Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Activities in the Smokies include some of the best in America

There’s outdoor activities for everyone of all ages – year around!

outdoor activities

Hikers beginning their climb to Mt. LeConte. Image by Jeaneane Payne

Smoky Mountains Anytime helps you plan a getaway every season of the year – summer, fall, winter, spring. Most of all, each season is a wonderful time to visit the Smoky Mountains. Lots of fun outdoor activities are available at any season.


Summer brings those great outdoor temperatures for whitewater rafting, river tubing, hiking, fishing, zip lining, and lots more things to do. Theme parks, family fun parks, attractions, and scenic drives through magnificent mountain terrains are just some of the fun outdoor activities the Smokies have to offer.


Fall is one of the most popular seasons to visit the Smoky Mountains because of the way Autumn paints our already beautiful area. Leaves change to brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow around mid-October.  This causes the Smokies to appear as if they were a rare painting by a famous artist. Most of all, popular activities during this time include scenic drives, family fun parks, fishing, hiking, and zip lining.

cable mill cades cove

A scene in Cades Cove during winter months. This is Cable Mill. Image by Jeaneane Payne

The Townsend Wye

Swimming at the Wye. The Wye is located at the of Little River Road which runs between Sugarlands Visitor Center in Gatlinburg and Townsend. Dogs are allowed. Image by Jeaneane Payne


Winter offers solstice and an opportunity to experience breathtaking views of snow on the mountains.  A drive through Cades Cove, hiking trails, and other outdoor activities simply enhance your visit.  Smoky Mountain Winter brings fresh fallen snow throughout the towns situated at entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In higher elevations, such as Mt. LeConte, there might be as much as two feet of snow.  In addition, it is common to see 15 inches of snow at Newfound Gap.



Spring outdoor activities certainly bring opportunities to view an abundance of mountain wildflowers and enjoy awesome festivals. Outdoor activities  include the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.

Outdoor Activities:

• ATV Rides
Cades Cove
• Gatlinburg Trolley
• Great Smoky Mountains National Park

• Helicopter Tours

Horseback Riding
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Pigeon Forge Trolley
• Scenic Drives
• Train Rides
Water Parks
Whitewater Rafting
• Wildlife Viewing

• Zipline Adventure