Spring is one of my favorite times of year in the Smokies. The air is fresh; the days are warm and the mornings and evenings are cool; the wildflowers are blooming; the snow and ice from winter have melted away, revealing a fresh bed of lush green grass; the birds are chirping; the wildlife is beginning to stir; the trees are stretching out their branches with a new life…everything is new, awake, and inviting. It’s an exciting time in the Great Smoky Mountains!
Whether you’re slipping away for a romantic weekend, planning a big family reunion, getting away for a fun family vacation, or taking a much-needed break, springtime is a great time to plan for a Pigeon Forge vacation. Of course, springtime in the Smokies also serves up a variety of weather, from warm, sunny days to rainy afternoons to chilly evenings. And with those changes in weather comes a need for different gear and clothing.
As you plan your springtime getaway to the Smokies, check out our how-to on packing for the area this time of year. From clothing to vacation must-haves for any time of year, we’ll give you the essentials to keep you comfortable – whether it’s warm, cold, rainy, or dry.
Rainy Days in the Smokies
Rain can come quickly in the mountains, so be prepared in springtime. Pack a small umbrella and light raincoat that you can easily fit in your bag. If you’ll be strolling along the Parkway for some shopping, throw a pair of rainboots on and enjoy the day! A little rain can also mean fun in the cabin, so bring your favorite lazy-day things. Pack the kids’ favorite movies, the book you’ve been aching to crack open, or just your go-to snacks when you don’t want to get out.
Warm Days on the Trails
Warm days hiking in the Smokies don’t always stay that way. A sunny day can start feeling hot quickly, and the temperatures often drop as you rise in elevation. Packing for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains follows a simple rule: layers. This is really a good rule of thumb to follow any time of year here. Wear breathable, light layers that you can easily remove or add to. They’ll also be easy to throw in your bag without adding too much weight as you go along. The right type of shoes is also important: bring closed-toe shoes (hiking shoes/boots or tennis shoes) to protect your feet from the rocks, and consider a hybrid water/hiking shoe if you’ll be passing through creeks a lot. And as always, protect your skin with sunscreen and stay hydrated!
Year-round Gear for Pigeon Forge Getaways
Spring is a beautiful time to be in the Smokies, but fall, winter, and summer all have their perks, too! Fall brings the stunning colors of the changing leaves, winter turns the mountains into a snow-covered wonderland, and summer is the perfect time to check out all the outdoor fun in the area. Here are some essentials to bring with you no matter when you’re visiting:
- A camera – you don’t want to miss these amazing views!
- Binoculars – you might spot a black bear!
- Hiking shoes
- A light jacket
- Plenty of water for hiking
- Snacks for the car ride and the cabin
- A small backpack or over-the-shoulder bag – you need your hands free to explore!
- Your sense of adventure!
Holiday essentials: camera for family photos, favorite family recipes to try in the cabin, room in your suitcase for handmade gifts from the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
Summer must-haves: hiking shoes, water shoes (for playing in the creeks), binoculars (for spotting wildlife), sunglasses & sunscreen, swimsuit
Spring favorites: hiking shoes (for wildflower pilgrimages), light layers, your favorite movies (for rainy days in the cabin), fishing gear
Fall basics: camera (for fall colors), light layers for hiking, a good book (for cozy nights in the cabin), hiking shoes (it’s the perfect time to get out!)
Top Spring Events in the Smokies
Irish Month | Titanic Museum Attraction | March 1 – 31
Winter Carnival of Magic | Country Tonite Theatre | March 9 – 11
23rd Annual A Mountain Quiltfest | LeConte Center, Pigeon Forge | March 21 -25
Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run | downtown Pigeon Forge | April 6 – 8
Smoky Mountain Winefest | Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts | April 8
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage | Great Smoky Mountains National Park | April 11 – 15