17 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Outdoors


St. Patrick’s Day 2017 is just a month away, so in honor of the holiday that brings us all things green, we have 17 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day among the greenery of the great outdoors! In the Great Smoky Mountains, the start of spring means lush green trees and flowering bushes, along with warm, fresh air and stirring wildlife.
Even if you’re not in Pigeon Forge for St. Patrick’s Day, all spring is perfect for outdoor fun. From hiking and fishing to relaxing on the deck, spring in the Smokies means an opportunity to enjoy the best of what the area offers. Millions of people vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains each year, and the incredible scenery and outdoor activities are 2 of the primary reasons.

So if you need a break from the pubs this St. Patrick’s Day, get outside with our 17 outdoor activities perfect for the spring weather in Pigeon Forge!

  1. Fly through the trees at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.* This 2-hour 7-line canopy tour is a thrill for both kids and adults, taking you screaming high above the ground in Pigeon Forge. The experienced guides will take you zipping through the trees, giving you awesome views and an authentic Smoky Mountain experience.
  2. Hike Mt. LeConte. Hiking Mt. LeConte is a challenge, only for those ready to push themselves. There are 5 trails that lead to the top, but the most popular – and the shortest and steepest – is Alum Cave Trail (5 ½ miles). You’ll encounter lots of greenery along the way, including many wildflowers, rock formations, and more. And the view from the top (on clear days) will be one you won’t soon forget!
  3. Gallop along with Sugarlands Riding Stables. A horseback ride with Sugarlands Riding Stables will really get you back to nature, among the green trees, quiet streams, and fresh air. You’re sure to see the area’s natural wonders, and you may even catch a glimpse of black bears, deer, or wild turkeys!
  4. Snap a pic at Laurel Falls. This 80-foot waterfall is one of the most popular in the area, especially because it’s so photogenic. A small bridge crosses between the upper and lower falls, offering the perfect opportunity to snap a picture and take in the view and cool waterfall mist for a bit.
  5. Play disc golf at Mills Park or walk at Patriot Park. Located off Hwy 321, Mills Park has tons of opportunities for outdoor activities. Bring along your gear for the 9-hole disc golf course, get some exercise on the jogging trail, have a St. Patrick’s Day picnic, or let the kids expend some energy on the playground.
  6. Do some team building with Smoky Mountain Guides.* Smoky Mountain Guides is the go-to for guided adventures in the Smokies, whether you’re with a corporate team, having a family reunion, or just getting away with friends. Besides guided hikes and team building, they offer specialty trips like Waterfalls + Wine and Adventure Photography.
  7. Sip local whiskey on the back deck of your cabin. What better way to enjoy a glass of whiskey from a local distillery than from the back deck of your cozy Pigeon Forge cabin?! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your tree-lined views.
  8. Enjoy the greens at Bent Creek Golf Course.* Love to golf? Bent Creek Golf Course is a premier area course, offering gorgeous wooded scenery and pristine greens.
    Spot wildlife in Cades Cove. This 11-mile loop is home to several historic buildings, along with a huge diversity of wildlife, trees, and wildflowers. You can drive the loop, bike, or walk, and several great trails lead from here.
  9. Walk behind Grotto Falls. You can actually walk behind this 25-foot waterfall, where you’ll often find salamanders! The 3-mile roundtrip hike is a scenic one, and feeling the cool mist as you walk behind the waterfall will be quite the experience.
  10. Watch the show fountain at The Island (sip moonshine). Located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, The Island is packed full of fun. The outdoor shopping area features restaurants and fun attractions, along with the incredible show fountain that lights up and dances to music. Not sure where the green part comes in? Well, it’s not green, but sitting in a rocking chair here and sipping moonshine from the Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery here is a great way to say “cheers” to St. Patrick’s Day.
  11. See the greenery from high above with Scenic Helicopter Tours. Want to see the Great Smoky Mountains in a new way? Ride with Scenic Helicopter Tours, who will take you over the city and national park for unbeatable views.
  12. Hop on a bike and explore. There are plenty of great places to enjoy a bike ride in the area. Although Cades Cove is a great option, places like Greenbrier, Elkmont, and Tremont have trails that are a bit easier.
  13. Hit the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg.* It’s ski and snowboard season at Ober Gatlinburg! Traveling with younger kids? Try snow tubing!
  14. Cast a line in the cool streams of the Smokies. All the streams in the national park are now open for fishing, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities for fishing. Just bundle up if you’re here in March!
  15. Let the kids play at Herbert Holt Park. Packed with outdoor fun for the whole family, Herbert Park – just off the Parkway – boasts a kids’ fishing stream and handicap access to the pier, picnic tables, horseshoe pits, several walking trails, and a playground that the kids will love.
  16. See the trees via the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster. If you want to experience the natural beauty of the area and get a thrill, try a ride on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster!

*Denotes one of our partner attractions, meaning you’ll save on tickets when you stay in one of our cabins!