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Outdoor Winter Activities in the Smokies

Whether you are planning a day trip or a weekend getaway this season, there are always great outdoor winter activities in the Smokies! Since Dancing Bear Lodge is your Smoky Mountain basecamp, you will have access to our property’s hiking/walking trails, which stretch for 2 miles across the entire property.

If you want to explore the surrounding area, here are some great options to check out during your stay:

  1. Cades Cove. Known to be the Smoky Mountain’s most popular destination, Cades Cove is beautiful any season you visit. During winter, it is especially peaceful and a great place to take a picnic and a thermos of coffee to warm you up as you drive the 11-mile loop, soaking in the surrounding beauty. 
  2. Smoky Mountain Horseback Riding. Townsend’s very own Davy Crockett Riding Stables is open during the winter season by appointment, and their experienced equestrian professionals will help you explore the oldest mountain range in the world. The best part? There are no bugs to bother you on your winter adventure!
  3. Hike the Alum Cave Trail. This is one of the Smokies’ most well-known and popular trails, which recently completed a two year project to rehabilitate the trail for improved safety for hikers. From the ancient forest at the beginning of the trail off Newfound Gap Road to the new timber stairs and gorgeous native stone, you will have no problem finding adventure and beauty at every turn.
  4. Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. If you want to escape the great outdoors, Townsend’s very own Heritage Center is a perfect place to learn all about east Tennessee’s Euro-American and Native American history. The center boasts indoor and outdoor exhibits across six acres of property, taking you on a journey through time, rich with history dating back to the 1800’s and the National Park’s establishment in 1934. Learn more information and purchase tickets by visiting Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center or by calling 865-448-0044. 
  5. Smoky Mountain Fishing. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park protects one of the last remaining wild trout populations and permits year-round fishing in every stream, but make sure you have a valid fishing license from Tennessee or North Carolina! Don’t have a license? No problem – get yours are area fly shops or even by taking a quick trip to Walmart.
  6. Ober Gatlinburg Winter Sports. Take a day trip to visit Ober Gatlinburg for even more winter adventures! You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy all of their activities, including day or night skiing, tubing, and ice skating!
Smoky Mountains Winter

After an adventure-filled, winter day exploring the great outdoors, treat yourself to dinner at Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, then warm up next to the Bistro’s fire pit and roast some well-deserved s’mores! Make your reservations online and enjoy!

To book your winter getaway, call 800.369.0111 ext. 1 or book online.