In many places, a forecast of snow and freezing temperatures is enough to keep you indoors for the day. But in America's mountainous East, cold, snowy days make some of the best opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Winter brings a wide variety of outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains that can make great memories for families, honeymooners, and church youth groups. Many youth groups in this part of the country take annual ski trips, and Ober Gatlinburg provides fun skiing and other activities, including indoor ice skating. Skiing is only the beginning; adventurous people can find a host of other outdoor activities during a wintertime tour through the mountain areas and nearby towns.
If you enjoy adventure and outside-the-box experiences, ziplines and rope courses offer great fun year 'round. Flying through the trees on a zipline at 40 miles per hour and sometimes 100 feet high is more fun than you can imagine.
More on ziplines
Winter is an excellent time for taking nature walks in the Smoky Mountains. You will find a beautiful trail behind Sugarlands Visitor Center just inside the National Park at the Gatlinburg entrance.
BEAR PAWS MAGAZINE
Bear Paws, the official publication of Smoky Mountain Tourism, is filled with information on things to do during Smoky Mountain Winterfest. Download your free magazine here.
A Smoky Mountain Christmas is a Christmas to remember. Magnificent parades, craft shows, sleighrides, trolley tours, Christmas on Ice at Ober Gatlinburg, and many other events make this holiday season one to remember for a lifetime. Dollywood's annual "Smoky Mountain Christmas" is for children of all ages.
One of the most popular events of Winterfest is Wilderness Wildlife Week in January which features lectures on local flora, fauna, and wildlife, hikes ranging from short and easy strolls to overnight treks, tips on photography, and bird watching. Each event is presented by more than 85 experts in their respective fields. This is a free event and takes place in Pigeon Forge TN.
WHERE TO EAT
Whatever your appetite, you have menu choices from a multitude of great restaurants. Mom and pop restaurants, buffets, fast food chains, pizzerias, cafes, diners, and fine dining are located throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Wears Valley, and Townsend.
A number of restaurants have large rooms for groups.
You'll find everything from great dining beside a mountain river to going to a drive-thru to get your favorite burger. The cool mountain air will give you a good appetite to enjoy your meal cooked in the Smokies.
WHERE TO STAY
For romantic getaways or honeymoons, we have very cozy cabins with a fireplace, hot tub, and Jacuzzi. You might prefer a suite at an area hotel or luxury condominium resort.
If you are bringing the family or friends, a cabin might be the best solution. You will have all the amenities of home, and you can cook your meals in the fully furnished kitchen. Most cabins have a hot tub, deck with a view, Jacuzzi, fireplace, Satellite TV, and a game room.
For those who prefer the convenience of staying closer to town, check out our many hotels. Most hotels are on the trolley line, providing you with easy access to restaurants, attractions, shopping, and Dollywood.
Groups have lots of lodging options; a big cabin for groups or a hotel in downtown Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge will provide comfortable sleeping arrangements and meeting space for presentations and gatherings.