This past June, my cousin, siblings and I drove 13 hours to Gatlinburg, TN for my sister’s 23rd birthday. We, the self-proclaimed Gatlinboys, were looked for the perfect imbalance of an abundance of nature with an adequate amount of technology. Gatlinburg delivered in both respects.
The first adventure literally swept me off my feet. For 2 ½ hours, we ziplined through a treetop canopy tour over the Smoky Mountains. From an ATV ride to the top of the mountains, to gliding through the trees, my feet never touched the ground. I felt like a princess who was one with the mountains and the sky.
Our second adventure took us to the bottom of the valley. While planning our trip, we found a zip line package that paired with white water rafting. We spent our second day paddling 6 ½ miles down the Upper Pigeon River, which lies on the outskirts of Gatlinburg, TN. It was humbling to be at the mercy of the currents – the rocks were certainly no small threat too!
To end our tour, The Gatlinboys took to the trails. As novice hikers who love a good view, we were advised by Tennessee natives to stick to a shorter, but a steeper path. We eventually settled on Grotto Falls – a 2 ½ round trip hike to the only waterfall in the Smokies that one can walk behind. The hike was quite intense for a bunch of Floridians but well worth the view!
Overall, I would say that Gatlinburg has something for everyone. From numerous restaurants to diverse museums, Gatlinburg offers tons of options for people whether or not they seek nature-filled adventure!
If you want to plan your own escapade through the trees and waters of Tennessee, visit http://www.smokymountainrafting.com/blog/whitewater-rafting-tennessee/gatlinburg-white-water-rafting-ziplining-combo-package/. All information about Grotto Falls can be found at http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/grotto.htm.
All photos are the property of Abby Camacho.