Top 7 Activities for Thrill Seekers in the Great Smokies

As the holiday season approaches, so does the excitement of leaving everything behind and relaxing in a new place. Everyone longs for the chance to get away from their daily responsibilities and do what they love most.

Top 7 Activities for Thrill Seekers in the Great Smokies

That said, the Great Smoky Mountain is one of the best places to relax and have the time of your life while enjoying many different experiences.

If you’re a thrill-seeking enthusiast and you’re still undecided on which places and activities to include in your itinerary, here are some fun ideas to ease your dilemma:

1. Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Going to the Smokies and not hitting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a blooper your vacation doesn’t deserve. There are so many adventures waiting for you in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that your vacation certainly wouldn’t be complete without it. Do yourself a favor and reserve a day at the national park for diverse outdoor activities. Many activities include hiking and biking along the beautiful mountain trails. Once you’re exhausted from your travels, you can always spend the night camping under a starry sky, picnicking near the most beautiful scenery, or riding a horse in peace.

2. Go Kayaking in Gatlinburg

Imagine yourself surrounded by lush greenery, towering trees, and the melodic sounds of gushing water as you glide across pristine rivers. If that sounds like heaven to you, kayaking in Gatlinburg rivers will be an experience for the books for your adventure-loving soul. Nestled within the breathtaking beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg has many beautiful waterways for you to grab on a kayak and set sail for the time of your life. From calm and leisurely floats to challenging rapids that will give you an adrenaline rush, there is a kayaking experience for people with all skill levels. So, if you want to get your adrenaline pumping, this is one of the sports you won't want to miss.

3. Experience Zorbing in Outdoor Gravity Park

Located in Pigeon Forge, the Outdoor Gravity Park is the only place in the United States offering a zorbing adventure of a lifetime. All those thrill seekers who had zorbing on their bucket list have the perfect chance to cross the experience off on their Smokies vacation. Trust us, all the moments you spend gliding, falling, and spinning across the perfectly designed trail will have your heart pumping loud and clear in your ears. So, get your shoes on, enter your ball, and prepare yourself for a wild, thrilling, and dizzying descent.

Top 7 Activities for Thrill Seekers in the Great Smokies

4. Zipline through the Smoky Mountains

Nothing gets your adrenaline high than a thrilling zipline adventure, and the Smoky Mountains Zipline brings all adventure lovers just that: a chance to let go as you traverse down the cable high above the surface. A couple of miles from the Pigeon Forge Parkway, the base camp for the Smoky Mountain Ziplines will gear you up and prepare you for an experience you won't forget. The moment the team ushers you down your first zip line, you will feel the wind whipping your face as you fly through the cable 150 feet above the ground. Sliding down the 4200 feet long cable at 25 mph will keep your heart racing erratically throughout the ride.

5. Go Whitewater Rafting in the Pigeon Forge Rivers

Whitewater rafting is one of those experiences you wouldn't want to miss if you find yourself near the Big Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge. The river, with its rapid waves, offers an adventure like no other. The best part is that you don't need any prior experience to enjoy it to the fullest. The river has different sections for different levels of rafting, but if you want to challenge yourself, try the upper section. The guide will be with you, so you will have nothing to worry about, but still, the thrill will leave you hungover for days.

6. Have fun Horseback Riding

One of the most calming yet adventurous activities of all, horseback riding in the Smokies will surely make for a memorable experience. Leave this one for the day you feel exhausted from demanding adventures yet still crave that thrill. Once you have mounted your horse and started riding down the trail, you will get to experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains from a different perspective. Witnessing all that the Smokies has to offer on a horse ride will feel relaxing and exciting all at once: something you definitely should not miss.

If you have little experience in horse-riding, no worries. With so many stables around, you will have no problem finding a guided riding tour.

7. Ski or snowboard down the mountains

Skiing or snowboarding in the snowy mountains is an adventure you can only experience in the winter season. If you are on a Smokies vacation between December and March, soaring down the snow will leave you gasping for breath yet still wanting to go another round. For all those interested, Ober Gatlinburg is one of the few places that offers this adventure. The slopes here have terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all different skill levels- be it beginner, intermediate, or advanced. So, if you are inexperienced in this particular sport, do not worry just focus on having fun as you try out a new and snowy adventure.


There is no shortage of things you can do in the Smoky Mountains if you love thrilling adventure. However, planning is key for a stress-free trip. Make a list of all the things you’d want to do and places you need to go. True, spontaneous plans make for an adventure on their own, but for a stress-free vacation, having an itinerary works the best. Once you have shortlisted the activities you wish to experience on your trip, it is time to make your reservations. Find accommodations at the center of all places you would like to visit so you won't have to waste precious time going out of your way. However, while planning is important, don't get caught in the nitty-gritty details, and remember to have fun. At the end of the day, that is all that matters on vacation: having the time of your life.

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