Want to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but aren’t sure what to do? There are plenty of activities you can try! From horseback riding to hiking the trails, there are so many fun things to do. Here are the top 5 fun things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:


1. Go on a Hike

The top activity in the national park is to go on a hike. With over 800 miles of trails, you have so many options! There are easy trails for kids and older people, moderate trails for older kids and adults, and difficult trails for avid hikers. Want to see a waterfall or incredible views of the mountains? You can also choose a hiking trail based on features you could see along the way! Rainbow Falls is a popular waterfall hiking trail, as well as Abrams Falls Trail in the Cades Cove area of the park.


2. Have a Picnic

A popular activity for families to do in the national park is to have a picnic! There are designated picnic areas throughout the national park. One of the most popular is the Cades Cove picnic area. There are plenty of tables right beside the creek where you can watch the kids explore. Another popular picnic area is Metcalf Bottoms. Almost all of the picnic areas in the park have charcoal grills if you want to make hamburgers and hot dogs.


3. Ride a Horse

If you love animals, the perfect thing to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to go horseback riding! There are quite a few stables in the national park. Your whole group can have fun experiencing the national park on horseback. You’ll travel along gravel trails and really get to see the beauty of the area up close. Cades Cove Riding Stables is a popular place, and they also offer hayrides and carriage rides.


4. Take a Drive

Want to see beautiful mountain views but don’t want to have to climb to see them? A great way to experience the Smokies is taking a scenic drive. There are quite a few roads that are popular for sightseeing. Roaring Fork Motor Trail is a scenic drive where you can see historic buildings and drive alongside a creek. Foothills Parkway provides you with incredible views of the Smokies and the Cumberland Mountains. Cades Cove is by far the most popular drive in the Smoky Mountains!

Please note: Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is temporarily closed to vehicles, but open to pedestrians.


5. Go Fishing

Another popular activity is fishing. You get to spend time by the water, enjoying nature’s peace and quiet while doing one of your favorite pastimes. You can fish in any of the streams, creeks, rivers, and lakes in the national park. Fishing can be done 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sundown. In order to fish in the national park, you must obtain a fishing license.

These are just some of the fun things you can do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since you have an idea of what you will do when you’re in town, you just need a place to stay! Check out our Gatlinburg hotel rooms and start planning your next trip!