Explore The National Park On Horseback

Horseback Riding In The Smoky Mountains


Horseback riding is one of the best ways to explore the Smoky Mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to two horseback riding stables that offer guided horseback rides from mid-March through late November. All of the guided horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is suitable for beginners and experienced riders. Here’s where you can go horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains:

Cades Cove Riding Stables

Cades Cove Riding Stables is located near Townsend, TN. They offer guided horseback riding through Cades Cove, and along the way you’ll get to learn more about the history of Cades Cove. All of the horses are hand-picked for their calm temperament, athletic ability and willingness to please. The guided rides are perfect for any level of experience and last about an hour. Cades Cove Riding Stables also offers hayrides around the Cades Cove Loop Road and horse-drawn carriage rides through the forest trails of Cades Cove.

For more information, visit the Cades Cove Riding Stables website.

Smokemont Riding Stables


Smokemont Riding Stables offers a variety of guided horseback rides in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC. The 1-hour ride takes you across the Oconaluftee River, through a tunnel underneath US 441, and then around a 3-mile loop on the mountain. The waterfall ride is a 2.5-hour horseback ride, along which you’ll ride above the Smokemont Campground, along mountain streams and to the Chasteen Creek Waterfall. The 4-hour ride is the longest horseback ride this stable offers. It features wooded mountain trails, miles of creekside scenery and two cascades.

Smokemont Riding Stables also offers wagon rides that travel down Old Turnpike Road, alongside the Oconaluftee River. You’ll pass fields where you can spot wildlife as you learn about history from the guides.

For more information, visit the Smokemont Riding Stables website.

Do you want to bring your own horse to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

If you plan on bringing your own horse to the park with you, know that horses are restricted to trails that are specifically designated for horse use. About 550 miles of hiking trails are open to horses. Off-trail or cross-country riding is prohibited in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are 5 drive-in horse camps that provide access to backcountry horse trails in the park. The camps are located at Cades Cove, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom and Towstring, and they are open from April through October.