Year Round Outdoor Activities for Everyone in Gatlinburg


Visitors to Gatlinburg, Tenn. are awed by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. The expansive mountain views of old growth forests will inspire you look for ways to enjoy the outdoors. Summer or winter, the Gatlinburg area offers a wide range of fun outdoor activities. Whether you prefer a grand adventure or a leisurely drive, the perfect outdoor experience awaits you in the Smoky Mountains. Decide which season to visit and then consider some of these options:


Hiking one of the many well-maintained trails located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderful way to take in the region’s natural beauty. Hikes are available at beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. Hike most trails in the spring, summer and fall.

You can start with the Andrews Bald Trail, an easy 1.8 mile trail with great views along the way.

A more strenuous undertaking is the Rocky Top/Thunderhead Mountain Trail. The view at the top of the 3,600 ft. ascent is worth it!

Scenic Drives and Rides

If you prefer the comfort of your car to strenuous activity, you can choose from a number of scenic drives with spectacular scenery. For example, you can see expansive mountain views as you drive along Newfound Gap Road, the lowest drivable pass in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Try visiting in the fall for a whole new dimension of colorful magic.

Another easy option is a ride on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. The 11,000 ft. aerial view above Gatlinburg from the tramway car may be the best view yet. The tramway runs year round.

Skiing, Snowboarding and Other Winter Activities

Of course, the Smoky Mountain area also has great skiing. Ober Gatlin Ski Resort in Gatlinburg has skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and ice skating. The resort is accessible from downtown Gatlinburg on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway.

Fun and Thrills

Raise your adrenaline level a notch with a visit to Dollywood Parks & Resorts. Dollywood offers world class roller coasters, family rides and entertainment. Dollywood is open from March through December.

Remember to check into some of the most comfortable lodging in the area when you decide to make your trip to the Smokies.