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Family Adventures and Adrenaline Seeking in the Tennessee Smokies

There’s always a new adventure waiting around every corner of the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. The best part is that no matter your age or the size of your group, there’s an activity that’s just right for you. Whether you’re looking for some exciting family fun or you’re ready to take it to a whole new level with heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping wildness, the Smokies will be ready and waiting for you.

Adventures for the Family

A Place Like No Other

Experience a place like none other when you visit WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge. Enter this mysterious upside-down building and go through the inversion tunnel to be turned right side up to begin your journey. Then get ready for the fun to start! Your family can experience things here that would be unheard of at most places. Feel hurricane force winds, be shaken by a 6.0 simulated earthquake, discover space exploration, put yourself inside a bubble, climb the largest indoor ropes challenge course and so much more! Experience the #1 magic show in the Smokies and see who’s the quickest during a challenging game of laser tag.

Take Flight in the Smokies

If you’ve ever dreamed of flying like a bird, you can make your dream come true. Here in the Smokies are many places to visit that will sweep you off your feet, and you’ll never want to come down! Take in the town with a bird’s eye view at the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, which gives visitors the best opportunity to see the beautiful landscape of the area. If you enjoy the majestic beauty of the skies, visit Parrot Mountain to witness the colorful birds that rule the air!

Float Away

Spend some leisurely time on the Little Pigeon River in Townsend with Smoky Mountain River Rat, offering exciting activities for visitors of all ages. Floaters can choose a tube or kayak and spend all day relaxing in the cool water and enjoying the beautiful riverbanks of Townsend. Take some time to splash around in one of the swimming holes on the upper section during your adventure float, or enjoy the rock jump, rope swing and gentler rapids on the lower section of the river.

Explore the Depths of the Smokies

You can also explore the wonders of million-year-old caverns at Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend. These grottos were carved almost 30 million years ago by Mother Nature. This geographical showcase of the Smoky Mountain chain is larger-than-life, making this place the “greatest site under the Smokies.”

Race Against Friends and Family

There’s nothing better than speeding like a professional racer at the NASCAR Speed Park in the Smokies! Gather up some friends and family and test their skills behind the wheel on this shrunken version of a real speedway!

Venture to Xtreme Racing Center in Pigeon Forge where you’ll find the fastest kart racing models around. Participate in a race with the whole family, or see if you can beat your own personal record.  Take a break from racing by enjoying the other thrilling rides or games.

Tons of Indoor Family Fun in One Place

If you want to spend some time having fun indoors, bring the group to LazerPort Fun Center in Pigeon Forge, featuring state-of-the-art laser tag arenas, an 18-hole indoor black light miniature golf course, 10,000 square feet of action-packed arcade games and more. If outdoor thrills are what you seek, you’re going to love the 50-foot-tall Go-Kart track. Riders will zoom down spirals, race around twists and turns and then plunge straight down a breathtaking 40-foot-hill all the way to the bottom!

Get Up Close with the Tennessee Smoky Mountains’ Furry Residents

At Smoky Mountain Deer Farm in Sevierville, your family can get an up-close experience with some of the friendly animals here in Tennessee. Visitors can pet and feed deer, goats, camels, reindeer, sheep, zebras, kangaroos and more! Plus, your family can enjoy pony or horse rides on well-maintained trails through the east Tennessee Hills.

Plan to make new friends on the Big Rock Ponderosa Dude Ranch! Enjoy a peaceful horseback ride along the mountain in Pigeon Forge, and stop for a picnic along the way. Also at the ranch, the family can visit friendly animals such as chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits and a pony at the petting zoo. You’ll also have a fun opportunity to feed a llama and some emus. Try your hand at fishing in an abundant pond that’s stocked with bass, blue gill and crappie. The pole and bait are supplied, so just bring yourselves and be ready for fun!

Davy Crockett Riding Stables in Townsend features more than 15 miles of trails with breathtaking views. This family-owned business takes great pride in offering award-winning, personalized service that’s tailored to each individual rider. Plus, they offer the best selection of Tennessee walking horses and kid’s horses around!

Winter Fun at Ober Gatlinburg

The fun doesn’t stop once the temperatures drop. Visit Ober Gatlinburg for some supreme east Tennessee skiing. During winter months, the resort offers guests the chance to glide down a snowy slope on skis, a snowboard or a tube for guests ages 3 and older. Of course once the temperatures rise and the snow melts, there are still plenty of fun activities at Ober Gatlinburg. Enjoy a scenic chairlift ride up the mountain and a fun-filled, weaving, wandering, dipping descent on the Alpine Slide. For the best view of the Smoky Mountains, ride the Aerial Tramway for a breathtaking 2.1-mile ride up to the Resort. You can still pretend it’s winter by skating on the year-round indoor ice rink. This 140’x75’ ice arena is the centerpiece of Ober Gatlinburg’s enclosed mall. Your family can also experience fun activities including the Amaze’n Maze, the carousel, the chair swing, the blue cyclone rapids, miniature golf, children’s rides and so much more.


Thrills for Adrenaline Seekers

See the Smoky Mountains from Above

There are those who are born with a natural sense of adventure, and it’s these people who look to the Smokies as a place to go wild and really let the adrenaline pump through their veins. One activity in particular that has gained immense popularity among thrill seekers is zip lining. CLIMB Works Canopy, in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, gives their guests a bird’s eye view of what makes the Smokies so unique. After a four-wheel journey to the top of the mountain, guests take that first step onto the beautifully constructed tour, and their feet won’t touch the ground—for the next two-and-a-half hours! Daredevils will have a chance to explore as they zip over ravines, streams, trees, wildlife and gorgeous views of the National Park.

Adventure Park Zip Lines in Sevierville offer nine lines ranging from 450–2,500 feet allowing guests to travel through the air at up to 50 miles per hour! Imagine being suspended in the air on a cable as gravity does the work and you swoop through the air among the treetops. Highly trained guides will explain the art of zip lining and teach you everything you need to know about staying safe and having fun.

Legacy Mountain Ziplines is the first eco-friendly zip line experience available in this area, and they’re conveniently located in the heart of Sevierville. You’ll love this exhilarating ride that glides you over 400 acres of land, offering unprecedented views of the historical Greenbrier Pinnacle and majestic Mount LeConte.

Tree Tops Ropes Course in Sevierville is the ultimate eco-friendly adventure. The whole family will enjoy tremendous obstacles, nets, suspended bridges, Tarzan jumps, bonus ziplines and immeasurable fun. Life in the trees never looked so good!

To combine zip lining action with nature’s most gentle creatures, visit Jayell Ranch in Sevierville for over 260 acres of fun. Book a combination horseback and zip line adventure to get the best of both magnificent worlds. Jayell has six ziplines, with over two-and-a-half miles of line, which is the longest in the Smokies. Their four-mile riding trail winds through more than 220 acres of pristine scenery, boasting views of North Carolina, Mount LeConte and Shield’s Mountain Fort. After your horseback ride, take a nine-mile ATV adventure just below the blue skies.

At Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park, choose from seven canopy tours, each featuring innovative technology that will allow a smooth stop every time. Start with an introductory 60-foot zip line, and progress to longer, higher and more amazing rides each time! Foxfire is also home to America’s longest swinging bridge, beginning at the Foxfire base camp. Just over 400 feet later, you’ll be at Prosperity Mountain. Through Foxfire’s Bear Crawler ATV Tours, guests can embark on a rugged and exciting safari tour through the wilderness inside an open-air vehicle. Explore a Civil War Iron Mine, Lost Mine Falls and a 19th-century graveyard on this daring trip.

Fly High Inside

Another great activity for those who are ready to conquer their fear of heights can be found at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. If you’ve ever wanted to skydive without the terror of jumping out of a plane, this is the place to do it. Inside this vertical wind tunnel, you’ll break the bonds of gravity and feel what it’s like to actually fly! This experience is used as a popular training resource for sport skydivers, competition teams and military units, but it’s also a great source of fun for participants.

Tennessee Smoky Mountains Adventures on the Water

If you’re in the mood for a little splash (or a head-to-toe soak), try the daring sport of white water rafting, one of the most thrilling workouts on the water! Featuring miles of heart-stopping rapids and family-friendly waters, it’s easy to see why the Pigeon River is one of the most popular whitewater rivers around. The Upper Pigeon features miles of class III and IV rapids that are perfect for an extreme rush. The Lower Pigeon, with gentle class I and II rapids, is great for ages 3 and up. Both the Upper and Lower sections are accompanied by gorgeous, unforgettable scenery.

Crush some waves at Big Creek Expeditions in beautiful Hartford. Big Creek offers a quest on the Upper and Lower rivers and also an Adventure Package where guests can combine the best of both worlds for a full day of fun. Start with a whitewater expedition on the Upper Section, and finish with a relaxing float down the Lower Section. Enjoy a memorable riverside picnic in between the two excursions.

Also in Hartford, Outdoor Adventure Rafting offers riders the chance to experience a guided two-hour whitewater tour on the Upper Section that’s perfect for beginners or intermediate paddlers or a Lower Section tour for those who aren’t quite ready for the big rapids. Many groups raft both sections, but it’s also fine to split your group to allow each person to raft on the section they’re most comfortable with. After your trip (where you are guaranteed to be drenched) you’ll have the opportunity to change into dry clothes at Outdoor Adventure Rafting’s changing rooms, located right on the river!

With so many activities offered to visitors, the Tennessee Smoky Mountains may just be your new favorite spot to visit! All the attractions and adrenaline-pumping excitement will keep you flying high and enjoying your stay in this lush, natural environment.

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