Spring in The Smokies is nature’s best invitation to strike out and explore the mountains. Whether you’re seeking adventure or just here to find your bliss, Gatlinburg has outdoor activities to suit all energy and ability levels.
Make a Splash on a Raft
Oars up! It’s water adventure time in the Smokies, so buckle that life vest and hold on to your raft. White water rafting opportunities abound in the Gatlinburg area, with several rivers just minutes from town. Local companies SMO Rafting, Nantahala Outdoor Center and Rafting in the Smokies will get you outfitted for a thrilling day on the rapids.
Take a Hike
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just getting started, with more than 800 miles of trails steps away in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg will get you off on the right foot. Plan ahead, research your route and pack adequate supplies for a safe and enjoyable outing. The Gatlinburg Trail is a fan favorite, as one of just two trails in the park that allows pets and bicycles. For more of a challenge, the moderately difficult Alum Cave Trail will take you up to 1,200 feet of elevation, where you’ll see breathtaking views and geological treasures. Wherever you wander, outfitters such as A Walk in the Woods and Smoky Mountain Guided Hikes can help you get trail-ready and on your way.
Soaring through mountain tree lines is a natural mood booster and readily available in Gatlinburg. Ziplines and ropes courses are waiting for you at local attractions including Anakeesta and Gatlin’s Fun Center. Ober Gatlinburg also offers opportunities to get active in the mountains, with its Alpine Slide and 30-foot Rock Wall.
Among the Wildflowers
With more than 1,800 flowering plant varieties in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s hard to pick a favorite! The mountains bloom in spring, and visitors come in droves to witness the wonders, including the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in April. Remember that literally picking blossoms is strictly off-limits, and guests are reminded to avoid walking across the abundant flora. With a look-don’t-touch approach, you’ll take home memories (and photos!) and leave the flowers for the next guests.