Spring is the season of renewal. The mountains are greening up, lovely mountain wildflowers and trees are donning their spring colors, and the rivers and creeks are chattering with runoff from the mountains. Birds are singing their spring song. What a time this is to visit Gatlinburg!
Our natural world is so special here. We care about the Earth, and we know you do, too. So we’ve planned a bunch of activities in Gatlinburg to celebrate Earth Week, April 20-24.
Wildflower Pilgrimage Did you know there are more than 1,600 species of flowering plants in the Great Smoky Mountains? Every year at this time, wildflower lovers flock to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a spring tradition that dates back to 1951: the Great Smoky Mountain Association’s 65th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage. During the week of April 21-25, you can learn about Smoky Mountain flora from experts who will offer more than 150 programs, classes and demonstrations. There are intimate, guided walking tours for folks of all skills and abilities that focus on wildflowers, trees, shrubs and the awakening wildlife native to the mountains. Go here for more information.
Spring Spur Clean-up On Tuesday, April 21, join Keep Sevier Beautiful and Great Smoky Mountains National Park to clean up the spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. We’re encouraging businesses and organizations, as well as residents and visitors, to form teams and see who can pick up the most litter! Meet us at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center on the Spur at 9 a.m.
Earth Day Festival You can learn about green practices and enjoy activities, games and crafts at the seventh annual Earth Day Festival from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. At this family-friendly festival, you’ll find out what Gatlinburg-area green businesses are doing to protect our environment, enjoy music and food, and pick up a really cool Earth Week T-shirt designed by one of our local art students.
5K Run/Walk On Friday, April 24, come participate in another unique event: the Earth Day 5K Run/Walk in downtown Gatlinburg! What makes this event really special? It takes place at night! The race starts at 10 p.m., and upon completion, you’ll get a commemorative T-shirt. Early registration is encouraged—sign up here. You can also register on the night of the race beginning at 8 p.m. at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, 1138 Parkway.
All funds raised from these events will help support the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which provides scholarships and donations to schools; the Gatlinburg Goes Green program; and other community educational events.
Check out more Earth Week activities here!
In Gatlinburg, we are dedicated to preserving our unique, magnificent environment, not just during Earth Week, but all year round. That makes Gatlinburg one of the best destinations you can pick for an environmentally friendly vacation.
You can park your car and jump on one of our charming trolleys to get to most any destination in town or the Arts and Crafts Loop. Besides being convenient, they run on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, so you’ll be helping to reduce pollution and improve air quality. We were one of the first areas in eastern Tennessee with EV charging stations, and many of our businesses have committed to eco-friendly practices. To find out where the charging stations are and what businesses you can patronize to help keep Gatlinburg clean and green, visit Gatlinburg Goes Green.