Outdoor Activities

Waterfall in the Smoky Mountains Great Smoky Mountains National Park sign Wildflowers in the Smoky Mountains Family having a picnic Historic mill in the Smoky Mountains Person riding a horse in the mountains with other people person fly fishing

Spend time exploring the great outdoors in the Smoky Mountains.

N

ature loving visitors who enjoy being physically active will have plenty to do just minutes away from our Gatlinburg hotel in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are many options for an adventurous day in the wilderness, including fly-fishing, auto touring, waterfall walks, wildlife watching, tubing, rafting or hiking one of the 800+ miles of trails in the national park.

Hiking

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a world-class destination for hikers. The park straddles the mountainous Tennessee-North Carolina border and has many scenic hiking trails. Every year, new hikers join the 900 Miler Club by hiking every trail in the park within a year. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/hiking.htm

Picnic in the National Park

Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a relaxing meal in nature! The national park has several designated picnic areas complete with bathrooms, grills, and picnic pavilions in Cades Cove, Chimney Tops, Metcalf Bottoms, and Greenbrier.   www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/picnic.htm

Cades Cove

Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains. The 11-mile loop is open daily from sunrise to sunset. From May to October, the loop is closed to vehicular traffic every Wednesday and Saturday morning until 10 a.m. We recommend getting to Cades Cove early in the morning for a better chance to see wildlife. Allow a minimum of two to four hours to tour the Cove. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm

Bear Sightings

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to an estimated 1,600 black bears. This high density of bears makes the park a great place to see them in the wild! Be sure to keep a safe distance while enjoying the black bears of the Smokies and be sure to bring your camera!

Sugarland Riding Stables

A great way to explore the Smoky Mountains National Park is by horseback. You don’t need to be experienced at riding to enjoy the adventure, all rides are led by experienced and patient guides, and the horses are well-trained and gentle. Your trail ride will take you through breathtaking scenery of mature, tree-lined paths, bubbling streams and the forested hills beyond.   www.sugarlandridingstables.com

Trout Fishing

The Smokies, with 2,900 miles of streams that are open for fishing, are a popular destination for fly-fishermen who come to fish for rainbow trout and native brook trout. Local guide services are available as well. Make sure to check on the state and local fishing license requirements depending on where you plan to fish.   www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fishing.htm

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Stop at the visitor’s center and get a guide for the 5-mile journey that travels along Roaring Fork Stream. The drive is beautiful — you will enjoy forest views, historic buildings, and mountains. There is an optional 1.2-mile hike to Grotto Falls. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm