8 Free Things to Do for the Whole Family in the Smokies

Are you looking for fun free things to do with the whole family? The next time you visit the Smokies, make sure you put these great things to do in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville on your list!

Cycling Cades Cove

All you need is two wheels, a helmet and a full day to play. This would make a memorable experience for the whole family. The Cades Cove loop is available to cyclists only on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Sun up until 10am.

Swimming Holes

Go on, take a dip! Spend an afternoon with the family in a cool mountain stream. Hop rocks, sunbathe on a boulder or float about in the stream together. Be mindful and watch your step as the rocks can be slippery.

Wildlife Viewing

Take a drive through the mountains, sit and wait in the quiet. You are guaranteed to have a Snow White moment, folks. The birds will soar, the bunnies will hop and the deer will prance. If you’re lucky, you will get to see a glimpse of a black bear napping in a tree! One of the most majestic animal encounters you may experience is to catch an Elk grazing on the fields. When they raise their heads up to listen to their surroundings, you feel emotionally connected to them, in a very natural and normal kind of way.


What a wonderful place for a family adventure! Greenbrier is a quaint area, off the beaten path and magical. It is well wooded to keep the creeks cool, yet well-lit enough to make the water sparkle. Visit the famous Walker Sisters Cabin or the majestic waterfall, Ramsay Cascades. It is also one of the best places for viewing wildflowers!

Picnic at Metcalf Bottoms

You can never go wrong with a family picnic! Pack a blanket and your lunch basket and prepare to unwind. Pick a quiet spot by the Little River so you can enjoy a quick dip while the burgers are cooking. The Little River is an ideal spot for river tubing, skipping rocks and fly fishing. After your picnic, gallivant through the forest to the local trails and historical sites. Don’t forget your camera!


Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? All you need is a GPS and an open mind. This is a great activity to get the kids more involved in a hike. Geocaches are spread throughout over 200 countries worldwide. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains and find one or several of the 13,423 geocaches waiting for you to discover!


Whether you are an experienced backpacker or a day one beginner, there is a trail for you! The Smokies offers unlimited trail options and all are graded by difficulty and by features such as waterfalls or expansive views.


Take a day to explore a little place called Elkmont. Elkmont was a small logging village that now serves as a campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take the family on a self-guided nature trail. The trail is less than one mile and is a resting ground of an old mountain railroad.

Stay in a Pigeon Forge cabin rental today and explore the Smoky Mountain with the whole family!