Pigeon Forge offers plenty of options for experiencing the great outdoors. You might as well spend an entire week here as you’d be spoilt for choice and there’s a lot of it that’s quite unexpected.

    Sure, you've got your mountain hiking and horseback riding, and you’ve probably gone ATV riding and white-water rafting. But have you ever tried zip lining or even zorbing? Get ready to shed some kilos and get some sun as Pigeon Forge is like a playground for all who love the great outdoors. Check out all the awesome outdoor things to do in Pigeon Forge below.

    1

    Zip-lining adventures in Pigeon Forge

    Soar through the sky at unimaginable heights

    • Adventure
    • Families

    Pigeon Forge offers many options for zip-lining adventures that take you soaring over lush forest canopies. Smoky Mountain Ziplines will put your courage to the test with a 2-hour tour that brings you to dizzying heights. This one's close to town, too, so your first drink after facing your fears won't be too far away.

    Adventure Park Ziplines offers a tour with 1 zip line stretching for 2,000 ft and is recommended for beginners. The Dome is the best of both worlds as it can easily accommodate large groups of beginners as well as ziplining experts.

    2

    Heritage Carriage Rides & Gold Rush Stables

    A gentle ride through beautiful scenery

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    • Couples
    • Families

    Heritage Carriage Rides & Gold Rush Stables offers horseback rides in Pigeon Forge that are suited to all experience levels. Visitors will love the well-mannered horses, the charming staff, and the changing scenery. All who take part are amazed at the bond that the handlers have with their animals.

    If that wasn't enough, the carriage rides give couples an opportunity for true romance. The carriage looks like something out of Cinderella, all lit up like a fairy tale, while a friendly carriage operator sees to it that your time is well-spent. It’s an experience like something out of a black-and-white Hollywood classic.

    Location: 2202 Goldrush Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +1 865-365-5894

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    3

    Bluff Mountain Adventures

    For those who want to go vroom

    • Adventure
    • Couples
    • Families

    Bluff Mountain Adventures takes you on an ATV tour through 6,000 acres of mountain scenery in Pigeon Forge. Beginners can choose the easier trail for a scenic cruise through nature, while those looking for a thrill will find it in the more advanced trail.

    The guides are patient and welcoming and share the enthusiasm in their job that entails riding through beautiful forests and mountains. The tours last over an hour, and phones aren't allowed while riding. Take gives you the opportunity to disconnect, breathe the crisp mountain air, and take in the unforgettable sights of Pigeon Forge.

    Location: 2186 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 865-428-7711

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    4

    Pigeon Forge theme parks and waterparks

    Your new favourite rollercoaster is waiting

    • Adventure
    • Families

    Pigeon Forge has several theme parks for thrill-seekers. Dollywood is like a festival that never ends. Rollercoasters, train rides, intricate decorations, delicious food, a water park, and all sorts of events are waiting for you here.

    Meanwhile, Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park has got a tubing hill that will have your child begging for a return visit. It's also got a laser gun coaster, where you shoot down targets as you whiz by. One ticket includes 2 rides on the coaster, so you can spend the first ride getting a feel for it. Be sure to visit Rocky Top Mountain Coaster and Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster for added variety of thrills as well.

    photo by Coasterman1234 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains Tour

    Take a ride into the heart of the mountains

    • Food
    • Adventure
    • Families
    • Group

    Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains Tour offers a 2.5-hour tour by open-air jeep. You’ll travel from the centre of Gatlinburg into untouched nature to see the most gorgeous mountain views. Cross roaring rivers and zoom through dense forestry – you might even spot a black bear!

    Your guide will have plenty of fascinating things to tell you on the way: history, geology, and everything in between. Get ready to also see structures dating back to the early 19th century. It’s surely a cool way to see a different side of the Smokies.

    Location: 2611 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 844-710-7465

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    6

    Douglas Lake

    Spend some fun times on this beautiful lake

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    • Adventure
    • Families

    Douglas Lake is an entire day's worth of outdoor recreation all in one place. Shove off in your pontoon boat and enjoy the serene atmosphere for an hour or 3. Hundreds of miles of shoreline mean there’s plenty of exploring to do, not to mention a lot of swimming.

    Try your hand at fishing if you want to learn what patience really means, or rent a jet ski if you want to take your speed up a notch. Several restaurants have set up shop on the shore, so refreshment is never far away.

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    7

    Wildwater Pigeon Rafting

    White-knuckle it through roiling waters

    • Adventure
    • Families

    Wildwater Pigeon Rafting offers one of the most exhilarating adventures around that you can take from Pigeon Forge. You'll careen down Class 4 rapids and take falls that will send your heart into your throat. Think of it like an adrenaline rush that doesn't let up for an entire hour.

    A gentler tour is offered to those who don't want all the excitement, though it can’t truly be called ‘white-water rafting’. The minimum age is 4 years (8 years for the more intense course), so these tours are fun for the whole family and no prior experience is needed.

    Location: 3555 Hartford Rd, Hartford, TN 37753, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 3 pm

    Phone: +1 866-319-8870

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    8

    Charlies Bunion Trail

    Ascend a rugged trail to a peerless view of the Smokies

    • Photo
    • Adventure
    • Budget

    Charlies Bunion Trail is a 2.5-hour hike that takes you up very steep grades, and much of it feels more like a climb. Make sure you're prepared for a real trek as it’s a trail only for the fit – beginners might want to reconsider. Still, hopping over thick tree roots is a small price to pay for the gorgeous view which awaits you at the top.

    Keep your battery charged, as you won't want to miss the photo opportunities all along this trail. Part of it goes along the Appalachian Trail, so the outdoorsy types will get a preview of their next hike if they haven't tackled it already.

    Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 Park Headquarters Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA

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    9

    Outdoor Gravity Park

    Try the strange and exciting pastime known as zorbing

    • Adventure
    • Couples
    • Families

    Outdoor Gravity Park is the only place in Pigeon Forge where you can try the strange sport known as zorbing. It involves tumbling down a track in a giant inflatable ball – safely, of course! The ball is filled with water, and it kind of feels like going down a slide. The water constantly moves to the lowest part of the inside, so the ball spins around you as you remain in place.

    The park has several tracks engineered to toss you around as much as possible, and some of them are geared towards group zorbing. Get ready for lots of thrills and loads of laughs.

    Location: 203 Sugar Hollow Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 865-366-2687

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    10

    Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

    Pigeon Forge's speedy mountain rollercoaster

    • Photo
    • Adventure
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Group

    The mile-long Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is the longest alpine coaster in the country. Located just 1.5 miles west of the Parkway, this coaster is situated in the heart of the mountains and is one of the best places in town to enjoy an outdoor adventure. With speeds of up to 27 mph, you can tell they stand by their slogan, “Ride the Hill, Feel the Thrill”.

    Control your own speed with brakes built right into the ride and hop on by yourself or with your favourite person for a beautiful and thrilling 7-minute ride. There are cameras stationed throughout the ride or, if you’re feeling adventurous, bring your own and snap a stunning pic along the way.

    Location: 867 Wears Valley Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 865-365-5000

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    11

    Patriot Park riverside walking trail

    Take a peaceful break at this park by the river

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    • Adventure
    • Budget

    Patriot Park offers a calming retreat from the rest of Pigeon Forge as it's a great spot to have a picnic and take a relaxing afternoon between busier activities. If you're lucky, you'll be able to post up in a gazebo for the day. If nothing else, make sure to take the walking trail by the river.

    Patriot Park is dedicated to wartime veterans, so you'll pass by several monuments filling you in on local history. This park is dog-friendly and hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, making it a favourite of locals and visitors.

    Location: 186 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +1 865-429-7373

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    Benjamin Gorman | Contributing Writer

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