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4 Outdoor Activities in the Smoky Mountains to Do During the Rafting Off-Season

October 26, 2022

Although we have wrapped up another thrilling season of white water rafting adventures, you can still get outside to experience everything that the Smokies have to offer! If you are a fan of the great outdoors, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you occupied during the late fall and winter months! Here are 4 outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains to enjoy during the rafting off-season:

1. Scenic Hikes in the National Park

frozen icicles along Alum Cave Trail in the Smoky MountainsThere are thousands of scenic hiking trails throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so take advantage of the off-season to explore some of these fantastic trails! Once the crowds of the fall foliage season have tapered off, you’ll find that the trails are much less crowded during the winter months and still offer an array of beautiful things to see! While the winter temperatures in the Smokies are generally quite moderate, make sure that you’re dressed in layers in case the weather changes quickly! Consider starting your day at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, where you can talk to a park ranger and learn about the current trail conditions in the park!

2. Cross Country Skiing at Clingmans Dome

Another one of the outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains to enjoy during the rafting off-season is cross-country skiing at Clingmans Dome! Since this is the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (and the tallest point in Tennessee), there is usually snow around Clingmans Dome in the winter! The road to Clingmans Dome is closed during the winter months, making it a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing! If there isn’t any snow, you can still hike along the road to access the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower which is open all year round!

3. Ziplining with ClimbWorks

ziplining equipmentIf you’re craving an adrenaline rush and white water rafting season is still months away, you can experience ziplining all year long at ClimbWorks! The Mountaintop Zipline Tour at ClimbWorks features 6 dual ziplines and 4 aerial bridges, plus you’ll have the chance to rappel off one of the many platforms! The adventure starts with an ATV ride to the top of the mountain, where you’ll get to enjoy epic views of the Smokies! If you want to zipline and prefer to wait until the spring, don’t miss our money-saving combination packages that combine ziplining and white water rafting!

4. Stroll the Streets of Downtown Gatlinburg

When it comes to the best outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains, be sure to take a stroll through the streets of downtown Gatlinburg! You’ll find that the downtown area is lively all year long and most of the local attractions are open throughout the winter months for your pleasure! If you’re in town before the holiday season, take advantage of this opportunity to do a little Christmas shopping and enjoy the beautiful lights of Winterfest! You can walk through town to enjoy the fantastic holiday decorations or head to the top of Anakeesta to get a bird’s eye view of the winter scene.

Now that you know about some of the outdoor activities in the Smoky Mountains that you can enjoy during our off-season, the winter months will pass by before you know it! We’re already booking ahead for our spring rafting adventures, so check out all of the information about our white water rafting trips today to make your reservation and beat the spring rush!