If you want to take your vacation to the Smoky Mountains to the next level, I’ve got some adventures for you!
Thrill-seekers young and old will love these extreme adventures in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Go Ziplining in the Smoky Mountains
A zipline canopy tour gives you a birds-eye view of the area as you zip from platform to platform in between the trees.
There are lots of great companies where you can zipline in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or relatively closeby.
I’ve personally gone ziplining at Anakeesta, Rafting in the Smokies, and Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park.
Each zipline canopy tour offers unique vantage points of the Smoky Mountain Region. There is even a zipline that travels over a waterfall.
I would recommend wearing athletic clothing that doesn’t ride up with a harness. You’ll also want to bring some cash to tip your zipline guides.
Side note: extra cash is always good to have on hand for tipping for any adventure with a guide.
Race down the Alpine Slide at Ober Gatlinburg
Before there were mountain coasters, the alpine slide was the extreme way to go down a track on a mountain.
Your alpine slide adventure starts with a ride on a scenic chairlift to the top of the track.
On the alpine slide at Ober Gatlinburg, you can race the person next to you down the concrete luge style track.
Your speed on the sled depends on how often you choose to use the brakes that you control by hand on the way down.
Make sure that you follow all of the safety signs along the track and use your brakes when it says to.
You’ll also need to keep your distance from riders in front of you on the way down.
Push the Limits on a Mountain Coaster
Mountain coasters take alpine slides to the next level! You’re on a steel track instead of concrete and you can go even faster!
If you love to push speeds to the limit, you’ll love the rush from controlling your speed on a mountain coaster.
The individual cars on the steel tracks on the mountain coaster make the ride down the mountain very smooth.
You’ll find that the Smoky Mountain region has lots of options when it comes to finding a mountain coaster in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
I’ve personally tried the mountain coasters at Ober Gatlinburg, Anakeesta, and the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.
Take an ATV tour at Foxfire Mountain Adventures
Take it to the extreme on the trails with an ATV tour at Foxfire Mountain located about 30 minutes from Gatlinburg in Sevierville.
The guided tour on the Bear Crawler extreme 8 wheeler ATV at Foxfire Mountain can be a fun family adventure to experience with kids as young as 3 years old.
Depending on the weather, be prepared to get muddy or dirty on this tour!
Pro tip- Ask the guide for seating recommendations based on how dry you want to stay during your ride.
But keep in mind, the more mud, the more fun!
Experience Zorbing at Outdoor Gravity Park
Experience the thrill of rolling down a hill in an O.G.O. ball, resembling the human version of a hamster ball.
This is the only outdoor gravity park in the United States which makes this adventure even more special.
There are four different tracks with three different zorbing experiences.
Guests travel down a 1,000 ft hill with up to 3 riders on both the Fast Tracks and the FUNnel.
The Extreme Zig Zag only allows one person inside.
The zorbing experience takes about 90 seconds but it feels much longer in a good way. On your way down you slosh around inside the O.G.O. ball and it’s unlike any other adventure I’ve tried.
I highly recommend getting the video if you don’t own a GoPro. The footage from inside the ball going down the hill is priceless!
Wet zorbing is available all year but dry zorbing is only available in the fall, winter, and early spring.
If you want to stay dry instead of wet you need to call ahead to double-check if dry zorbing available during your visit.
Challenge Yourself on the Island Ropes Course and Quick Jump
A great confidence builder for kids and adults, the Island Rope Course allows you to face your fears and challenge yourself with the safety of a harness.
The Sky Trail Explorer Course is for anyone over 42″ but any guests under 48″ will need a taller chaperone with them. This course has 30 elements, two zip lines, and one simulated free-fall called Quick Jump.
I recommend trying all of them because you will feel braver on the other side of it. It’s also great to model stepping outside of your comfort zone with your kids.
Participants move their individual sling along the track and there is only one person allowed on each element at a time.
The ziplines are on each level and the elements vary in their level of difficulty.
Make sure that you try all of the elements first before you do the Quick Jump. There is no time limit when you are on the course, but once you jump, your time on the course is over.
(If you don’t want to do the Quick Jump you can walk back down the stairs when you are finished)
If you do need any assistance there are certified employees on the course who can help you. They are also a great resource if you need a few tips before tackling an intimidating element.
Go Indoor Skydiving at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving
Experience the thrill of skydiving without having to jump out of a plane at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving in Pigeon Forge.
Flyaway Indoor Skydiving is America’s First Vertical Wind Tunnel and even makes skydiving family-friendly for guests who weigh at least 40 pounds.
All of your equipment is provided for you and you need to bring close-toed shoes so that you don’t have to borrow the loaner ones.
Before you fly you attend a safety training class so that you know the signals to look for from the instructor. After the class, you will feel more comfortable before going into your session in the wind tunnel.
You are inside the wind tunnel for 15 minutes with 5 other people and each person gets about 3 minutes of airtime.
Fly With Friends on the Skyflyer
If you are looking for another adrenaline rush, check out the Skyflyer at The Track.
This thrill attraction lifts and pulls you and up to 2 other people, 75 ft in the air, and then releases you to swing and soar.
Roller Coasters for Thrill-Seekers at Dollywood
There are actually five roller coasters that you will want to ride during your visit to Dollywood.
Thrill-seekers will definitely want to get in line to ride Lightning Rod as soon as they arrive. This wooden coaster is unlike any roller coaster that I’ve ever been on before!
Lighting Rod launches from zero to 45 mph and has almost 20 seconds of airtime that you experience throughout the ride.
There are several other roller coasters and thrill rides to get your heart racing.
What are the top roller coasters at Dollywood?
Make sure that you check the Dollywood app so that you can be strategic with your wait times
Go White Water Rafting
Take it to the extreme on the Upper Pigeon River white water rafting with Rafting in the Smokies during your Gatlinburg vacation.
The Upper Pigeon River has 12 Class III and 3 Class IV thrilling whitewater rapids over a 5-mile stretch!
If you enjoy a slower pace, a rafting trip on the Lower River is more relaxed and great for families with younger kids.