The Smoky Mountains transform into a magical winter wonderland in more ways than one and make for your perfect cold-weather getaway while staying in a Pigeon Forge, Tennessee cabin. From the valleys to the snow-covered mountaintops, there are plenty of ways to avoid cabin fever back at home with a cabin vacation in the Smoky Mountains and these 9 fun outdoor winter activities.
Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing in Gatlinburg
Ever dreamed of trying out skiing or snowboarding but never had the money to fly to the expensive ski resorts out West? Well, here is your chance! Ober Gatlinburg offers visitors an authentic ski and snowboard experience with a mixture of man-made and natural snow on 10 different exciting slopes. Beginners will love the classes and affordable rentals, while intermediate and advanced skiers will love the variety of the snowy lanes. They’re only a short drive from our cozy cabins, so get outside this winter and try a new sport! Families with smaller children can have plenty of snowy fun, too, on the snow tubing slope and Cub Way, where the little ones can make snow angels, snowmen, and frosty art!
A scenic drive through Cades Cove
One of the most fantastic realities of visiting the Smoky Mountains during the winter is less people. The wintertime sees a bit of a surge during the holidays, but slows down again in January and February. Cades Cove has some notoriously high traffic volumes in the summer; take advantage of the off-season and experience the serene beauty of winter in the mountains! While many areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park receive snowfall (a reported average of 72” from December to March), the main road, Newfound Gap Road (Hwy 441), is a crucial connection between Tennessee and North Carolina and gets regularly plowed. Check online for the weather report (the National Park Service website gives updates) and enjoy one of the most tranquil times in the Smokies with a scenic car ride in Cades Cove where you can glimpse into the past, catch wildlife roaming the fields, and snap pictures of the snow-capped mountains.
Cross-country skiing to Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is another popular attraction that many like to enjoy when the crowds are deterred by snow. The 7-mile road leading to the viewing tower is not plowed, but that doesn’t stop the adventurous from making the trek in snowshoes and skis! Not down for a 14-mile climb/and ski? The hill makes for a great sledding and snow tubing spot, just be sure to pack your gear from home.
Winter fly fishing in the Smokies
Fishing is a year-round sport in the Smoky Mountains, making it an outdoorsman’s paradise. When the temperatures drop too low, fishing is not the most pleasurable or profitable experience. But in the lower elevations, where the temperatures are around the 40s and 50s, trout are usually hanging out in the slower currents, “angling” for an easy meal. Fly fishing in the off season makes for a peaceful, less-crowded day on the river for an all-around relaxing time. Bring your fishing poles or pick up some rentals and supplies at any of the areas reputable fishing companies.
Frozen waterfall hikes
Thousands of miles of streams mean numerous waterfalls throughout the forests. When the temperatures drop, those waterfalls slowly freeze in certain areas creating a gorgeous wall of icicles and shimmering droplets from the slow streams. Hikes leading to waterfalls in the Smokies are plentiful and range in length and elevation. Find your perfect day hike, here, and spend the day in awe of the beauty of the mountains before sliding into a soothing soak in your cabin’s hot tub to soothe tired legs.
Bonfires and s’mores
There is nothing better than warming up around the fire during chilly winter days and evenings while roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. Check out our cabins boasting peaceful outdoor seating areas or outdoor fireplaces on the back decks where guests are privy to some of the most relaxing moments in the mountains.
Breathtaking views and delicious eats at Anakeesta
High atop Anakeesta Mountain rests a magical attraction overlooking Gatlinburg and the surrounding majesty of the Smokies. In Firefly Village, visitors can enjoy shopping and dining in between gazing across the breathtaking views of the white-capped mountains while playing in the snow. Take a walk along the treetops of the Tree Canopy Walk. With all the forestry foliage gone, the visibility through the trees and to the forest floor are clear to take in all the serene snow-covered surroundings.
Winterfest driving tour of lights
From November 7, 2018 to February 28, 2019, Pigeon Forge is covered in millions of magical holiday lights! As one of the largest Christmas celebrations in the country, you almost can’t miss it, but there are ways to enjoy the light displays to the fullest during your stay in a Pigeon Forge cabin. Visitors can opt to drive the tour themselves in their personal vehicles or take the Fun Time Trolley. Stop by the Fun Time Trolley office behind Patriot Park to pick up a map or purchase tickets for your trolley tour!
Zorb down the hillsides
This is a unique outdoor winter activity the whole family will get a kick out of in Pigeon Forge! Outdoor Gravity Park’s OGO consists of a huge inflated ball, encased inside of a second larger inflated orb, which you crawl into before rolling down a 1,000-foot hillside!
Get out and beat the winter blues with any of these activities in between movies by the fire, soaks in the hot tub, relaxing on the back deck with a warm cup of coffee, and restful nights in the tranquility of a Pigeon Forge, TN Cabin this winter!