Content Produced in Partnership with Visit Sevierville
East Tennessee is known for a multitude of attributes: moonshine, nature, Southern hospitality and one vivacious gal who answers to the name of Dolly. You can experience all of this charm and more by planning a trip to her hometown of Sevierville, the gateway to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Here’s how to do just that.
Black bears, synchronous fireflies, owls, deer and more than 50 fish species — these are just a few of the residents of the Smoky Mountains. Spanning more than half a million acres, the country’s most visited national park draws hikers, fishermen, outdoors enthusiasts, and naturalists of all age, interest and skill level. Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park at 6,643 feet, though there are plenty of other equally picturesque areas worth exploring, like the section of the park south of Wears Valley near Metcalf Bottoms, which boasts Laurel Falls and the famous Sinks where you can take a dip to cool off in the chilling water.
Soar over the canopy at Foxfire Mountain
There’s nearly a dozen zipline courses in Sevierville alone, but ultimate adrenaline junkies will want to get their heart pounding with a trip down Goliath, a series of five lines that are some of the longest, fastest and highest in the country. Stick around after your zipline adventure to monkey up the 60-foot climbing course, have lunch at the Zippin’ Pig BBQ Shack, mosey over the swinging bridge and take a stroll along Foxfire Mountain’s hiking trails, one of which leads to a photogenic waterfall.
Test your balance at Adventureworks
If you’ve wary of the longer ziplines in town but want to give the activity a go, a morning at Adventureworks is the perfect pick for you. The 55-element Climb, Zip, Swing Tree Top Challenge course gives you the option of starting 40 feet up in the trees or a bit closer to the ground at just 15 to 20 feet; each level has a number of tightropes to walk, bridges to swing across, cargo nets to scamper up and a few short ziplines thrown in the mix. You can create your own path, as each stand offers a number of different routes from which to choose.
Hitch a ride at Five Oaks Riding Stables
Looking for a mild horseback ride that also promising sweeping views? Five Oaks Riding Stables has you covered. Located in the heart of Sevierville on 70 acres of wooded terrain, these 60-minute guided rides take cowboys and cowgirls deep into the woods, then wind their way up the trail to a lookout with Mount LeConte in the distance.
Sip on shine at Smith Creek
After a long day of outdoor fun, there’s no better way to unwind than a little front porch sittin’. Smith Creek Moonshine, located inside Tanger Outlets, is outfitted with a row of rocking chairs and a long bar for tasting all its different ‘shines on offer. For those who want to continue their sipping, there’s a full-blown Rocky Top Wine Trail with six stops and a handful of wineries thrown in the mix, and Sevier Distilling is also set to open soon. (Drink responsibly, and be sure you have a designated driver.)