two horses in a pasture in the Smoky Mountains
December 30, 2022

People love coming to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see its natural beauty. Hiking is one of the most popular ways for visitors to explore, as the park has over 800 miles of trails. If you don’t enjoy hiking or want to try a new activity, explore the beautiful views while riding on the back of a majestic four-legged friend. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has 4 riding stables that are open from mid-March to late November. Here is a list of 4 reasons why you will love Smoky Mountain horseback riding:

1. It is an Activity For All Ages

Smoky Mountain horseback riding is a great activity for all ages and experience levels. The calm and well-trained horses are fun to ride. Kids will love being on horseback because they are raised up to see all the incredible views. Another great aspect of Smoky Mountain horseback riding is the guided tours. They are ideal for anyone that might not know the trails very well, as you can relax and don’t have to worry about losing your way. The tour guides will also teach you about the area. For instance, the tours at the Cades Cove and Smokemont riding stables will teach you a lot about history. It is so cool to visit the sites where significant events happened long ago.

2. Your Legs Won’t Get Tired

woman riding a horse in the Smoky Mountains

If you are worried about your legs getting tired during a hike, exploring the natural scenery on horseback is a great alternative. Additionally, if you aren’t an experienced hiker, you won’t have to worry about navigating rough terrain. Just sit up straight and take in the sights as your travel buddy saunters along the trail. Smoky Mountain horseback riding is also very relaxing. After conquering every roller coaster at Dollywood or winning an intense game of mini golf, it can be soothing to be out in the fresh air and quietness of nature.

3. You Can Bring Your Own Horse

Did you know that there are over 550 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are open to horses? If you want to experience Smoky Mountain horseback riding with your own horse, there are 5 drive-in horse camps that provide access to the trails. During your ride, make sure to stay on the trails that are designated for horses. They are prohibited on other trails because of the potential disturbance to the other wildlife in the area. Please keep in mind that caution is advised in the backcountry.

4. Carriage and Wagon Rides

horses in the Smoky Mountains

Even if you don’t want to be on horseback, you can still have a unique experience, as some stables offer wagon or horse-drawn carriage rides. Explore the wild like a true settler. It’s cool to think that these were prominent methods of transportation before there were cars. While this activity is fun for any age, it is great for families with small children because there is no age restriction. The slow ride is calming and may help lull little travelers to sleep.

Smoky Mountain horseback riding is a fun activity for your next visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Explore more information about horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains and learn more about each of the 4 stables.