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rainbow falls in the smoky mountains

5 Outdoor Activities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge You Have to Try


Now is the perfect time to get fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors! When you visit the Smoky Mountains, spend time exploring its natural beauty with a variety of fun outdoor activities. To help you plan what you want to do when you visit, we’ve made a list of 5 outdoor activities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that you have to try.

1. Hiking

Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy the fresh air is by going for a hike! As the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg offers plenty of great hiking opportunities. Some of the best trails to hike in the Gatlinburg area are the Gatlinburg Trail and Rainbow Falls Trail. The Gatlinburg Trail is an easy hike that anyone in the family can do, including your furry friend! It’s a 1.9-mile hike one way, and offers views of the Little Pigeon River and foundations of old chimneys and homesites. Rainbow Falls is a great hike if you’re hoping to spot a waterfall! After following the trail for about 2.7 miles, you’ll reach the 80-foot waterfall. On sunny days, you can see a rainbow produced by the mist from the falls!

2. Horseback Riding

A couple horseback riding together.Horseback riding is another great way to explore the Smoky Mountains! Sugarlands Riding Stables offers guided horseback riding that is fun for every skill level. Along the ride, you’ll have the chance to see breathtaking mountain scenery, wildlife and more. If you want to experience the Smokies in a different way than usual, then horseback riding is the perfect activity for you!

3. Outdoor Gravity Park

For a unique outdoor experience you’ll never forget, visit Outdoor Gravity Park! This Pigeon Forge attraction is the only zorbing park in the country. If you’ve never heard of zorbing, it’s an activity that originated in New Zealand and involves rolling down a hill in a giant inflatable ball. Outdoor Gravity Park adds 10 gallons of water to the ball for a one-of-a-kind, slip-and-slide adventure. You’ll have 3 different tracks to choose from, each offering a thrilling experience! It’s good clean fun for the whole family!

4. Whitewater Rafting

group of people whitewater raftingNothing compares to the feeling you’ll have when you’re coasting over rapids on the Pigeon River with your loved ones. Whitewater rafting is an exciting outdoor activity that is fun for the whole family. Smoky Mountain Outdoors has one of the best rafting trips in the area! Their Upper Pigeon River Rafting Trip features class 3 and 4 rapids, big waves, and the beauty of the great outdoors. You’ll get to run about 70 rapids on your trip! If you’ve never been whitewater rafting before, don’t worry — an experienced guide will be in your raft with you making sure you have a safe and fun ride.

5. Ziplining

Another one of the best outdoor activities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is ziplining. Ziplining allows you to see the Smokies from a bird’s eye view. You’ll have breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains as you soar from tree to tree. Depending on where you choose to zipline, your adventure will also include things like rappelling and crossing aerial bridges too! You’ll love seeing the Smoky Mountains from new heights when you zipline.

These are just some of the best outdoor activities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for you to try on your vacation. Learn more about other things to do in the area and start planning your trip!