Dancing Bear Lodge and Appalachian Bistro Logo

Hiking, Biking, Fishing, Tubing, Ziplining and much in Townsend, TN

Looking for Something To Do When You Visit Townsend? Here are some suggestions!

When you visit Dancing Bear, our staff is here to ensure your stay is excellent. Please don’t hesitate to ask us what our favorite hikes, drives, or fishing spots are! Each staff member may have their own secret spots!

Smoky Mountain Hikes


What better way to truly experience the beauty of The Smoky Mountains than to take a walk in the woods? Just a short drive from Dancing Bear, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains nearly 900 miles of hiking trails for all levels of adventurers. From quiet roadside walkways to rocky and narrow ridge top trails, a hike is a perfect way to explore the beauty of the area. From waterfalls to wildflowers, or from streamside solitude to mountaintop magnificence, destinations of all types can be found by trail in the park. The park is also filled with a large collection of historic home sites and farmsteads, all of which add to the beautiful setting and story of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When you are looking to take in the endless mountain views, you can find a trail to fit your desired experience. If you like a moderate challenge, try the hike from the Great Smoky Mountains Institute on Tremont Road to the beautiful 30-foot Spruce Flats waterfalls. Here are a few of our favorite hikes as well! And, don’t forget, Dancing Bear has over a mile of trails on property! Explore the beautiful landscape of our temperate rainforest right outside your cabin.


In addition to trails on the Dancing Bear property, Townsend is also a bike-friendly town where you can pedal safely on 10 miles of paved walking/riding paths, running parallel to Highway 321 through town. You can also leave the pavement and test your endurance as you explore the steep climbs on and leading to the Foothills Parkway. The combination of smooth roads and challenging features make East Tennessee a fantastic area for cycling pursuits. Rides of all lengths and difficulties can be enjoyed from our location in Townsend. Plus, our lodging guests have access to bikes which can be ridden on property or through Townsend! Here are some of our favorite Smoky Mountain bicycling recommendations.

Just 4 miles down the road from Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro is an exciting new adventure called VeeHollow. Vee Hollow is a 14-mile mountain bike trail network, free to use and open year-round.

Biking in Townsend TN Trails
Men Fishing in the Smoky Mountains River

Fly Fishing

Dancing Bear Cabins sits within a good stone’s throw of one of the last wild trout fisheries in the United States. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to truly wild rainbow, brown, and brook trout and is graced with over 800 miles of trout streams between its Tennessee and North Carolina boundaries. The only true native trout to southern Appalachia, the brook trout, are limited mostly to higher elevation streams above 3,000 feet, while colorful rainbow and brown trout swim in most all of the waters from there down to the park boundaries. Although fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains can be a year-round pursuit, it may be best-experienced beginning in March and lasting through November. From higher elevation waters to the large pools of the lower elevation freestone streams, the Smokies have something to offer anglers of all skill levels. Local knowledge goes a long way in truly experiencing the beauty and relaxation that can be found in these mountains. Ian and Charity Rutter, owners and guides at local R&R Fly Fishing, use their wealth of experience to teach people how to become a better fly fisher. To schedule instruction with them, call 865-448-0467 or email [email protected]. For all of your fly fishing gear needs, be sure to contact Little River Outfitters. For more information on fishing in Townsend, Tennessee visit Explore Townsend here:


You can be as lazy as you want floating down Little River in a rented inner tube. Let Mother Nature guide you down the meandering waterway past the rocks and trees, or stand on the Swinging Bridge and people-watch as others gently sail under you.

Tubing in Townsend Smoky Mountains
Zip-lining Townsend TN


Enjoy a unique and exciting way to take in the Smoky Mountain scenery, propelled by gravity. Fly as free as a bird for an adrenaline-fueled ride you won’t soon forget.


With abundant wildlife and sprawling landscapes, opportunities to capture great images abound in the Smokies. Whether you’re shooting pictures of a water-powered grist mill, a lovely country church, or just snapping some shots of the family having fun, the Smokies provide the perfect backdrop. Don’t forget the wildflowers that abound from April thru October!

Cades Cove Tennessee Deer Photo Op
Cades Cove Tennessee Driving the Loop


Explore Cades Cove or the Foothills Parkway, traversing the mountains and flatlands for spectacular views of the scenery. Here on the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, you can even find some spots off the beaten path.

Longer drives will take you to Sugarlands Visitor Center, Newfound Gap on the border of TN and NC or to the highest point in the park, Clingman’s Dome.

Wine Tasting

Visit our neighbors at Cades Cove Cellar (next to Apple Valley) and sample their wines while the knowledgeable staff educates you about their labels in their beautiful showroom.

Townsend TN Wine Tasting
Clingmans Dome

Excursions & Guided Tours

Smoky Mountain Guides provides high-quality, guided adventures as well as interpretive tours of the Smoky Mountain region and beyond. Their staff will help as you hand pick the small group tour that will transform your next visit to the Smokies.


Just minutes away is the Wild Laurel Golf Course. Wild Laurel is a par 70, 18 hole golf course with a full clubhouse. Due to the convenient location just ten minutes from Dancing Bear Cabins, this is the most popular course among our guests. Although it is not a championship course, it does offer an enjoyable round of golf with beautiful mountain views.

Also, check out Windriver in Lenior City.

Golfing Near Smoky Mountains
Horseback Riding Townsend TN

Horseback Riding

Several businesses in the Townsend area offer stables where you can find a seasonal guided tour of the countryside while riding one of these beautiful animals. Davy Crockett Riding Stables is conveniently located near the Dancing Bear property and can be reached at 865-448-6411 for more information.

Tuckaleechee Caverns

If an underground adventure is what you seek, look no further than Tuckaleechee Caverns. These caverns, known as the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies” are rich in history and estimated to be between 20 to 30 million years old.

Tuckaleechee Caverns