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Tri-Am RV Blog

  • Published on Jan 12, 2017
    Winter Activities in the Smoky Mountains

    Winter Activities in the Smoky Mountains

     

    The Smoky Mountains are one of the top tourist attractions in the United States, including Smoky Mountain National Park. It’s beautiful landscapes of mountains and valleys, the abundant wildlife, and lush greens that take over in the spring, summer and fall are only a few of the reasons people visit the Smokies.  But, the fair whether months are not the only best times to visit. Winter in the Smoky Mountains is actually one of the best times to visit if you don’t mind the cold. Here are a few ideas of what you can do in the Smokies in the winter.

     

    1. Hike the trails- With over 800 miles of trails throughout the Smoky Mountains and Smoky Mountain National Park; it’s the top activity to do when visiting.  In the winter you don’t have to battle the crowds of people.  The landscapes are pristine when covered in white glistening snow, and the wild life are still frolicking about.  The lack of leaves on the tress exposes some of the parks hidden gems such as old vistas and stone chimneys that showed the early settler way of life.  Some popular hikes include Andrews Bald, the 8-mile loop through Charlie’s Bunion, and Porters Creek. Just be mindful to dress for the weather and be careful on the trails as they can become slippery with snow and ice.
    2. National Park Waterfalls- Waterfalls are a thing of beauty any time of the year, but in the winter they are a site to see.  You can hike or drive to the many different waterfalls located throughout the park but once you get there you get to experience the wonder of gravity defying water.  Frozen waterfalls are amazing to witness and just sparkle with the snow and ice. Those that are still flowing sit nestled among the beautiful white landscapes.
    3. Ski Ober Gatlinburg- Ober Gatlinburg is the only free-style terrain park in the area.  You can take part in the popular snow activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.  They also have an indoor ice arena for ice skating, and the aerial tram still runs year round so you can catch the spectacular views of the winter landscape from up in the air.
    4. Fishing- fishing in the streams and rivers can still be done in the winter months.  For those that haven’t frozen over you can still catch Brook, brown and rainbow trout; and small mouth and rock bass. You can also go ice fishing on the lakes that have frozen over. Different ice fishing locations can be found on the national parks services’ website.
    5. Camping- Yes, you can still camp in the winter in the Smoky Mountains.  Cades Cove campground is open year-round and has 159 sites with hookups, fire rings, grills and picnic tables.  If you’d rather spend the night indoor they also have cabins available for rent. Backcountry camping is allowed in some areas of the park but is weather permitting. Some trails close down when weather is too treacherous. Visit the park website for any alerts before setting out on your own.
    6. Winterfest- Winterfest runs from Nov- February in Gatlinburg but is full of great activities and attractions for all.  They have a winter trolley ride, craft fairs, and live performances at the Space Needle, just to name a few.  Gatlinburg is filled with restaurants and bars for you to dine and drink if you are interested in checking out the local fare as well.

     

    For more information on any of these activities in the Great Smoky Mountains, visit https://www.nps.gov/grsm

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