Perfect for Spring: 7 Outdoor Activities in Pigeon Forge and the Smokies

Beautiful photo of spring in Pigeon Forge.

Spring has finally sprung in Pigeon Forge, TN! The warmer weather is here to stay, and visitors from all around the country are coming to town to enjoy our region’s spectacular natural beauty and fun seasonal events. No springtime trip to the Smokies is complete without an outdoor adventure in the national park or at one of the wonderful attractions in the area. To help you make the most of your spring vacation, Hearthside Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to seven of the best outdoor activities in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains.

1. Hiking and Wildflower ViewingStunning spring wildflowers in the Smoky Mountains.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 800 miles of beautiful hiking trails for visitors to explore. During the spring months, the national park is famous for its lovely wildflowers, which come in a variety of dazzling colors. In fact, the Great Smoky Mountains are sometimes called “Wildflower National Park” because it has over 1,500 types of flowering plants. Some of the best wildflower hikes in the Smokies include:

  • Cove Hardwood Self-guiding Nature Trail (¾ mile loop)
  • Porters Creek Trail (late March through April)
  • Little River Trail (first 2 miles, mid-March through April)
  • Appalachian Trail (between Newfound Gap and Road Prong Trail, mid-April through May)

2. Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is one of our favorite ways to take in the spring scenery in Pigeon Forge. Guests at Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa will have the chance to take an idyllic 3.5-mile trail ride through the foothills of the Smokies. Big Rock Dude Ranch has over 80 horses and can accommodate guests of virtually any size. In addition to horseback riding, Big Rock Dude Ranch also offers a petting zoo, gem mining, heritage museum, general store, and cafe.

A family enjoying a picnic in a park.3. Picnicking

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to enjoy the great outdoors, it’s hard to beat a picnic! What could be better than sitting in the sunshine and digging into a delicious sandwich or salad? There are a number of excellent picnic spots in the Smoky Mountain area, both in town and in the national park. Some of the most popular picnic destinations include:


  • Patriot Park
  • Mynatt Park
  • Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area
  • Greenbrier Picnic Area
  • Cades Cove Picnic Area

4. ATV Riding

ATV riding is another one of the most thrilling outdoor activities in Pigeon Forge! When you sign up for an off-roading experience with Bluff Mountain Adventures, you’ll explore 6,000 acres of pristine Smoky Mountain trails. One of Bluff Mountain’s experienced guides will lead you across streams, over hillsides, and past some of the best views in East Tennessee.

5. White Water RaftingFriends white water rafting on a river.

Located about 50 minutes outside of Pigeon Forge, the Pigeon River is the third most rafted river in the entire nation! Smoky Mountain Outdoors offers exhilarating trips down the Pigeon River that are filled with big drops, Class 1 – Class 4 rapids, and plenty of surfing. No prior experience is needed to participate, which makes a rafting trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors ideal for first-timers.

6. Ziplining

Ziplining at CLIMB Works is a one-of-a-kind experience that you will never forget! This unique canopy tour is structured so that your feet won’t touch the ground for 2 ½ hours as you conquer nine adrenaline-fueled ziplines and cross three sky bridges. The CLIMB Works course features a state-of-the-art automatic braking system, so guests don’t have to worry about slowing themselves down.

A man mountain biking through the woods.7. Mountain Biking

In addition to ziplining, CLIMB Works is also a popular spot for mountain biking. Perfect for seasoned bikers and novices alike, the 2-mile loop at CLIMB Works features a great mix of uphill, downhill, and smooth flow riding. Guests can either bring their own mountain bike or rent a high-end Trek bike from the CLIMB Works store. A highlight of biking at CLIMB Works is “The Curliest,” a wooden roller coaster-like structure that is an absolute blast to ride.

Where to Stay in Pigeon Forge

When you stay with Hearthside Cabin Rentals, you can take advantage of all these wonderful outdoor activities in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 18 bedroom lodges, we are sure to the have the perfect property for your escape. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of cabins in Pigeon Forge!

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