ATTRACTIONS NEAR WILDWOOD MOUNTAIN SMOKY MOUNTAIN CABINS
Wildwood Mountain is situated in the heart of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Our cabins are just a few minutes from the National Park and a short scenic 20 minute drive from Gatlinburg, Cades Cove, Pigeon Forge, Dollywood, and Sevierville. No matter what season you visit us, our area provides a host of arts & crafts, music, theaters, festivals, and so much more.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
The Great Smoky Mountains, a majestic climax of the Appalachian Highlands, are a wild lands sanctuary preserving the world’s finest examples of temperate deciduous forest. The name Smoky comes from the smoke like haze enveloping the mountains, which stretch in sweeping troughs and mighty billows to the horizon. The park boasts unspoiled forests similar to those early pioneers found. Along the crest — at more than 6,000 feet elevations — are conifer forests like those of central Canada. Wildflowers and migrating birds abound in late April and early May. During June and July rhododendrons bloom in spectacular profusion. Autumn’s pageantry of color usually peaks in mid-October. For many, this is the finest time of year, with cool, clear days ideal for hiking. In winter, an unpredictable season, a peace pervades the park. Fog rolling over the mountains may blanket the conifers in frost.
The park is a delightful mix of forest wild lands and outdoor museum of pioneer life. Try to experience both aspects, by hiking and by visiting its restored structures. From mid-June through August evening programs and nature walks are offered at most developed campgrounds. Spring and fall activities are limited. Check schedules at a visitor center or ranger station.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park website is amust read for all your exploration activities. Whether you are driving, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, or looking for wildlife, the National Park has vital information on licenses required, rules & regulations, road closures, trails, and much more.
The Great Smoky Mountains is exploding with wildlife.As you explore the National Parks, you never know what you might see. All of the following animals inhabit our beloved forests: Bears, Deer, Elk, Mountain Lions (Cougars), Bobcats, Foxes, Weasels, Minks, Raccoons, Turkeys, Boars, and more than 200 species of birds and much more!
National Park Links
Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. An inexpensive self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the road provides in-depth information about the buildings and the people who built and used them.
An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee at a leisurely pace. Allow at least two to four hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you walk some of the area’s trails. Traffic is heavy during the tourist season in summer and fall and on weekends year-round. While driving the loop road, please be courteous to other visitors and use pullouts when stopping to enjoy the scenery or view wildlife.
A visitor center (open daily), restrooms, and the Cable Mill historic area are located half-way around the loop road.
Numerous trails originate in the cove, including the five-mile roundtrip trail to Abrams Falls and the short Cades Cove Nature Trail. Longer hikes to Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top (made famous by the popular song) also begin in the cove.
Several designated backcountry campsites (camping by permit only) are located along trails.
Only bicycle and foot traffic are allowed on the loop road until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September. Otherwise the road is open to motor vehicles from sunrise until sunset daily, weather permitting.
The Anthony Creek horse camp is located nearby and offers easy access to the backcountry. Call (877) 444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov to reserve a site.
DOLLYWOOD THEME PARK
At Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, there is something for everyone to enjoy! This attraction has been recognized as one of the world’s best theme parks, with the international Applause Award. From late March through December, Dollywood offers thrilling rides, award-winning entertainment and master craftsmen.
The Dollywood theme park has great rides including the latest one, the Wild Eagle! This new thrilling roller coaster takes you soaring over the Smoky Mountains! Plus there’s the Barnstormer, Thunderhead™ and Mystery Mine® roller coasters. There is something for everyone, including the little ones at this park.
Don’t worry about packing a lunch. There are many restaurants which serve an array of delicious Southern cuisine. Choices include everything from full-service dining to a wide variety of concessions.While in the park you can enjoy country, bluegrass, classic rock ‘n’ roll and Southern gospel music. There’s with more than 30 performances daily! Plus, after a hot summer day you can go and cool down at Dollywood’s Splash Country water park.
The Pigeon River is dam-controlled with scheduled water releases from Memorial Day through Labor Day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday. Reservations required to ensure that you and your party secure the date and time of your choice.
DIRECTIONS TO RAFTING AT THE PIGEON RIVER: Although surrounded by spectacular mountain wilderness, Rafting in the Smokies Pigeon River Outpost is the most accessible outpost in East Tennessee! Just take Exit #447 to Hartford, off I-40 near the Tennessee/North Carolina border and you’re there! It’s that easy! Rafting In The Smokies is located just a few minutes from Wildwood Mountain and only 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC. Click here for our map to Rafting In The Smokies.
UPPER BIG PIGEON RIVER WHITEWATER RAFTING
The Big Pigeon River boasts twelve Class III and three Class IV thrilling whitewater rapids! Accompanied by one of Rafting in the Smokies professional river guides, you’ll be escorted down five miles of lively white water rafting through Class III & IV rapids such as Too Late, Vegamatic, Razor Blade, After Shave, and Lost Guide. The scenery surrounding the Pigeon River is just as breathtaking as the rapids. Skirted by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest and the Appalachian Trail, the Pigeon has carved its rocky riverbed through some of the most dramatic country in East Tennessee.
No Experience Necessary! Minimum age: 8 years old or 70 lbs. One and half hour trip of spectacular whitewater!
REQUIREMENTS: For the upper Pigeon Whitewater Trip, you must be 8 years old or weigh 70 LBS and must be able to fit into a 56″ PFD.
COST: For the Upper Pigeon Whitewater, Upper Pigeon Whitewater Trip, the cost is $44 per person, plus tax. The length of rafting trip is 5 miles and lasts Approximately 1.5 hours. There is a Guide in every raft.
CLOTHING: Be prepared to get wet. We recommend wearing quick-dry synthetic material shorts, t-shirt or a bathing suit, something you’re comfortable getting wet in, tennis shoes, deck shoes or river sandals. NO CROCS, FLIP-FLOPS OR BAREFEET ALLOWED!
SAFETY: Certified Guide in every raft, Life jackets (PFDs), and helmets are required and provided. 6 guests per raft.
LOWER FLOAT RAFTING TRIP
Looking for a way to really relax and enjoy nature’s beauty? Do you have children who weigh less than 70 lbs.? If you answered yes to either, then we have just what you need. Check out the Lower Section of the Pigeon River! The Class I and II rapids make this very casual and laid back section of the Pigeon River perfect for everyone 3 years old and up!
Rafting in the Smokies will assist you, your family and friends down approximately six miles of relaxing waves and rippling mountain water. You’ll gaze at the beautiful Smoky Mountains surrounding as you casually float this section of the Pigeon River. If someone in your group needs a little more adventure, we can accommodate! Let us help you plan coinciding trips on the Upper and Lower Pigeon. The portion of the group rafting the Lower Pigeon Float Trip can be scheduled to coincide with the other portion of the group’s Upper Pigeon Trip.
REQUIREMENTS: For the lower Family Float Trip, you must be at least 3 years old and must be able to fit into a 56″ PFD.
COST: For the Lower Family Float Trip, the cost is $35 per person, plus tax. The length of rafting trip is 6 miles and approximately 2 hours. There is a Guide in every raft.
PADDLE AND SADDLE HORSEBACK RIDING AND RAFTING
You can enjoy two fabulous outdoor adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains for one low price with our Paddle & Saddle Package! Choose an exciting rafting trip on either the Upper Section or Lower Section of the Pigeon River and then saddle up for a 45 minute horseback ride with our friends at Smoky Mountain Riding Stables, the only stables within the borders of the National Park.
As an authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service, Smoky Mountain Riding Stables takes you on trails within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the back of a well-trained and experienced mountain trail horse. This ain’t no cow pasture ride! It’s on real mountain trails; the terrain in not flat. For over 20 years, Smoky Mountain Riding Stables has safely treated guests to rides through beautiful forests and mountain streams to peaceful views in the nation’s most visited national park. Whether you are a novice or an experienced rider, you’re guaranteed great horseback riding!
Smoky Mountain Riding Stables is located 4 miles east of Gatlinburg on Hwy. 321 (light #3). Rides are for ages 5 and up. Rider’s maximum weight can be no more than 225 lbs. No doubling up with children. No matter the adventure or fun in Gatlinburg you seek… let the professionals at Rafting in the Smokies be your source for adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains!
RAFTING AND ZIPLINE COMBO TRIP
Feel the thrill of white water rafting the Pigeon River and ziplining the Smokies. Its a fun filled adventure you’re family is sure to remember for a lifetime.
ULTIMATE RAFT TRIP
The Ultimate Family Adventure all in one day! White water raft the Upper Pigeon River or float the Lower Pigeon River, followed by Ziplining the Smokies, and taking the Ropes Course Challenge! Fun for everyone in your family of all ages! This is the Ultimate Smoky Mountain Family Adventure!
RAFTING GROUP SPECIALS
Offer your group the adventures of a lifetime in the Smokies in Tennessee! Rafting in the Smokies offers a variety of outdoor activities to nurture your spirit of adventure while helping build bonds based on teamwork and mutual appreciation.
A Tennessee whitewater rafting trip creates lifelong bonds and memories like no other group activity and we offer something for everyone. From wet and wild to damp and mild, we have the trip for your church group, corporate retreat or family reunion. There’s thrills and chills on the Upper Section while the Lower Section offers gentle rapids and the spectacular scenery of the Pigeon River gorge. Groups have the flexibility to raft at the same time but at different levels of adventure. Every10th person rafts for FREE when paid as one group!
FAMILY ADVENTURE ISLAND
Cross over our 150-ft. swinging bridge to race one another flying high in the treetops on our dual Ziplines. or test your limits on our High Elements Ropes Challenge Course. Our ropes course features 4 skill levels with 12 different activities ranging in difficulty.
Our 10-acre island features picnic tables and BBQ grills as well as a playground with swings and beanbag toss games. There is also a nature trail and beach area for swimming. Adventure Island offers a great environment for fostering communication and companionship.
RITS are pros at handling multi-level adventures for groups of all ages. Our Group Sales Specialists will customize combo packages to specifically meet the needs of your group. Let us help you plan your next youth group adventure or corporate team building retreat by clicking here for more detailed information.
ZIPPING IN THE SMOKIES ZIPLINE
Experience Zipping in the Smokies at our Family Adventure Island —conveniently located right behind our river outpost in Hartford TN! It’s a great outdoor activity for families, groups, and corporate outings.
Feel the anticipation growing as you cross the 150′ swinging bridge to our breathtaking 10-acre wooded island in the middle of the Big Pigeon River. After you receive your safety gear and instruction session with your personal adventure guide, you’ll climb high in the air on our impressively constructed zipline tower. Get set for an adrenaline rush as you zip down our 600′ long dual racing lines. Then it’s right back to the treetops on our next tower for another exhilarating 500′ zip. Don’t want the excitement to end? Head to the top of the first tower and do the whole course again for the same low price. That’s nearly a half mile of zipping!
ZIPLINE SAFETY: All participants are fitted with a full body harness and helmet. All participants receive thorough safety instruction. All tours are accompanied by well-trained adventure guides. All stairs and tower levels are equipped with safety rails.
ZIPLINE CLOTHING: Capri pants or shorts that are at least mid-thigh in length, t-shirt, and closed toe shoes. Due to harness placement, swimsuits and short shorts are not permitted. NO CROCS, FLIP-FLOPS, OR BAREFEET ALLOWED.
ZIPLINE WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Participants must be at least 5 years old. Minimum weight is 45 lbs. Max weight is 250 lbs.
ZIPLINE REMINDER: For your safety, no drinks, alcoholic beverages or food are allowed on the trip. Rafting In The Smokies reserves the right to refuse anyone under the influence. If there is anything else you’d like to know or have explained before your trip, call us. We look forward to hearing from you. Ziplines and rafting excursions are located at the same location at our river outpost where we have changing facilities, restrooms, and hot showers for your convenience.
HIGH ELEMENTS ROPES COURSE
Ropes course advocates claim that they meet a number of educational, developmental, and recreational goals such as physical fitness, personal achievement, and confrontation of fear. Challenges are typically both physical and emotional and may result in such commonly claimed outcomes as the enhancement of:
Cooperation, Decision-making, Self- confidence, Positive Risk Taking, Cohesion, Trust, Self-esteem, Leadership, Goal-setting, and Teamwork.
Whether testing your personal limits with friends and family or team building as part of a corporate outing, you are sure to love our ropes challenge course. It is conveniently located on our 10-acreFamily Adventure Island right in the middle of the beautiful Big Pigeon River at the same location as our rafting and zipline adventures. Why not schedule a whole day of thrills and excitement with Rafting in the Smokies? Your one stop family adventure shop!
Our high elements ropes challenge course currently consists of four skill levels designed to challenge you personally as well as encourage group cooperation. Each level becomes incrementally more difficult from the easiest Class I to the most intense Class IV.
Class I —Canopy Bridge, Free line Bridge, and Sky Hammock
Class II — Painters Planks, Multi Vines, and Balance Beam
Class III — Tension Traverse, Silver Surfer, and Wiggly Poles
Class IV — Space Loops, Monkey Rings, and River Serpents
ROPES COURSE SAFETY: Our solidly-constructed, stationary course is built high in the trees from pressure treated utility poles as well as other carefully chosen materials. For additional safety, all participants are fitted with a full body harness and attached to an overhead belay cable with ropes and carabiners. If a participant loses footing, he/she will simply be caught by the harness and cable to dangle harmlessly.
CLOTHING: Capri pants or shorts that are at least mid-thigh in length, t-shirt, and closed toe shoes. Due to harness placement, swimsuits and short shorts are not permitted. NO CROCS, FLIP-FLOPS, OR BAREFEET ALLOWED.
ROPES COURSE RESTRICTIONS: Participants must be at least 5 years old. Minimum weight is 45 LBS. Max weight is 250 LBS.
HARTFORD AND COSBY
We invite you to the road less traveled through one of the Smokies most scenic areas. Quiet, secluded, unhurried, yet within 20 minutes of area attractions like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Dollywood. Cosby is nestled in the scenic foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. With it’s own entrance into the Smoky Mountains National Park, Cosby offers hiking trails, picnic areas, campgrounds and amphitheater. Largely undiscovered, you will find solitude and majestic mountains beauty in this area. Besides the National Park, Cosby also includes a large section of the Cherokee National Forest, which offers hiking, mountain biking, horse trails, fishing, hunting, picnicking, and wildlife watching.
Why not try a whitewater rafting trip, one of Cocke County’s most popular recreational adventures, or visit with the many local artists and craft shops. Cosby also has a wonderful apple orchard which offers fresh apples, seasonal produce, jellies, jams, pickles and relishes.
With four perfect seasons, you’ll have a hard time trying to decided which one you like best! Check out Cosby’s Calendar of Events!
Gatlinburg is nestled at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national parkin America. This little town of 3,944 residents is dedicated to welcoming all of its guests with a taste of Appalachian hospitality at its best. Folks come from all over the world for vacations, outdoor adventures, family fun and memory making.
Gatlinburg is one of America’s great mountain resort destinations, with dozens of local-to-national restaurants, and attractions galore – all nestled in the foothills and surrounded on three sides by the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg prides itself on its walkability amidst mountain heritage and the arts, crafts and shops that reflect that tradition.
Arts and Crafts for Miles
Anchored at the corner of East Parkway and Glades Road at Traffic Light #3A, you’ll find the beginning of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. Home to over 100 shops featuring craftspeople and artists along an 8-mile loop, it’s the largest gathering of independent artisans in North America. You’ll discover one-of-a-kind crafts, treasures and artwork, and you can watch the artisans at work. Stop along the way and chat with a painter or potter, or let a broom maker show you how it’s done.
Walking Downtown and the River Walk
Everyone enjoys walking the Downtown Parkway, which runs from one end of town to the other. It’s filled with a rich variety of things to see and activities to experience,places to eat, super shopping and attractions that boggle the mind. For a quieter stroll, take the River Walk and enjoy the cheerful song of the Little Pigeon River, with gazebos and benches along the way. Apart from the Downtown Parkway and connecting side streets, the East Parkway at Traffic Light #3 is dotted with shops and restaurants for about three miles.
The Night Time is the Right Time</h3>
Once the sun sets, there’s plenty of dining and entertainment downtown. From family fare to filet mignon, Gatlinburg’s restaurants are always fixin’ up something special. After dinner, enjoy a show. Take a trip back in time to the slapstick vaudeville comedy of Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre or check out the Mentalist show with hypnosis and magic. Grab a bench and people-watch. Or cruise up the Space Needle or Gatlinburg Sky Lift and enjoy the twinkling lights below.
Need a Handy Guide?
Order a FREE Gatlinburg Vacation Guide. It’s everything you will need to get ready for a Gatlinburg getaway. Complete listings of special events, mileage charts and alternate routes that’ll save you at least an hour coming and going. You’ll find listings of shopping, restaurants, lodging, attractions, and other Gatlinburg businesses that are ready and waiting to welcome you. Come explore the most visited National Park in America and enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains from your home base in Gatlinburg!
Gatlinburg Attractions Association – Member Attractions throughout Gatlinburg TN
A Walk in the Woods – Guided Hikes throughout The Smoky Mountains National Park Area
Ober Gatlinburg – Ski Resort & Amusement Park with Season Passes Available
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Underwater World of Adventure
Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Community – Over 100 craftspeople in 80 shops – Gatlinburg, TN
Wood Signs of Gatlinburg – Personalized wooden signs for family & home. Since 1971.
GATLINBURG WEDDING SERVICES
Fantasy Bridal – The Smokies Largest Selection of Rental Bridal Gowns & Tuxedos
Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce – Rafting in the Smokies is a Proud Member!
PIGEON FORGE AREA
Looking for things to do in Pigeon Forge? During your visit you’ll learn quickly there’s an abundance of Pigeon Forge activities to keep everyone entertained!
There are interactively fun and educational attractions such as the Titanic Museum Attraction and WonderWorks. The city is even home to one of the best attractions in the South, Dollywood!
Leaf peeping, wildlife-watching and horseback riding are just some of the great outdoor Pigeon Forge activities. For some Smoky Mountain Adventures try out whitewater rafting, rock climbing, or maybe mountain biking!
The list of things to do in Pigeon Forge, TN would never be complete without the theaters and shows. You can enjoy a dinner theater, comedy show, magic show and live music!
Other popular Pigeon Forge activities include miniature golf, bowling, go-karts, laser tag, arcade games, thrill rides and indoor skydiving. Not to mention all of the shopping venues.
PIGEON FORGE RESTAURANTS
Captain Jim’s Seafood Buffet – Full service buffet with your seafood favorites!
PIGEON FORGE ATTRACTIONS
The Comedy Barn – Hilarious Family Comedy Show – Kids 11 & Under are Free!
Dixie Stampede – Dolly Parton’s Dinner Attraction
Flyaway Indoor Skydiving – Flying Indoors without the Fear on the Pigeon Forge Parkway
Rainforest Adventures – Discover Zoo in the Smoky Mountains at Governor’s Crossing in Sevierville
Smokies Angling Adventures – Guided Fishing Trips on East Tennessee’s Rivers and Streams, Douglas Lake
Smoky Mountain Llama Treks – Llama Trek Hiking on Scenic Smoky Mountains Trails
Wonder Works – The Upside Down House in Pigeon Forge offering Hands-on Discovery, Pigeon Forge
As the birthplace of Dolly Parton, Sevierville has become home to Dollywood and many show venues to please every taste.
Whether you clog to bluegrass, hip-hop to the new beat, rock hard to loud guitars, marvel to magicians, or just want a great meal, Sevierville will keep you entertained. Spend the day visiting exciting attractions and the nights attending spectacular shows. Eat everything from home cooking to exotic dinners at a wide variety of restaurants and shop at the best malls in the Great SmokyMountains. Spa away the day with a massage and body wrap at one of our full-service spas or say “fore” on the 18th hole at any of Sevierville’s golf courses.
Honeysuckle Rose Boutique – Eclectic, upscale shopping boutique in the Wears Valley area of Sevierville
SPRING: Looking for fun seasonal attractions? There’s never a bad time to visit Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. In March, April and May, the Gatlinburg calendar of events is jam-packed with special spring events, such as Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring, Gatlinburg Craft Festival and the annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament. Look below to see what else spring brings!
SUMMER: Are you always looking for fun things to do on the 4th of July? Or the rest of the summer, for that matter? The Gatlinburg calendar is so packed with seasonal special events, you may have a hard time deciding what to do in Gatlinburg. In August, there’s the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival, while July offers the popular River Raft Regatta and a spectacular fireworks show–both great things to do on the 4th of July. Contrary to many destinations, the heat of the summer won’t impose any limits when choosing what to do in Gatlinburg. In August, the average high is only 86 degrees, while the average low is a comfortable 74 degrees.
WINTER: If you’ve never seen the Smoky Mountains in winter, you need to—the Gatlinburg winter calendar of events is jam-packed with seasonal special events, such as Gatlinburg TN New Year‘s Eve and Winterfest, that make it easy to find things to do in the Smoky Mountains in winter months. Take a look at some favorite Gatlinburg winter events and make plans to enjoy a Christmas in the Smokies or a simple vacation later in the season.
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, NC – #1 Motorcycle Road with 318 Curves in 11 Miles on US129 – Murphy, NC
NORTH CAROLINA MOTORCYCLE ATTRACTIONS
Wheels Through Time Museum – American Vintage Motorcycle Museum in Maggie Valley, NC
TENNESSEE OVERHILL AREA
Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association – Vacation Information for the East Tennessee Region
SMOKY MOUNTAIN VISITOR GUIDES, NEWS, AND MAGAZINES
BestoftheSmokies.com – The Smoky Mountain Business Directory
Visit My Smokies – Sevier County Tennessee Links to Everything!
See Pigeon Forge – Links to All Things Pigeon Forge Tennessee
Outer Quest Adventure Travel – Great Adventure Travel Planning
The Mountain Press – Sevier County and the Smokies’ Area Newspaper
The Knoxville News Sentinel – Knoxville Tennessee Newspaper