We had someone come in just the other day, who asked in exasperation, “What can we do here that’s actually open?!” She had seen several attractions on her way into town that were closed for renovations or closed for the winter, and she was concerned about finding things to do! There are several attractions here that close for the winter, but not to worry! There is still plenty to do here!
Icicles, frosty leaves, and frozen waterfalls! Hiking in the winter is beautiful! And there are fewer people on the trails, so you may have the woods to all to yourself. If you are nervous about hitting the trails alone or just want to learn some winter ecology, you can hire a guide from A Walk in the Woods to take you on a private or group hike in the Smokies.
Here are some trails that are still accessible even when most of the Park roads are closed:
Gatlinburg Trail – The trailhead is at the end of River Road in Gatlinburg and follows the river for 2 miles, ending at Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Cove Mountain Trail – This strenuous 11 mile trail can be accessed from Sugarlands Visitor Center, via Cataract Falls Trail.
Old Sugarlands Trail – Originally the first paved road to Newfound Gap, this easy 5 mile trail could be perfect for cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Access the trailhead across the street (441) from Sugarlands Visitor Center.
I have found at least one zipline place that is still open in the winter! Climbworks offer zipline tours Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 10am and 1:30pm. Occasionally they do cancel tours if there’s bad weather, but even if it snows in the morning, if it stops with enough time for them to clear off their equipment, they can still run an afternoon session!
Wall Climbing at NOC’s Great Outpost
NOC’s Great Outpost, here in Gatlinburg, offers an indoor climbing wall that is still open during the winter on Saturdays and Sundays! We even have coupons here in our office for a free wall-climb for 2 people at the Outpost!
The amazing and unique Zorb ride is still open in the winter! Imagine the sensation of rolling down a snowy hill in a huge inflated plastic orb! What a thrill-ride!
Ober Gatlinburg offers skiing, snow tubing, and ice skating for all you winter sports lovers out there! If the roads are tricky because of winter weather, just ride the sky tram up from downtown Gatlinburg! And even when it doesn’t snow, Ober Gatlinburg has state-of-the-art snow-making equipment to make sure you can go skiing even on the sunnier days!
Wonderworks, Hoot ‘N Holler, The Wonders of Magic
Wonderworks is still open, and they have also recently added an exciting new indoor ropes course! Something which was previously only available to us in the summer is now available in the winter too! The Hoot ‘N Holler Dinner Show and the Wonders of Magic Show are also both still running for your entertainment and enjoyment!
Smith Family Theater
The Smith Family Theater still has shows every day of the week throughout the winter! They offer their Smith Family Show about 4 times a week and their Blast From The Past Show about 3 times a week!
The Comedy Barn, one of the most successful and popular shows in town, is open year round! You’ll be rolling in the floor, you’ll be laughing so hard! This is the funniest show around, so don’t miss it!
The MagiQuest interactive adventure is still open, and extremely popular! This is something great for kids, especially, which is another thing we get asked about constantly. But, I’ve heard quite a few adults enjoy it as well! So for all of us who are young at heart, head down to the MagiQuest attraction!
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
This marvelous aquarium is open 365 days a year! It is always filled with wonder and beauty! Make sure to get your tickets at our office to avoid standing in long lines!
Dixie Stampede takes about a week to do some tear-down and set-up after their holiday show ends on January 1st. But they are right back up with Friday and Saturday shows starting January 14, and one Sunday show on January 16. They add Monday and Wednesday shows starting February 9, and are open every day of the week again starting in March! You can get discounted tickets for the Stampede here in our office!
This blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.