Howdy, Partner! Lookin’ for a new way to experience the Great Smoky Mountains? How about from the back of your trusty steed? Don’t bring your horse on vacation with you? Never fear…there’s plenty excitement and adventure in horseback riding in the Gatlinburg area for the entire family no matter your horseback riding skills, even if you’ve never ridden. Have the complete Gatlinburg horseback experience with a full day ride, dinner & a campfire show, enjoy watching others performing daredevil horseback stunts, or take a leisurely turn on the carousel…Gatlinburg’s got it all.
1. Smoky Mountain Stables. A good horse beneath you. A blue sky above. Just the creaking of saddle leather and the smell of fresh air. That’s the beauty of a visit to Smoky Mountain Riding Stables. Enjoy a peaceful view of the Great Smoky Mountains on the back of a well trained horse. Their trails inside the National Park await you with an experienced guide that just might lead you into a flock of wild turkeys, a herd of wild deer or even black bear climbing a tree. Whether you are a novice, or an experienced rider, you are guaranteed a great horseback ride with Smoky Mountain Riding Stables. Warning!…This Ain’t No Cow Pasture Ride! It’s on Mountain Trails, the terrain is not flat!
2. Dixie Stampede. No, you can’t be a guest star in the show, but if you love the idea of riding horses but don’t really want to actually ride…maybe Dixie Stampede is for you. Enjoy a breath-taking show where the performers are mostly on horse-back, through in a couple of steer, a lot of singing and dancing, and a great 4-course meal…and you’ve got a great night at Dixie Stampede. Get up close and personal with many of the horses before and after shows at the stables that ring the building. Contact us for tickets. It is a fun-filled, action-packed extravaganza that everyone should experience!
3. Walden Creek Stables. Horseback riding on over 500 acres with 100 horses and 50 riding cowboys keeps the action going seven days a week, including Christmas Day! There’s plenty excitement an adventure for the entire family no matter your horseback riding skills, even if you’ve never ridden. From their Valley Hill Ride to the Mountain Adventure Ride, you’ll find a horseback riding trail best suited to your sense of adventure. On scheduled Wild West Show nights, riders enjoy hay rides, cowboy shootouts, horseback trick riding, live entertainment, lots of vittles and drink. Walden Creek Riding Stables is not just another place to ride horses but a western spun adventure! So whatcha waitin’ fer? Have some old fashioned clean family fun and take back memories to last a life time!
4. Flying Horse Grill. Still haven’t found the perfect horseback riding experience? Try a phenomenal meal and a ride on a custom crafted 30-seat Venetian carousel crafted 30 seat Venetian carousel. Flying Horse Grill offers an innovative selection of American comfort foods and signature dishes freshly prepared in-house using the finest ingredients available. Favorites include hand-cut USDA choice steaks, fresh seafood, barbequed baby back ribs, freshly baked pot pies, colossal prime beef burgers, specialty salads, pasta, signature sandwiches and more. Check out the full lunch, dinner, or kids’ menu! Whatever the occasion, the Flying Horse Grill will be a dining event you will not soon forget.
5. Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa. If you are looking for the best scenic views, an escape from the usual tourist traps, a family outing the kids won’t forget, a group or reunion activity, or just a chance to savor the majestic beauty of the Smoky Mountains, Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa is the place to go. Travel back in time and experience the Smokies as the early settlers did 200 years ago as they crossed the mountains on horseback seeing these mountains and valleys for the very first time.
6. Horse N Around. After a long day in the saddle, come home to your very own bunkhouse like Horse N Around. This 1 bedroom, 2 bath log cabin is located only 2 miles from downtown Gatlinburg and is very convenient to Pigeon Forge and the Smokies! Enjoy the wooded views from the rocking chairs on the deck or from the loft. Great for a romantic getaway or family vacation! Close to Downtown Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & the National Park. You know how I love a theme…Enjoy the plow harness mirror, hanging saddles, horseshoe towel racks, and equine art that make this the perfect cabin for your horsey vacation!
7. National Park on Horseback. Guided horseback rides are available at four concession horseback riding stables in the park from mid-March through late November. Rides on scenic park trails are offered lasting from 45 minutes to several hours. All rides proceed at a walking pace. Rates are from $20-$25 per hour. Weight limits and age restrictions may apply. Please contact the stable you are interested in for additional information: Cades Cove, Smokemont (near Cherokee), Smoky Mountains (see #1 above), Sugarlands (call 865-436-3535). About 550 miles of the park’s hiking trails are open to horses. Horses are restricted to trails specifically designated for horse use.
8. Deer Farm Petting Zoo & Riding Stable. Escape from the sounds of the city on horseback. Enjoy a guided ride on 8′ to 10′ wide, shady trails without age limits. Do you have younger children that you want to take horseback riding but need additional activities too? Take them to Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo & Horseback Riding Stables. You can pet critters from kangaroo to peacocks and zebras. Need another reason to visit? Deer Farm also supports wildlife rehabilitation through donations.
9. Horseback Wedding. Gatlinburg is a popular place to get hitched, and now you can get hitched on horseback at Douglas Lakeview Stables. For less that $300, you can pay for the minister, the horseback ceremony, a honeymoon trail ride, and a basic photo package. Not getting married or renewing your vows? Take a simple horseback ride along the shores of Lake Douglas. Contact them in advance to schedule your moonlight or sunset ride too!
Thanks to Michigan State University Museum for this photo.
10. Spinnin’ a Yarn. Okay, I know you well enough by now to know that some of you have no plans to actually go horseback riding…you would just a soon leave the smell, and the bugs and saddle soreness to others. But you still have BIG plans to entertain your friends with stories from the trail, wildlife encounters and other fantastic yarns. If you want them to believe you, make sure you do your homework. The Great Smoky Mountains Association sells Exploring the Smokies. This expertly written guidebook to the National Park will give you a “leg up” when spinning your yarn. And if it helps ease your guilt, remember that the proceeds from your purchase go to support the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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.