horses in cades cove

Top 5 Outdoor Things to Do in the Great Smoky Mountains

When you visit the Great Smoky Mountains, there are so many things you can do. If the weather is nice, you definitely want to do outdoor activities! You have so many to choose from, and you’ll find out that everyone in your group will enjoy them. Here are the top 5 outdoor things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains:

1. Ziplining

person ziplining in the mountainsGot a love for adventure? Then you can’t miss out on ziplining! Ziplining is one of the most popular outdoor things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains. One of the best places to go is CLIMB Works. They have two zipline tours you can choose from: a treetop tour or a mountaintop tour. On the treetop tour, you’ll zipline through the trees in the national park. On the mountaintop tour, you’ll have incredible views of the mountains while you zipline down the side of a hill.

2. White Water Rafting

Another great outdoor thing to do in the Great Smoky Mountains is to go white water rafting. Get a group together and book one of the trips at Smoky Mountain Outdoors. They offer upper and lower river trips from March to October. Depending on the amount of rainfall before you go, you could experience class 3 and 4 rapids on your trip. White water rafting in the Smokies would definitely be a unique experience none of you would forget!

3. Hiking

laurel falls in the great smoky mountainsYou can’t come to the Great Smoky Mountains without going on a hike. Hiking in the national park is one of the most popular things to do outside. No matter what trail you decide to hike, you’ll have gorgeous scenery. You can always pick a trail based on what you want to see, from mountain views to waterfalls. One of the most popular trails with a waterfall is Laurel Falls. The hike is 2.3 miles roundtrip, and the path is paved. Once you reach the end, you’ll come up on the 80-foot-tall waterfall. If you want to see incredible views of the mountains and natural features, you should hike to Alum Cave. This trail is 4.4 miles roundtrip and considered moderate to hard. The turnaround point is when you reach the concave bluff.

4. Horseback Riding

Love animals? You should go horseback riding as one of your outdoor things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains. You will get to ride your own horse and lead it. You’ll also have a guide that leads you along the path, while you get to enjoy being outside and the natural beauty of the Smokies. A great place to go horseback riding is at Five Oaks Riding Stables.

5. Tubing

person in a tube on the riverDuring the summer months, you’ll want to cool off in the chilly mountain water. Go tubing down the river with River Rat! They will provide you with inner tubes you will sit in to take a leisurely ride down the river. You’ll get on a bus, and they take you about 1 mile or so up river. You can get back out once you reach the outpost and ride again and again. They have a lower river ride for small kids and dogs, as well as an upper river section for people who want a little more thrill in their ride.

There are so many fun outdoor things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains! You’ll have to make sure your trip is long enough to pack in everything you want to do! Want to take a break from being outside? Check out these other fun things to do in the Smokies!