River Raft Regatta
The annual River Raft Regatta is one of the most highly anticipated Gatlinburg events held each year. This race begins at the River Terrace Bridge across the Little Pigeon River and ends downtown at the Gatlinburg Aquarium. This race allows the true character and imagination of local residents really shine through, as nearly any floatable raft can be entered in this race. The rafts are all unmanned, which means anything can happen on the way to the aquarium. Spectators will be sure to line up early for this event, which kicks off at 12:00 noon on the Fourth of July.
There are tons of outdoor things to do including swimming, hiking, biking and riding horses. General info is available here and more details below: http://www.parksidecabinrentals.com/gatlinburg-attractions/gsm-park-trails/
White Water Rafting:
There are two companies in the area:
There are waterfalls all over the area that we can hike to, some of which we can swim in also. You can get a list of the most famous ones here: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm
Here’s a list of some of the best swimming holes also: http://www.elkspringsresort.com/gatlinburg_cabins_blog/the-best-swimming-holes-gatlinburg-the-great-smoky-mountains/
Hikes and Biking
There is a trail that leads into the park from the backyard of the Roosevelt Lodge.
There are also many trails for biking and hiking in town. The Gatlinburg Trail is one of two walking paths on which visitors can walk dogs and bicycle. Pets and bicycles are prohibited on all other park trails.
The trail travels 1.9 miles one-way from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the outskirts of the city of Gatlinburg, TN. It is relatively flat and runs through the forest along side the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. The trail offers beautiful views of the river, which at one point is crossed by a pedestrian foot bridge. Foundations and chimneys of several old homesites are visible along the trail. The Gatlinburg Trail is frequently used by joggers, walkers, and bicyclists.
Bikers are available to rent also from Cades Cove (about 25 miles from town) and there is a famous biking trail that goes through the park. http://www.explorecadescove.com/bicycle-rental.shtml
You can ride through the park and horse rental is availalble in the Sugarlands area about 2 miles south of Gaitlinburg: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/horseriding.htm
Fishing License Info
There’s tons of good fishing in the area including the Little Pigeon River that flows right through the town of Gatlinburg and is stocked weekly with rainbow trout. The Smokey Mountains National park has 2100 miles of trout streams as well…
You will need a city permit to fish in the Little Pigeon stocked area in town in addition to the regular State Fishing License.
Fishing licenses go on sale February 18 each year. Both licenses can be purchased online from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, or by calling 1-888-814-TWRA (8972). You will legally be able to fish as soon as your transaction is complete, and a permanent license will be mailed to you within 48 hours. You can also buy them at WalMart when you get there.
The trout are stocked on Thursdays and so there is no fishing allowed on that day.
The town has a fireworks show and a midnight parade the night before.
- Parade: http://www.gatlinburg.com/events/details.aspx?id=93
- Fireworks Show: http://www.gatlinburg.com/events/details.aspx?id=21
In addition there is a fireworks supermarket about 20 miles away and the State of TN has no restrictions on fireworks:
TN LAW: The minimum age for purchasing fireworks is 16 years old. There are NO seasonal fireworks restrictions in the state of Tennessee.