horses grazing in Cades Cove
May 9, 2023

If you’re looking for an interesting way to discover the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, consider exploring the park on horseback! There are so many reasons to go on a Smoky Mountains horseback riding adventure, but here are a few of our favorites:

1. There Are Options for All Experience Levels

two horses in a pasture in the Smoky Mountains

Don’t worry if you’re new to horseback riding or unfamiliar with the park’s trails. Guided rides are available to ensure your safety and provide you with an informative and enjoyable experience. In addition, there are options for all experience levels, so whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, there are rides for you! The rides proceed at a walking pace, so even those who have never ridden before can comfortably enjoy this great activity. And if horseback riding isn’t everyone’s thing, Cades Cove Riding Stables offers a 1.5-2 hour hayride around the Cades Cove Loop Road. With so many options, you’re sure to find the perfect adventure in the Smoky Mountains!

2. It’s a Great Activity for the Whole Family

Going horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains is a great activity for families because it’s something that everyone can enjoy together. Children as young as six years old can go on guided rides, making it a great way to get the whole family out into nature together. With guided rides available at multiple stables, there are great options for every family! You’ll love bonding as a family and creating lasting memories while enjoying the beauty of the Smoky Mountains from horseback.

3. You’ll Experience the Smokies from a New Perspective

river and woods from a trail

Going horseback riding is a fantastic way to experience the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from a different perspective. From the fresh mountain air to the stunning scenery, a Smoky Mountains horseback riding adventure is sure to leave you with lasting memories. You’ll connect with nature in new ways as you explore the scenic trails by horseback, and with a variety of ride length options, you can choose your own adventure! Ride through wooded mountain trails, creekside scenery, and even past waterfalls as you take a short 45-minute tour, or embark on an expedition of several hours! No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains.

4. You Can Bring Your Own Horse

If you have your own horse, you can bring it to the park! There are park and ride areas located at the designated horse trails throughout the park, offering convenient access to the trails. About 550 miles of the park’s hiking trails are open to horses, giving you the opportunity to explore the park’s backcountry on horseback at your own pace! Just be sure to obtain a copy of the park’s trail map and follow the designated trails. Additionally, remember that the park’s backcountry is managed as a natural area where the forces of nature determine trail conditions, so be prepared for potential obstacles such as fallen trees.

Horseback riding is an activity that you definitely won’t want to miss on your next vacation to the Smoky Mountains. With beautiful scenery, family-friendly options for all experience levels, and convenient access to the park, you can’t beat a Smoky Mountains horseback riding adventure! If you’re getting ready to head out on your trip, check out our guide to horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains.