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Gatlinburg Tennessee is one of the three towns in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. There are so many attractions and activities in the area that you can be entertained for weeks. You don’t necessarily have to pay for that entertainment. Here are some free things you can do while you are visiting Gatlinburg.

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – Go for a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the only free national park in the United States, which is why it is also one of the most visited National Parks. There are more than eight-hundred miles of hiking trails in the park, over 150 official hiking trails… all for free! For more information on the hikes Click Here.

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – Visit Cades Cove

Within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is Cades Cove. The area was first settled by Europeans in 1819, there is an 11-mile one-way road that passes by 19 numbered tour stops as identified in a pamphlet available at the entrance of Cades Cove. There are many historical cabins, farmhouses and churches that are preserved for viewing. There is also a possibility of seeing some of the wildlife in the area without even having to get out of your car, especially in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Have your camera on-hand for wildlife spotting such as deer, bears, turkeys, owls and other small animals.  If you prefer, you can also experience the loop on horseback or bicycle!

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – Go Fishing

You can fish year-round in the National Park from thirty minutes before sunrise and thirty minutes after sunset. Whether you would like to go fishing in one of the small streams or creeks, including Abram’s Creek, a favorite spot with beautiful natural scenery. You can also go fishing along the Little Pigeon River. Herbert Holt Park has a children’s fishing area as well as a handicapped fishing area. For information on fishing rules Click Here.

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – Go for a Walk or Stroll

You can walk almost anywhere in the Gatlinburg area and have a good time. You can walk along the Parkway and window shop, or walk along the path at Patriot Park. You can walk around the Island and the path there. For an even more peaceful walk, you can walk along the Little Pigeon River. No matter where you choose to walk, you are surrounded by beauty. If you choose to walk at Patriot Park or the Little Pigeon River, you will see some geese and ducks, and maybe even some fish in the water.

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – Have a Picnic

Picnicking is a great way to enjoy nature and each other, family and friends.

Mynatt Park is a popular, scenic park in Gatlinburg. There are several picnic tables with BBQ grills, a pavilion, children’s play ground, a small fishing stream, tennis and basketball courts, a baseball field and horseshoe pits.

Mills Park, another popular park provides some of the same amenities as Mynatt Park as well as a jogging trail, a state of the art playground, as well as a 400-meter track.ll court and 400-meter track.

Douglass Dam Overlook is a panoramic view of the lake with the Smoky Mountains for a breathtaking view. During warmer weather, you can even take a dip to cool off. There is a public boat ramp, swimming area and perfect for fishing during the spring.

For More information on great places to picnic, Click Here.

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – Take Photos in and around Gatlinburg

Whether you want to take photos in the National Park, Newfound Gap or one of the Scenic Overlooks.  One of the most popular overlooks are located off the Gatlinburg bypass. There are four different overlooks with parking available for you to stop and take in the beauty. Honestly, you can photograph anywhere and be pleased with the memories of our beautiful area. If you are a commercial photographer with special requirements, Click Here for more information.

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – Visit Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

You can enjoy a relaxing drive through the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. It is a six mile, one way road that takes you by historic homes and buildings and sites, the Roaring Fork Cemetery, and the remains of one of the early settler’s villages that was home to nearly two dozen families over 150 years ago. You can park and enjoy a short hike to Rainbow Falls just beyond the “Bud” Ogle cabin.  For more information on Roaring Fork Motor Trail, Click Here.

Free Things to do in Gatlinburg – View Elk in the National Park

In 2001 Elk were re-introduced into the Smoky Mountains after they were over-hunted and with loss of habitats, the Elk  populations were eliminated in the mid 1800’s. After conservation efforts, there are now approximately 200 Elk living in the Smokies. The best place to see them is in Chatalooche Valley and near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. The best time of day to view Elk is early morning and after sunset. You can also view them on cloudy days or right after a storm. Click Here for locations and safely viewing Elk.

We hope you come and enjoy your visit to the Gatlinburg Area!

Written by Ellen Crivellone of Smokey Mountain Sounds. Call for your next event, we would love to DJ for you! 1-865-712-1854