Gatlinburg is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the US, and the area is best known for its surreal natural beauty, endless array of attractions, southern hospitality, and fantastic restaurants. Gatlinburg offers so many opportunities for families to have fun outdoors together. If you are seeking an outdoor adventure to have with your family, Gatlinburg has exactly what you’re looking for. Take a look at all the Smoky Mountains has to offer and discover your next adventure in the Great Outdoors right here in Gatlinburg!
Hiking is one of the most popular ways to explore the Smoky Mountains. If you’re ready to experience the mountains from within, choose an exciting hiking trail and bring your family along! Some of the trails feature spectacular views, waterfalls, forests, and distinct species of plant and wildlife indigenous to the area. Before you choose a trail, decide what you would like to experience on your hike and review the National Park Trail Guide to find the perfect trail. Make sure to also take into account the length and difficulty of the trail so that you can choose one that suits the activity level of your family.
Bicycles are permitted on most roads in the park, so you can have a cycling adventure with the family virtually anywhere you choose in the Smoky Mountains! One of the most popular places to ride is Cades Cove, but there are also many other trails that are ideal for cyclists in Gatlinburg. Cades Cove is a great venue for cyclists because the one-way roads are much easier to traverse than many of the other roads in the Smokies. Before you begin your cycling excursion, evaluate the terrain to make sure that you and your companions can ride comfortably.
Horseback riding is offered in many areas of Gatlinburg and the National Park. If you prefer to ride in the park, there are a few areas that offer guided horseback riding. Check here to find a list of stables in the National Park. If you prefer to ride closer to the heart of Gatlinburg, head to the Sugarlands Riding Stables or Smoky Mountain Stables to take a guided tour through the mountains on horseback. Some stables also offer guided tours of the backcountry, which is one of the best ways to experience the Smokies and learn more about the area.
There are miles of rapids ripe for the riding here in Gatlinburg. Whitewater rafting offers you the chance to experience an exciting ride on the fresh, cool Smoky Mountain rapids. While whitewater rafting always feels great in the summer, you can also enjoy the adrenaline rush and exciting atmosphere in the spring!
For a true outdoor experience, Gatlinburg makes it easy. The area is home to campgrounds in town, in the park, and in the backcountry so you can choose your perfect paradise whether you are sleeping in a tent or parking your RV. Some of the campgrounds are completely equipped with restroom and show facilities, pools, recreational centers, and more. You can also find great camping opportunities in Elkmont and Cades Coves.
Zoom through the Smokies and see the beautiful mountain ranges from a new perspective when you take the family ziplining. Whether it’s the first time you’ve tried ziplining or you’re a seasoned veteran, buckle in for a wild ride in the Smoky Mountains at one of Gatlinburg’s ziplines! Check out our Family Guide and Outdoorsman’s Guide for more fun family friendly ideas to make your Gatlinburg trip one you’ll always remember!