Nature loving visitors who enjoy being physically active will have plenty to do just minutes away from the Inn 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 trails in the National Park.
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
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 AM. 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
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 breath-taking scenery of mature, tree-lined paths, bubbling streams and the forested hills beyond. www.sugarlandridingstables.com
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Stop at the visitor’s center and get a guide for the five-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
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, The Chimney Tops, Metcalf Bottoms, and Greenbriar. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/picnic.htm
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!
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. 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