If you love the outdoors or you are looking to get more fresh air, the Smoky Mountains is your outdoorsy paradise! By land, water, and air, there is a way to get out and explore, push your limits, and find your new favorite hobby while enjoying the incredible beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, in all her varying terrains. Get to know yourself a little better or revisit that happy place in the great outdoors all while you are staying in a Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Cabin and taking advantage of some prime rest and relaxation in a hot tub, indoor pool, or cozied up by a fire. Here are the top 7 things we love to do or need you to try if you claim to love the great outdoors!
- Hike with a Llama
This is one of the more unique activities you can do in the Smoky Mountains… Hiking alongside a llama from the farms of Smoky Mountain Llama Trek! These incredibly friendly pack animals have been raised to be much more adapted to humans than other llamas, dispelling the common misconceptions of aggression or spitting.
Nope, these fuzzy creatures, with names like, Kusco, Peanut Butter, and Abu, are likely to become your newest favorite animal with their thick, furry bodies and temperate natures. They are even as affable as to let your little ones wrap their arms over their shoulders for some of the best selfie moments! There are a number of hikes you can choose from, including an overnight trek with the llamas! So, even if you are not an avid hiker or you consider yourself on par with Survivor Man, Smoky Mountain Llama Trek has a hike for you.
- Fly Through the Treetops
Make like Tarzan and tour the Smokies from the incredible vantage point of the treetops, over 400 feet in the air! At Foxfire Mountain in Sevierville, you can fly over waterfalls, breathtaking valleys, and beautiful rivers for up to 2 hours of ziplining. Minimum age requirements start at just 7 years old, so this is a fantastic day activity for the whole family.
Not only does Foxfire Mountain boast the highest ziplines in the Smokies, but it’s also home to the longest swinging bridge in America: The Bridge to Prosperity, stretching 335 feet and suspended 70 feet above the East Prong of the Pigeon River! Catch your breath and take the plunge down the Goliath and other impressive ziplines at Foxfire Mountain for one of the most memorable adventures, yet!
- Picnic on Andrews Bald
Slow life down a little and picnic among the wildflowers in the high, grassy plains of Andrews Bald, easily considered one of the best hikes in the area. Meandering among the Southern Appalachians for 3.5 miles roundtrip, thanks to the Trails Forever program, this trail is well maintained and recently improved by stepping stones, bridges, and constructed staircases in steeper areas.
The trailhead shares a parking lot with another iconic stop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome. As the highest point in the Smokies, it provides breathtaking, 360-degree views. Andrews Bald is fantastic, however, because the hike thins out the crowds usually seen at Clingmans Dome. The grassy highland provides 360-degree views of its own, too, lending the perfect picnic spot or napping spot in the spring sunshine.
- Fish with the Best
From guided trips to classes, Smoky Mountain Angler can provide you with everything you need to know when casting a line in the 2,000+ miles of streams crawling throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. Their guided tours can be ½ days (4 hours) or full days (7 ½) hours) and include all the gear you need in the price! Full days even include a picnic lunch to munch on during your break with the friendly, very qualified guides from Smoky Mountain Angler.
Big Mouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, and other prized trophy fish make their home in the Smokies, and as a conservation effort, trout are regularly stocked in the streams. Don’t want to take a guided tour? Smoky Mountain Angler can help you get your proper license and provide rental gear to send you out on the rivers near your cabin or in the park!
- Whitewater Rafting the Pigeon River Rapids
Take on the Class III and IV rapids of the Upper Pigeon River with WildWater Rafting in Pigeon Forge for an incredibly exhilarating day of fun! Paddle your way with an experienced guide along 5 miles of crashing rapids with names like Big Rock, Roller Coaster, and Double Reactionary. Have some younger adventurers with your family? Float the Class I and II rapids of the Lower Pigeon River for a scenic, more peaceful whitewater rafting trip.
WildWater has a convenient pavilion for picnic lunches after working up quite an appetite on the river along with a sand volleyball court and grassy field to throw a football around.
- Hike up to LeConte Mountain Lodge
There are a number of trails you can take to see this historical mountain lodge, but if you want to walk under the waters of Grotto Falls and maybe catch the tri-weekly train of llamas making their trek to the lodge with supplies, you will want to take Trillium Gap Trail. The trailhead has a parking lot 1.6 miles into the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, a one-way road with lush forestry and historical cabins.
This is a 13.9-mile roundtrip hike, but it is popular so it’s best to get an early start. Plus, the llamas tend to start their trek in the early daylight hours, too! Pack, map your hike, and get ready for an incredible experience of hiking in the Smokies!
- Tour Cades Cove on Bicycles
Cades Cove, with its rolling valleys, historic cabin structures, and plethora of wildlife, is one of the most iconic stops in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 11-mile Loop Road tours this quiet section of the world shrouded by majestic mountains, making for the most dreamy bike ride. From May 9 to September 26, you can rent a bike from the Cades Cove Trading Post and tour the magical mountain valley without any cars on the road before 10 a.m. EST. There are also cut-through roads for those who want a tour shorter than the 11 miles. Without cars and the cabin structures nestled among the mountain valleys, it’s like a time-traveling experience in the Smokies!
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