March is a great time to explore the beautiful Smoky Mountains! The temperature begins to warm up from the cool winter season, deciduous trees grow back their leaves, and the wildflowers start to bloom. Also, March brings forth a lot of opportunities for outdoor adventures and exciting events. In this Smoky Mountains Vacation Guide, we give you all the best Things To Do In the Smoky Mountains in March just in time for the Spring Break travel season!
Is March A Good Time To Visit The Smoky Mountains?
It’s always a great time to visit the Smokies, it just really depends on what season you enjoy most and activities you look forward to doing.
March in the Smoky Mountains may still have cool temperatures, but that should not stop you from enjoying all the exciting things to do in the Smokies during this time of the year.
While crowds do begin to pick up, particularly toward the end of the month as Spring break travelers arrive, they are nowhere near the levels you will see when visiting the Smokies in the Summer or Fall.
It is also a great time to enjoy all the beautiful wildflowers while taking a short hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National park.
What Is There To Do In The Smoky Mountains in March?
Hiking in the Smoky Mountains
No matter what the season, hiking is always a great activity to do in the Smoky Mountains. While March may still have chilly weather for most of the month, this can make hiking quite enjoyable if you prefer to avoid the bugs and the humidity associated with warmer times of the year. The spring flowers and waterfalls are also quite enjoyable in the Smoky Mountains in March.
Some of the most popular trails to take in the Smokies include:
- The Charlies Bunion
- Andrews Bald
- Rainbow Falls
- Porters Creek Trail
- Gregory Ridge Trail
- Little River Trail
- Rich Mountain Loop
For more ideas on hiking in the Smokies visit: Best Seasonal Hikes in the Smoky Mountains
See the Beautiful Wildflowers
With over 1,500 types of flowering plants in the Smokies, wildflower viewing is a must when visiting the Smokies in March.
Although you may not still find all the flowers in full bloom, expect to see some amazing flowers in bloom like Spring-beauty, Trout-lily, Sharp-lobed Hepatica, Jack-in-the-pulpit.
With an abundance of flowers blooming in the area, it’s not a surprise why Great Smoky Mountains National Park has earned the nickname “Wildflower National Park”.
Although March is considered a slower time in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg still has lots of things going on and offers plenty of opportunities for fun.
One of the best Gatlinburg attractions to visit in March is the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park where you can enjoy beautiful sights, go shopping or grab a bite at SkyCenter. If you want to learn more, make sure to check our post on the best things to do in Gatlinburg in March.
A trip to the Smoky Mountains in March isn’t complete without trying some of Tennessee’s finest moonshine.
Dating back from the first Irish settlers of the area up until now, moonshine tasting has become a booming business and a must activity in the Smoky Mountains.
Enjoy Dining at Popular Restaurants
Your Smoky Mountains Vacation In March wouldn’t be complete without enjoying some of the local dining in the area.
Because there are fewer crowds in March, you have the chance to dine at these restaurants with a shorter waiting time. Here are some of our favorite recommendations in the area.
- Tennessee Jed’s( our favorite breakfast place)
- Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg
- Most Romantic Restaurants in Pigeon Forge
- Restaurants in Sevierville
- Romantic Restaurants in Gatlinburg
Another can’t miss activity in the Smokies in March is Horseback riding. Guided horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains national park starts mid-march all through late November.
There are 4 concession horseback riding stables that offer 45 minutes to several hours of horseback riding in different scenic trails in the park.
Enjoy Outdoor Activities
As the season starts to shift, different outdoor activities also start to become available again for locals and visitors to enjoy. Unlike the peak season of summer, you’ll be able to enjoy these awesome outdoor activities with fewer crowds.
- Ziplining- Although the weather is still a bit tricky, you’ll find that zipline companies are slowly starting to operate again in March. Legacy Mountain Ziplines, ZipGatlinburg, Anakeesta, and Smoky Mountain Ziplines are some of the best places for Ziplining in the Smokies.
- White water Rafting- Just like with ziplining, rafting outfitters are slowly opening their doors for groups who want to enjoy the waters of the Smoky Mountains. The cool weather makes up for an extreme rafting adventure in the Smokies in March.
- Fishing- March is a great time for fishing in the Smokies. Fly Fishing and trout fishing starts revving up this time of the year.
ATV Riding in the Smoky Mountains
Attend a Car Show
A series of car shows in the Smoky Mountains typically starts in March. A variety of car shows are held at the LeConte Convention Center in Pigeon Forge.
In these car shows, you’ll have the chance to walk around and see awesome cars. Some of the shows you’ll want to catch in March:
- Horsepower & HotRods
- Spring Corvette Expo
- Chevelles in the Smokies
- Ponies in the Smokies.
Festivals and Events in The Smoky Mountains In March
There are plenty of festivals and special events that happen all year round in the Smoky Mountains. March in particular has some interesting and unique celebrations to look forward to.
Dollywood Opening Day
Dollywood in Pigeon Forge has grown to become a world-class theme park that is loved by many. With a mix of southern charm, thrill rides, amazing shows, delicious food, and plenty of fun for the whole family, its opening is greatly anticipated by locals and visitors alike.
In March, Dollywood finally opens again after its seasonal closure. They will open on March 12, 2022, and will stay open until January 1, 2023.
Gatlinburg Improv Fest
If you’re looking for laughs in the Great Smoky Mountains, be sure to catch the Gatlinburg Improv Fest. This annual festival brings some of the best improv comedy troupes in the Southeast to the Smokies for two days of no-stop fun. This event also features a variety of awesome interactive shows and workshops.
This Smoky Mountains event is held at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theater, located at 461 Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg.
Winter Carnival of Magic
The Winter Carnival of Magic in Pigeon Forge is held at Country Tonite Theatre for one weekend in early March. This special event gathers thousands of Magicians all over the US for a weekend of magic and amazing tricks.
There will be evening shows, competitions including a close-up and stage contest, as well as lectures and dealer workshops.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration At Gatlinburg
Visit Gatlinburg with the family for an entire week of fun-filled festivities honoring the culture of the Irish. This event started in 2021 that features both traditional and whimsical Irish fare, special offers, and more.
The town will be painted Shamrock green with Irish flags and decorations all over the city along with Celtic music.
Business establishments like restaurants, attractions, lodging and more are joining the fun with their own Irish decor, concerts, food & beverages.
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More Smoky Mountain Vacation Resources
- 8 Best Things to do at The Island in Pigeon Forge
- Glamping In the Great Smoky Mountains
- Seasonal Hiking in the Smoky Mountains
- 125+ Amazing Things To Do in the Smoky Mountains!