Pigeon Forge, located at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, is ideal for outdoor adventures. Known as a family-friendly hub of entertainment and cultural attractions, it is also the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Just a quick drive from downtown Pigeon Forge, the park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. It boasts a diverse ecosystem, breathtaking views, and untouched wilderness, setting the stage for various exciting outdoor activities. From tranquil hikes and exhilarating zipline tours to relaxing fishing trips, Pigeon Forge provides convenient access to many experiences against the stunning backdrop of the Smoky Mountains.

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

Hiking through the Smoky Mountains is a must for any visitor to Pigeon Forge, offering a chance to explore some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the area. Trails like the Alum Cave Trail provide a moderate challenge and reward hikers with stunning views of the mountain’s archways and bluffs. For those seeking a longer journey, the Appalachian Trail offers an iconic trek through varied scenery, including lush forests and panoramic ridges.

First-time hikers should come prepared with sturdy footwear, water, snacks, and essential navigation tools. The Smokies can offer surprises in the form of sudden weather changes and diverse wildlife, from deer to black bears, so staying on marked trails and keeping a respectful distance from animals is crucial. Whether you’re looking for a day hike or an extended excursion, the trails of the Smoky Mountains cater to every level of experience and promise a fulfilling adventure.


Ziplining in Pigeon Forge offers an exhilarating way to experience the stunning natural scenery from above. With various tours available, adventurers can glide across extensive ziplines stretching across the lush forest canopy. These tours vary in length, some extending several hundred feet, allowing you to speed through the air and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

Safety is a top priority, and all tours adhere to strict safety standards. Participants are equipped with harnesses and helmets and receive thorough instructions before embarking on their adventure. Age and weight restrictions ensure that all participants have a safe and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a ziplining novice or an experienced thrill-seeker, the zipline adventures in Pigeon Forge provide a unique and memorable way to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting on the Pigeon River offers an exhilarating outdoor adventure for both beginners and experienced rafters. The river features a range of rapids that cater to all levels of thrill-seekers, from gentle waves suitable for families to challenging rapids that thrill the most seasoned enthusiasts. This variety ensures that everyone, regardless of their experience, can enjoy the beauty and excitement of rafting in Pigeon Forge.

The rafting season typically runs from early spring through the fall, providing plenty of opportunities to hit the water. Before you go, it’s essential to prepare adequately—wear comfortable, quick-drying clothing and secure footwear, and be sure to listen carefully to your guide’s safety instructions. Whether you’re looking for a calm paddle or an adrenaline-pumping ride, the Pigeon River has something to offer.

While exploring outdoor activities, remember to check out the variety of indoor things to do in Pigeon Forge, which offer equally engaging experiences regardless of weather conditions.

Horseback Riding

Experience the natural beauty of Pigeon Forge from a unique perspective with horseback riding tours along serene mountain trails. These guided tours offer a peaceful way to explore the lush landscapes, with routes designed for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced riders. Whether you’re navigating gentle paths or more challenging terrain, there’s a perfect trail waiting for you.

Guides are knowledgeable about the area and will lead you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Smokies, pointing out flora, fauna, and historical sites along the way. Tours vary in duration, typically from one to four hours, allowing you to choose how much time you want to spend in the saddle. This activity provides a relaxing yet engaging outdoor adventure that enhances any visit to Pigeon Forge.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Experiencing the Smoky Mountains from a hot air balloon offers an unparalleled perspective of the breathtaking landscape. As you gently ascend, the sprawling vistas of lush forests, winding rivers, and rolling hills unfold beneath you, providing a serene and picturesque experience. The ride is smooth and quiet, allowing you to truly soak in the natural beauty of Pigeon Forge and its surroundings.

The best times for hot air balloon rides are early morning or late afternoon when the winds are calmest and the light is ideal for capturing stunning photographs. These rides typically last about an hour, giving you ample time to enjoy the scenery and snap memorable photos. It’s important to book your flight in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability.

Safety is a top priority for balloon operators, who must have certified pilots and regularly inspected balloons. Before your ride, you’ll receive a safety briefing to cover all necessary precautions and procedures, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.


Pigeon Forge offers more than just beautiful scenery; it presents a playground for those seeking adventure in the great outdoors. Whether hiking through the lush trails of the Smoky Mountains, soaring across canyons on a zipline, or enjoying the tranquility of a horseback ride, these activities are fundamental for a truly immersive experience in this vibrant area.

We encourage every visitor to explore these exciting opportunities. Engaging with these outdoor adventures not only connects you more deeply with nature but also leaves you with unforgettable memories. From the thrill of whitewater rafting to the serene moments of fishing in the Little Pigeon River, each activity offers a unique way to explore the beauty and exhilarating spirit of Pigeon Forge. Step outside, challenge yourself and enrich your travel experience in this spectacular destination.