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Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains In The Summer

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Summertime is fast approaching and the Great Smoky Mountains are calling! What better way to enjoy this sunny season than experiencing what these wondrous mountains have to offer. To get the most out of your trip to the Smokies, here is a guide about the things to do in the Smoky Mountains in the summer that is definitely one for the books.

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Things to do in the smokies in the summer

What Are The Smoky Mountains Known For?

The Great Smoky Mountain runs along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States and is best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is America’s most visited national park.

The Smokies are known for their diverse wildlife including over 100 native species of trees and are the home of the densest black bear population in the Eastern United States. 

What Is The Best Time To Visit Smoky Mountains?

The best time to visit the Smoky Mountains is during the summer months (June, July, and August) when the weather is nice and the majestic forests of the Smokies are in full display. While the lowest months with the lowest visitation happens in the winter and spring seasons. 

What Is There to do in the Smoky Mountains in The Summer?

Experience Whitewater Rafting

Beat the summer heat with an adrenaline-rushing whitewater rafting in the Smoky Mountains. This summer activity is a must-have if you want a break from the usual hiking and sightseeing. Whitewater rafting generally runs from late February to the month of November and all tips take place in the heart of the Smokies which is the Pigeon River.

Upper Pigeon River is perfect for beginners and children who are new to the activity while the lower Pigeon River is ideal for people who want some more action. 

Smoky Mountain Outdoors and Rafting in the Smokies are two major companies located in Gatlinburg from which you can book your trips.

Visit Dollywood

One of the most popular places in the Smoky Mountain Areas during the summer season is Dollywood. Their Summer Celebration offers extended hours, nightly fireworks, and other exciting summer entertainment for the whole family. 

Also, cool off this summer don’t forget to visit Dollywood’s Splash Country and enjoy various slides, swimming pools and play areas. 

Enjoy A Summertime Hike

Summertime is the perfect time to go hiking in the Smokies. With over 800 miles of hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll never run out of options. It’s one of the best ways to experience and see the forests in all their glory. Popular hiking trails are as following;

If you want to experience something new, you can go night hiking in Cades Cove led by a member of the National Park Service. The trail is about 2.5 miles and this activity is only available every Thursday beginning at 9 p.m which usually ends at 10:30 pm. 

Related Reading: Seasonal Guide to Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

See Breathtaking Waterfalls

The Smokies don’t run short of gorgeous waterfalls to visit. Hiking during the summertime can take a toll on the body, and the perfect spot to cool off and rest is by visiting waterfalls scattered all over the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be sure to visit these amazing waterfall trails before the summer ends.

If you prefer to see waterfalls without the hassle of walking for miles, there are also accessible Smoky Mountains waterfalls that you can drive by the road and visit for only a short walk.

Go River Tubing

River tubing is one of the best ways to spend a warm day in the Smokies In the summer. There are several tubing outposts in the area where you can chill and relax as you leisurely cruise down the river. Here are the best places to go tubing in the Smokies;

Climb The Highest Peaks

Clingman’s Dome In The Smoky Mountains

Climb up the highest peaks in the Smokies and enjoy the breathtaking view and colder temperature perfect to beat the summertime heat. You can drive up nearly to the summit of the Clingmans dome which is the highest of them all. You can also visit two of the other highest points in the Great Smokies which are the 6,580-foot Mount Buckley and 6,420-foot Mount Love.

You can also enjoy high elevation hikes on Andrews Bald Trail, Clingmans Dome Trail, and the hike to the Jump Off-trail in the Smoky Mountains.

Explore Cades Cove

Within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Cades Cove, its the perfect place to visit if you want to experience great scenery and learn a little bit about the Smoky Mountain History. You can see Cades Cove via car but you can also experience the place on foot or by bicycle.

Barns, churches, historic homes, and other buildings constructed by early settlers are to be seen in this historical place. Plus, you’ll also get to see wildlife like black bears, deers, bobcats, Raccoons, and more. Remember to keep your distance and don’t disturb these beautiful creatures.

Cool Off In Several Swimming holes

Within the Great Smoky Mountains are several swimming holes which are perfect to cool you down on a warm day at the Smokies. These great swimming spots are filled with cool, clean water fed by nearby springs which are pleasantly refreshing. 

Take a dip and cool off at these amazing swimming holes within the Smokies;

  • Greenbrier Swimming Hole
  • Townsend Wye
  • The Sinks
  • The Midnight Hole
  • Little River Swimming Hole

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