Gatlinburg offers a wide range of beautiful parks and outdoor activities for all ages, so it’s easy to get away from the main event and claim some time on your own or with a smaller group of friends or family.
All three City Parks in Gatlinburg have covered pavilions available for reservation by calling the Gatlinburg Recreation Department at (865) 436-4990. Gatlinburg park reservation fees must be paid prior to scheduled usage.
Mynatt Park, just off the Historic Nature Trail, features picnic facilities, a tennis complex, a playing field, a basketball court, children's fishing and other amenities.
Herbert Holt Park
Herbert Holt Park, at the north end of Gatlinburg just off the Parkway, features picnic facilities, a playground, children's fishing, a handicap-accessible fishing ramp and many other amenities.
Fishing in the City of Gatlinburg
One great outdoor activity in Gatlinburg is trout fishing at the foothills of the Smokies. Whether you're a pro angler or just a beginner, fishing is allowed within city limits, and Gatlinburg streams are easily accessible. You'll be sure to talk about it for years to come.
Fishing in the Smokies
With more than 2,000 miles of streams within its boundaries, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park protects one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States. The park offers a wide variety of angling experiences from remote, headwater trout streams to large, smallmouth bass streams in cool waters. Most streams remain at or near their capacity for fish and offer a great opportunity to catch these species throughout the year.
Hikers enjoy the Smoky Mountains year-round, as every season offers its own special rewards. In winter, the absence of deciduous leaves opens new vistas along trails. Spring provides a weekly parade of wildflowers and flowering trees. In summer, walkers discover cool retreats among the spruce-fir forests. The crisp, dry fall air sharpens autumn hikers' senses, and a varied palette of fall colors emerges.
Not just for cars, the Cades Cove loop in the national park is perfect for bikes. Experiencing this historic community from a bicycle is one of the best ways to get in touch with the Smoky Mountains. Only bicycle and foot traffic is allowed on the loop road from sunrise until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning, from early May until late September.
Guided horseback rides are available in the park at four concession horseback-riding stables, from mid-March through late November. Rides on scenic park trails are offered, lasting from 45 minutes to several hours. All rides proceed at a walking pace. Weight limits and age restrictions may apply.
Hayride through Cades Cove
Cades Cove Riding Stables offers a 90-to-120-minute hayride around the Cades Cove Loop Road. Passengers sit on a bed of hay in a trailer pulled by a truck, enjoying an open-air view of Cades Cove scenery. Reservations are generally required and can be made by calling (865) 448-6286. Rates are $6.00 per person.
The rules are the same, but the course is just a little bit different. It's up and down, and up and down, with hardly a flat spot to be found. It'll be an experience to be remembered, with a magnificent, scenic backdrop. Try out your skill on the greens of the Gatlinburg Golf Course or the Bent Creek Golf Course.
There are 384 miles of roads to navigate in the Smokies. Most are paved, and even the gravel ones are well-maintained and in suitable condition for standard passenger cars. Travel speeds on most of the park’s paved roads average 30 miles per hour.
Tubing in the Smokies is only minutes from Gatlinburg. Tube the Little River on sturdy, inflated, river inner-tubes. Tubing in the Smokies has never been so easy. Relax and tube through Townsend on the beautiful Little River while enjoying close-up views of the peaceful Smoky Mountains.
Picnic areas are available at Big Creek, Chimney Tops, Cades Cove, Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, Heintooga, Look Rock, Metcalf Bottoms and Twin Creeks. All picnic areas have pavilions, except Chimneys and Cades Cove. The picnic pavilions at Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek, Metcalf Bottoms and Twin Creeks can be reserved for groups one year in advance by calling (877) 444-6777.
Experience the Smokies as they should be. Come enjoy a two-hour rafting trip for anyone between the ages of three and 93. For the highlight of your trip, no experience is necessary, so come on out and play!