Horseback Riding in Gatlinburg: What to Expect and Best Routes
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park had the most visitors of all national parks within the United States in 2019. And, for good reason. The Smoky Mountains are set on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina and offer stunning scenery, easy access from major cities and airports, and a plethora of adventures for outdoor enthusiasts, including equestrians. Gatlinburg is the gateway to the national park, and the city has many attractions in addition to its proximity to the 520,000-acre Great Smoky Mountains. There are many options for horseback riding in Gatlinburg. You just have to know what you want to do and pick a stable.
Planning Your Ride in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg horseback riding stables can be found listed online as you’re planning your trip, or once you arrive in the area for your visit. We recommend planning ahead during peak tourist seasons – summer and fall, as horse trail riding in Gatlinburg is extremely popular. Stables can be completely booked if you wait until the last minute to plan your riding adventure.
Horse riding stables in Gatlinburg cater to riders of all ages and skills. Check online or with the stable ahead of time to find out if rides are suitable for beginners, experienced riders, or children. Gatlinburg horseback riding prices vary depending on the length of the ride and amenities offered, between $35 - $50 on average for 1 hour rides.
Choosing a Stable in Gatlinburg
It’s debatable where the best horse riding in Gatlinburg is. There is so much to see in the area. However, if you want to ride in the park, you have two easy options. Sugarlands Riding Stables and Smoky Mountain Stables are both located within the park and offer horseback riding among the wildlife, alongside streams, and up and down the rugged terrain of the park. It’s truly a unique way to explore the park and horse riding lets you see the Great Smoky Mountains from a view that few others get to enjoy.
Although they are not located within the park, there other horse riding stables in Gatlinburg, TN also offer trail rides. In addition to the stables within the park, horse trail riding is also available at Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa north of Gatlinburg, and Gold Rush Stables and Carriage Rides. Those staying further north can find stables in the Sevierville area as well.
On the Trails in Gatlinburg
With over 550 miles of trails within the park open to equestrians, and additional trails in nearby Sevierville, horseback riding near Gatlinburg, TN is a trail rider’s dream. Equestrians have days of adventures with Gatlinburg horseback riding without having to worry about repeating the same trails.
Riding in Gatlinburg is an option for equestrians with their own horses as well. You can trailer into the area to ride, or stay at an equestrian campground or other location to explore the area with your own horse. It’s hard to compare the thrill of a ride on your own horse to a guided trail ride. So, if it’s an option or you, bring your horse along to explore the Gatlinburg area and the miles of trails it offers equestrians. If it’s not an option, one of the stables will be happy to accommodate you with a horse suitable for experienced riders.
Horseback riding in Gatlinburg is especially stunning during the fall foliage season. As the roads fill with cars that are all leaf peeping, you can truly escape out on the trail and enjoy the spectacular views from the back of a horse, in a small group. Although fall is often heralded as a special time in the Smoky Mountains, each season is unique and stunning. You will be inspired and awed on any visit to Gatlinburg. If you are a trail type of equestrian, take a look at Top 14 Locations in the USA for Horseback Riding Trails.
Saddle up – we’ll see you on the trails.