Helicopters have an uncanny ability to get us closer to the skies and offer vistas of the world that are both intimate and panoramic. One such unique experience is provided by Scenic Helicopter Tours, located a little ways outside Gatlinburg in Sevierville, Tennessee (sorry, there are no helicopter operators located directly in Gatlinburg). Offering exhilarating rides over the picturesque valleys of Sevier County and the stunning backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, this tour is a must for both adventure seekers and nature lovers.
Getting Started with Scenic Helicopter Tours
Located conveniently in Sevierville, the operation’s base is easy to find. If you are coming into Gatlinburg via the Kodak, Tennessee exit off I-40, it is just a couple of miles down the road on your left. Just look for the great big yellow helicopter! If you’re coming from the other direction, obviously, it will be on your right.
You will likely want to book your trip in advance. While researching the trip, it was necessary to make reservations well in advance. Once you get there, you will see why. This place does a great business and has one helicopter after another constantly taking flight. You may not be able to get tickets if you just walk up without making arrangements in advance.
While you are waiting to board your flight, you can entertain yourself with a game of cornhole, giant Connect 4, or get a bite to eat at the food truck.
The Flight: A Journey Beyond Words
Strapping into the helicopter, I could feel a mix of excitement and slight trepidation. I won’t deny I was a little nervous, with this being my first time in a helicopter. However, as the blades began to whirl, creating that unmistakable sound, the nervousness quickly transformed into a sense of wonder. I had three people in my party, but I took the available front seat to maximize photography opportunities (and boy were there some opportunities!).
As we took off, the vast expanse of Sevier County unfolded beneath. The bird’s-eye view was astounding — patchwork fields, snaking rivers, clusters of homesteads, and the ever-present allure of the Great Smoky Mountains on the horizon. The 20-minute ride, though seemingly short, was densely packed with breathtaking sights. The helicopter’s ability to hover and make tight turns ensured that we got up close and personal with some of the landscape’s unique features, including a panoramic view of the majestic Smoky Mountains.
Unrivaled Views and Photo Opportunities
For photography enthusiasts, the tour is a goldmine. There’s no better way to capture the grandeur of the Smokies and the serenity of Sevier County than from the sky. The constantly changing angles, the play of shadows over the terrain, and the uninterrupted view make for some remarkable shots. Remember to carry your camera or smartphone, because you will want to take photos!
The particular tour we did is called the “Mountain Valley Tour.” The tour is described on the Scenic Helicopter Tours website thusly:
A very popular tour with groups wanting to see more of the area’s natural beauty. It offers views of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Bluff Mountain. As you take off on your flight out to Bluff Mountain and begin soaring over the Tennessee Valley, you are greeted with stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the distance. The highlight of this trip is getting up close and personal with Bluff Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain.
Other tour options include a lake tour over Douglas Lake, a tour directly over the Great Smoky Mountains, a tour over the town of Gatlinburg, and a Pigeon Forge night flight. If you just want to dip your toe in the water to see what it’s like, there is also an introductory tour, the shortest tour offered. Prices start as low as $20 per person for the introductory tour, up to $249 for their longest tour.
Why Scenic Helicopter Tours Stands Out
Beyond the mesmerizing views, what made the tour exceptional was the professionalism and knowledge of the pilot and everyone involved. Throughout the ride, he shared tidbits about various locations as we flew by. Furthermore, the company’s commitment to safety was evident. The helicopter appeared well-maintained, and the staff was meticulous in ensuring all safety protocols were adhered to.
In Conclusion: A Must-Experience Attraction
In a world where unique experiences are increasingly sought after, Scenic Helicopter Tours delivers in spades. The blend of thrill, natural beauty, and impeccable service makes it one of Sevierville’s standout attractions.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, whether you seek adventure or just a break from the mundane, this aerial tour near the Great Smoky Mountains is a bucket-list-worthy experience. Give yourself the gift of perspective, soar above the beautiful landscapes, and see the world through a different lens with Scenic Helicopter Tours.
When you’re ready to come back into Gatlinburg and rest up after such exhilaration, we’ll be here to take care of you at Edgewater Hotel.
Scenic Helicopter Tours is located at:
1949 Winfield Dunn Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37876