Smoky Mountains > Things to Do > Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures in the Smokies

Cataract Falls Trail

This scene was captured along the Fighting Creek Nature Trail behind the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Photo by Jennifer Dunnaway.

When it comes to outdoor recreation in the Great Smoky Mountains, the sky is the limit!  The fisherman in your group will be impressed with the area's more than 1,000 fishing lakes and rivers.  Whether fishing on Little Pigeon River in downtown Gatlinburg or in a secluded pond in one of the area communities, a peaceful afternoon of fishing awaits! 

With more than 800 miles of hiking trails, the Great Smoky Mountains area is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts.  With trails ranging from easy to difficult, there's a trail out there for everyone.  While you're hiking, you can take in some bird watching, too, as more than 120 species of birds live in the park. 

Bicycling is also a popular activity, with many family-friendly trails available in the region.  One of the most popular biking trails is the Cades Cove loop inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Bicyclists are also allowed on the Gatlinburg Trail, the Oconaluftee River Trail, and the lower Deep Creek Trail.  Horseback riding is another popular activity your family can enjoy.  Stables are located in all of the communities surrounding the park, with each one offering breathtaking views. 

There are also a variety of whitewater rafting opportunities for the thrill-seekers in your group.  Tame the river before it tames you on one of the area's many rafting excursions.  If you like your water sports to come in the powdered form, visit during the winter time for some of the best skiing and snowboarding the region has to offer. 

With so much to do, what are you waiting for?  Start your Smokies Adventure today!


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Be sure to visit our sister site, Explore Kentucky Lake, for awesome fishing and water recreation in western Kentucky and northwest Tennessee.