Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect spot for your next family vacation. If you’re renting a cabin in the area, there’s a wide array of kid-friendly activities at your disposal, with something available for all types of personalities. Read below to get inspiration for your upcoming trip, and find activities the whole family will enjoy.
Family-Friendly Activities in the Smokies
1. Bike Rides
There are numerous paved trails throughout the park to choose from, but one of the most popular is the Cades Cove Loop. Bring your own bikes or rent them from one of the rental shops in the park. Two roads bisect the main loop road, so your family can adjust the ride distance based on age and ability.
2. Junior Ranger Program
The Great Smoky Junior Ranger Program has programs for children between the ages of 5 and 12. Purchase a booklet for a small price at the park visitor center, then complete the listed activities to receive a Junior Ranger badge from a park ranger. Children can join a ranger-led program by themselves, or families can complete the program together. Activities include GPS orienteering, hayrides, blacksmithing, and wildlife viewing.
3. Horseback Riding
A horseback riding experience is a highlight of any vacation, and there are multiple stables throughout Great Smoky National Park that will take you on guided horseback riding tours. If your children are too young for horseback riding, many stables offer rides in horse-drawn carriages.
There are many hiking trails winding throughout the park, ranging from easy to strenuous. If you have younger children, a short hike to a waterfall or swimming hole such as Greenbrier Swimming Hole or Abrams Falls is a great option. Older children might enjoy a hike up to one of the park’s many peaks – such as Clingman’s Dome – to take in breathtaking, 360-degree views.
5. Explore History
Before it became a park, Great Smoky was a group of communities. In Cades Cove, your family can tour log structures including homes, a mill, and churches. In the Oconalufte area, you can explore timber buildings, the park’s largest mill, and a farm. Near Gatlinburg, your family can embark on the self-guided Noah “Bud” Ogle nature trail, where you can explore the mountain farmer’s 1800s-era cabin, farm, and a small tub mill.
The right luxury cabin from American Patriot Getaways will help you make the most of your getaway in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, TN. They have cabin rentals available in all sizes for all types of families, as well as pet-friendly cabins so you can bring along your furry family member. Take a look at their specials online and call (800) 204-5169 to speak with a friendly team member about your lodging.