It’s a must to visit Dollywood and the Titanic on a getaway to Pigeon Forge, TN, but then get outside for a variety of heart-racing outdoor adventures, such as sliding down the alpine coaster and rafting Class III rapids along the Pigeon River. You can even make friends with a llama named Cinnamon on a half-day trek into the woods. There are many fun outdoor experiences available in Pigeon Forge, so take a look at 7 of our favorites as you plan a visit to the area.
1. Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
There’s nothing like the thrill of winding along more than a mile of track through the mountains at top speeds (well, up to 27 mph) on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, the longest downhill ride in the United States. Whether you want to go fast or slow, hang on tight and enjoy the scenic views on the way down. Ask about 4-ticket package deals to save a few dollars on each ride. Rain or shine, kids and adults alike will enjoy the twists and turns of this popular coaster ride.
Enjoy easy Class I and II rapids when you choose a half-day trip down the Lower Pigeon River with Wildwater. Children as young as 4 can raft as the guide points out scenery and wildlife along the way. Or try the Upper Pigeon River, which boasts intermediate Class III and IV rapids with names including Powerhouse and Big Rock. Once back onshore, dry off and stay for a chili dog at the on-site restaurant, Pigeon River Dog House.
3. Adventure Park Zip Lines at Five Oaks
No trip to Pigeon Forge is complete without at least a couple of hours spent on the zip lines. At Adventure Park Zip Lines at Five Oaks, look for 7 zip lines that collectively run more than 1 1/2 miles in length. As a bonus, kids as young as 3 can cruise down the zip lines with either a guide or parent. Before you go, spend time on the treetop ropes course, navigating wobbly bridges, cargo nets, wooden planks and even more zip lines.
4. Cades Cove Riding Stables
Inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll find Cades Cove Riding Stables, which offers 1-hour guided trail rides through the forest and across mountain streams. Keep your eyes open for wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and even black bears. Cades Cove Riding Stables also offers carriage rides and hayrides with guides who entertain with stories about what life was like for early settlers in the area, as well as tips for spotting animals during the ride.
A Walk in the Woods in nearby Gatlinburg specializes in guided nature walks that range from 1 hour to a full day. Two- to 3-hour walks are the most popular and are set up by theme, whether you want to enjoy the best of the autumn colors, explore nature with your kids or take in spring wildflowers. There are even walks customized for bird-watchers, as well as art and history lovers.
6. Bluff Mountain Adventures
At Bluff Mountain Adventures, be prepared to put on a helmet and riding gloves before climbing onto an ATV to explore miles of nature trails. Several different rides are offered, ranging from 1-hour introductory rides across easy terrain and streams to the “Ridge Run,” a longer ride designed for experienced ATV riders looking for challenging, mountainous terrain to explore on 4 wheels. Kids and adults will love the exhilaration of riding ATVs through the lush forests up to the top of the bluff for amazing views across Tennessee.
7. Smoky Mountain Llama Treks
For a unique way to enjoy scenic mountain views, try hiking alongside a llama with Smoky Mountain Llama Treks. Taylee, Cinnamon and Black Jack are ready to make your acquaintance as you gear up for an excursion lasting anywhere from 1 hour to 1 day. There are even overnight llama treks that include tents, sleeping bags and lanterns for a night of camping in the forest. If you don’t want to hike, you can still visit with and feed the llamas daily at the farm. Or combine your llama trek with zip-lining or rafting to add to your local outdoor adventure.