Due to the lush, verdant nature of the mountains, it is no wonder that people that come to the mountains on vacation want to spend time in the mountains. Hiking, biking. horseback riding and plenty of water sports let you get outside and have lots of fun. The whole time you are playing outdoors you get to enjoy the scenery and experience the wonders that the mountains have to offer. With the National Park bringing 9 million people into the area each year, the outdoors are still the biggest ‘draw’ in the Smokies.
Hiking – Hiking, hiking and more hiking! There are more hiking trails in the Smokies then you can shake a stick at. Of course you may want to take a hiking stick with you when you start hiking, depending on the length of the trail. While there are more than 800 miles of trails inside the boundaries of the GSMNP, there are also fantastic hiking trails in area parks, state parks and national forest outside the borders of the National Park. The hiking trails in the Smokies let you learn about the environment, see the various types of forest and vegetation that can be found in the southern Appalachians
Horseback Riding – What better way is there to experience the Smokies than from the back of a beautiful horse. Whether you choose to bring your own horse or visit one of the many riding stables in the area, the options for horseback riding are almost endless. Choose to ride in the National Park or on a privately owned trail – it is your choice, you get to pick your riding style.
Whitewater Rafting – The water the courses out of the mountains make the Smokies a great place to go whitewater rafting. Both sides of the mountain boast rafting companies that will take you on a guided journey through the rapids. Feel secure knowing that you are working with a professionally trained guide from a reputable company that will get you and your group back safe and sound.
Kayaking – Maybe you like to get in the water and play. If you are a kayaker, the rivers and streams around the Smokies have amazing rapids and some of the best flat water kayaking to be found in the southeast. Pick your river, find a drop in point and plan your route. Get into the water in your own boat or if you are trying it for the first time, try one of the many outfitters that dot the landscape and rent a boat and a rack system for getting it to the river.
- Panther Creek State Park - One of the many great state parks in Tennessee, Panther Creek State Park is located in Morristown, TN in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains. This park is made up of more than 1,400 acres and houses many opportunities for outdoor activities and lots of fun. Water sports, camping, boating and little history thrown in … Continue reading "Panther Creek State Park"
- Bull Head Trail - For all you locals, the Bull Head Trail is probably one you’ve heard of before, and if you’ve been to Mount LeConte might have even hiked as you made your way back to civilization. In all, it’s a 5.9 downhill hike. We’re starting you off at the summit of Mount LeConte and traveling downward toward … Continue reading "Bull Head Trail"
- Alum Cave Bluffs Trail - The Alum Cave Bluffs Trail is one of the most traversed in the national park and for good reason. It’s by far the most popular route to Mount LeConte as you gain 2600 feet on the way to 6400 feet. To reach the trailhead via the Sugarlands Visitor Center in Gatlinburg, drive 8.6 miles along Newfound … Continue reading "Alum Cave Bluffs Trail"
- Fort Loudon State Park - Fort Loudon was built during the French and Indian War in hopes that it would act as a bridge between the people of South Carolina and the Cherokee. Now, the fort is a state park and historic site that offers plenty of amenities to the people that visit the park throughout the year and it … Continue reading "Fort Loudon State Park"
- Baskins Creek Trail - Surely if you’re an avid hiker you’ve looked for those trails that everyone seems to skip over and has overgrown just enough to feel like you’re really in a remote wilderness. Trails like those still exist, a few in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Baskins Creek Trail falls under that classification if only … Continue reading "Baskins Creek Trail"
- Ober Gatlinburg Set to Open Friday for Snow Tubing - *Ober Gatlinburg is scheduled to open their snow tubing park Friday, November 16th, 2012. The idea that good skiing can only be found in the northeast or out west has been debunked by places like Ober Gatlinburg in the recent years. With the number of great changes every year to the current resort, things look … Continue reading "Ober Gatlinburg Set to Open Friday for Snow Tubing"
- Kanati Fork Trail - The Kanati Fork Trail isn’t just a Smoky Mountain trail with a funny name. It’s a challenging uphill hike that with test even the most experienced of hikers and one where you can get some incredible shots of spring wildflowers. In all, it’s a 2.9 mile hike from its trailhead on Newfound Gap Road to … Continue reading "Kanati Fork Trail"
- Little Bottoms Trail - All you Smokies hikers out there looking for great little creek as well as backcountry campsite to camp out at need to look no further than the Little Bottoms Trail, a 2.3 miler on the Tennessee side of the park. To get there, prepare to hike 1.3 miles by way of the Cooper Road Trail from the … Continue reading "Little Bottoms Trail"
- Little Brier Gap Trail - As far as historical trails go in the Great Smoky Mountains, you’d be hard pressed to find a trail that packs as much history into as small a distance as the Little Brier Gap Trail. It’s only a 1.4 mile trail, but during that time you’ll pass the Little Greenbrier School, as well as the … Continue reading "Little Brier Gap Trail"
- Indian Creek Trail - The Indian Creek Trail in the Smokies simply has it all – waterfalls, wildflowers, old Smoky Mountain home sites, a majestic stream valley, and all on a trail that only 3.6 miles through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To reach the Indian Creek Trail, you’ll need to make your way over to Bryson City, … Continue reading "Indian Creek Trail"