One of the most exciting tasks prior to your Smoky Mountain getaway is deciding what you’re going to do when you get here, and with so many things to do and see in the area, you really can’t go wrong. Among these activities is exploring the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers several opportunities for outdoor adventure, while the surrounding area is home to opportunities that reveal a side of the mountain scenery that you otherwise may not get to experience. These are musts during a visit to the Smokies, so be sure to add at least a couple of these outdoor activities to your Smoky Mountain itinerary.
1. Bike Rides Through the Mountains
The Smokies and the surrounding areas offer plenty of opportunities for on- and off-road biking, so whether you’re looking for a challenging trail for mountain biking or an easier paved route with plenty of scenery, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here. In addition to the popular 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road, Greenbriar and Tremont roads allow cyclists. As for the off-road experience, Gatlinburg Trail, Oconaluftee River Trail and the Lower Deep Creek Trail allow mountain biking, as well as the surrounding national forest and recreation lands.
For safety tips and additional information about biking in the area, click here.
With 2,900 miles of major fishing streams throughout the national park, the Smoky Mountains are a fisherman’s dream. These streams boast some of the most diverse and plentiful fish populations in the country, making them perfect for anglers of all ages and skill levels. Choose a beautiful spot at any one of the 19 fishing streams the area, and relax while waiting for the fish to bite.
Before you cast your line, be sure to read about the area’s fishing rules and regulations and everything else you need about fishing in the Smoky Mountains.
3. Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails
Regardless of the time of year you visit, Smoky Mountain hiking trails are the best way to catch a glimpse of the area’s beautiful sights and interesting features. From waterfalls and Smoky Mountain wildflowers to historic artifacts and panoramic views, hiking in the Smokies high on our itinerary. This is one activity that will have you hooked.
Not sure where to start? Check out our list of 12 gorgeous Smoky Mountain hiking trails that will blow your mind. You’re guaranteed to discover plenty of amazing sights on any one of these trails.
4. Horseback Riding in the Smokies
Approximately 550 miles of trails in the Smoky Mountains permit horseback riding, leaving you with a lot of ground to cover if you want to be sure not to miss out on a single mile of Smoky Mountain beauty. There are five horse camps are located throughout the park – Anthony Creek, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Roundbottom and Towstring – if you are interested in taking on the mountains on your own horse. There are also four commercial stables within the park for those looking to try their hand at horseback riding.
For additional details and stable contact information, check out our horseback riding in the Smokies page.
5. Scenic Motor Trails in the Smoky Mountains
After a couple days of exploring the area on foot, you may want to continue your exploration of the Smoky Mountains by car. You can take in the breathtaking scenery from one of the Smokies’ scenic motor trails from the comfort of your car, allowing your to ease tired feet while not missing out on any of exciting sights.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Cades Cove Loop Road offer beautiful views and several opportunities for learning about the area with plenty of historical artifacts and structures along both roads. All you need is a few snack and a camera to discover two of the most popular Smoky Mountain itinerary activities around.
For more Smoky Mountain itinerary activities that involve fun in the great outdoors, check out our list of things to do in the Smoky Mountains.