorial March, first created to honor First Lieutenant Frank Walkup (a UT graduate killed in Iraq in 2007), is a march/run offering either a 26.2-mile portion or a 13.1-mile portion for both the march and run categories. There is also a 10K run available. It has grown over the years to honor all fallen American military members. In 2012, it honored 69 Gold Star Families and had over 580 participants from across the U.S. This event is a great way to honor those who have given their lives in service to our country, as well as the soldiers and families of soldiers still fighting today.
Earth week, mid-April
Earth Week in Gatlinburg is jam packed with tons of family-friendly events. There is an Earth Day 5K, Going Green seminars, an Earth Day festival, races, music, food and more. The whole family can get together and learn green practices while participating in crafts, music and games.
Music of the Mountains
April, dates TBA
Each year, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hosts this free music festival for visitors and locals. Concerts will be held at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center and the Cosby Visitor Center. An array of music, including mountain hymns, folk spirituals and shaped-note singing will be featured. In the past, guests have enjoyed performances by Lost Mill, Brian Fain, Mountain Strings and the East Tennessee State University old-time string band. Come out and enjoy great music in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Some other attractions you may want to visit in April include: