The Top Summer Activities Near Gatlinburg, TN

Lysianne PeacockGatlinburg, Pigeon River

Gatlinburg Sky Bridge

The Top Summer Activities Near Gatlinburg, TN

There is nothing quite like summer in the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg, TN. This popular vacation town is known for its proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States. With over 12 million visitors a year, this tiny town does everything it can to make sure you feel welcome. From rafting to ziplining, here are our top summer activities near Gatlinburg, TN. 

Raft on the Pigeon River

Rafting on the Pigeon River

Like wine pairs with cheese, a rafting trip on the Pigeon River pairs well with your visit to Gatlinburg this summer. Beat the heat with the splashy thrill of the Upper Pigeon River or kick back and relax on the Lower Pigeon River. Summer trips are scheduled four days a week– Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday– so keep that in mind as you plan your trip.

Zipline over Big Pigeon River

Ziplining at the Pigeon River

Wildwater offers the only canopy tour near Gatlinburg, TN that soars over the Big Pigeon River. The Pigeon River Canopy Tour takes you high into the forest where you will experience the thrill of 12 ziplines, venture over four sky bridges, and view the scenic Smoky Mountain Creek waterfall. The final zipline is 1300 feet long and takes you 120 feet in the air over the Big Pigeon River.

Hike in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Summer is the best time to lace up your hiking shoes, and take a hike. Gatlinburg, TN is the gateway town to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so make sure to plan a day exploring this seemingly endless forest on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Don’t let the crowds scare you off. With over 2,000 miles of streams and rivers, there are bountiful waterfalls and cascades to explore. Check out our blog “Blue Ridge Mountains Wildflowers: When and Where to See Them” to get some hiking inspiration.

Walk the Gatlinburg Strip

Gatlinburg Sky Bridge

No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without visiting the Gatlinburg Strip. The Strip offers the complete Smoky Mountain experience, from shopping to attractions and food. Take a ride on the Gatlinburg SkyLift to get incredible views of the mountains and downtown, or visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to see all kinds of marine life. 

All rafting and zipline trips on Memorial Day Monday are 50% off, so book your trip near Gatlinburg today! Offer is only valid for Memorial Day Monday at our Chattooga, Ocoee, Nantahala, and Pigeon locations.