sunrise over Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Top 6 Ways to Spend Time Outside in the Great Smoky Mountains

Stunning mountain view in Gatlinburg.
July 28, 2020

There are several ways you can spend time outside in the Great Smoky Mountains. You can just relax and enjoy food you’ve made when you go on a picnic. Get up and get in some exercise when you go for a hike. Want to cool off in the summer? Go tubing or rafting on the river. Check out these 6 ways to spend time outside in the Great Smoky Mountains:

1. Hiking

gatlinburg trail in the smoky mountains

A great way to get outside is to go hiking. You have so many trails to choose from, and there are a ton of features you could see. Want to see a waterfall? There are a ton of trails, from easy to difficult, where you can see waterfalls. You can hike to see beautiful mountain views or just enjoy beautiful wooded views. In the spring, there are several trails with beautiful waterfalls. With over 800 miles of trails to choose from, you’ll definitely find a trail that’s perfect for you!

2. Tubing

Another great outdoor activity to do in the summer is tubing. In the Great Smoky Mountains, there are several creeks and rivers where you could go tubing yourself. If you don’t want to get your own inner tube and drive yourself up and down the river, you can go tubing with River Rat. They are located in Townsend, and they will drive you to the starting point. You can choose to go on the upper or lower river trip, and your whole family will have a blast!

3. Picnicking

picnic table in the smoky mountains

Want to spend some time with your family? Go on a picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains! There are several picnic areas where you can sit at picnic tables and use a charcoal grill if you want to cook. Or you could pack a cooler and make sandwiches when you get to the picnic area. Cades Cove and Metcalf Bottom are some pretty popular areas to have a picnic. Then your whole family can take a dip in the creek!

4. Rafting

Rafting is another great activity where you get to spend some time outside. Most of the rafting companies are located in Hartford Tennessee. You will get to race down the Pigeon River and experience class 3 and 4 rapids. This is a great way to cool off in the summer and have a blast together as a group.

5. Horseback Riding

horses in the smoky mountains

Do you have animal lovers coming with you to the Great Smoky Mountains? Then you should take them horseback riding! There are several stables where you can go and ride horses through the woods. Small children can ride with their parents at most stables, but almost everyone will get to ride their own horse. You’ll follow behind a guide and enjoy this fun activity!

6. Fishing

Does anyone in your family enjoy fishing? Then you should get your Tennessee fishing license and use it in the Great Smoky Mountains! For just a few dollars, you can enjoy fishing anywhere in the national park. You can start fishing 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. This is a relaxing way to spend time together, and you can even cool off a little by getting your feet wet!

There are so many fun things to do outside in the Great Smoky Mountains. Want to know what else you should do while you stay with us? Check out these Gatlinburg attractions to find other fun things to do in the area!