Horseback Riding in the Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains are renowned for breathtaking landscapes, perfect for taking in the sights and adventuring outdoors. One of the best ways to experience this beauty is on horseback. The areas around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer numerous opportunities for horseback riding, with guided trail rides catering to all ages skill levels.

Guided Trail Rides

Guided trail rides are a popular way to explore the scenic trails surrounding the Smoky Mountains. You'll have an experienced guide to ensure safety while sharing their knowledge of the local flora and fauna. Most rides take you through lush forests, along tranquil streams, and up to stunning mountain vistas. This is truly a fun activity for all!

What to Expect:
  • Duration: Trail rides can range from one hour to several hours, depending on the chosen trail and your preferences.
  • Terrain: Expect to ride through a variety of terrain, including wooded areas, open fields, and gentle mountain slopes.
  • Wildlife: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, wild turkeys, and various bird species.
Popular Horseback Ride Outfitters in the Smokies

Several reputable outfitters in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas offer guided horseback riding experiences:

Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa (Pigeon Forge):

Located just a short drive from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Big Rock offers horseback riding year-round, 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm (weather permitting).

  • They offer guided trail rides (a 3.5 mile mountain ride with beautiful views of the mountains), a petting zoo, a fishing pond, gem mining, and a museum.
  • Must be at least 6 years old to ride alone, and children 3-5 can ride with an adult.
  • Known for their friendly guides and well-maintained trails.
  • The picnic area, kids playground, and petting zoo are free to visit!

Five Oaks Riding Stables (Pigeon Forge):

Offering a 1-hour ride on a shady 3.5 mile trail with beautiful streams and mountain views. You'll even pass by an authentic moonshine still. The guides are entertaining, and it's a great experience for the whole family!

  • Offers scenic trail rides with views of Mount LeConte and the surrounding area.
  • Combines horseback riding with other activities like zip-lining for a full day of adventure.
  • Ages 6+ are allowed (ages 3-5 can ride with an adult) and it's suggested that you book your ride in advance
  • Five Oaks also has a great Zipline experience on property, and you can book a horseback ride / zipline combo, which is such a unique way to spend the day!
Tips for a Great Experience
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing: Long pants and closed-toe shoes are recommended for comfort and safety.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring water, especially for longer rides.
  • Follow the Guide's Instructions: For your safety and the safety of others, always listen to and follow the guideā€™s instructions.
  • Bring a Camera: Capture the stunning scenery and memorable moments, but secure it properly to avoid losing it on the trail.
Who Can Participate

Horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains is suitable for most people, but there are a few guidelines to consider:

  • Age Requirements: Most stables require riders to be at least 6 years old. Some may offer pony rides for younger children.
  • Weight Limits: Weight limits vary by stable and weather conditions, typically ranging from 225 to 270 pounds.
  • Skill Levels: Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, there are trails and rides suitable for all skill levels.
  • Health Considerations: Riders should be in good health and able to mount and dismount the horse with minimal assistance.

Horseback riding in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area offers a unique and memorable way to connect with nature and create lasting memories. We hope you have a great time on the trail!