Gatlinburg, TN really comes alive in the spring! As the weather warms up, our Smoky Mountain city is filled with special activities and events that visitors are sure to love. As the flowers start to bloom and great outdoor activities start up again, there are plenty of reasons to see the Smoky Mountains.
1. Take a Hike to See the Wildflowers
There are a number of trails in the national park that offer excellent wildflower viewing. Here are some of our favorite hikes:
- Cove Hardwood Self-guiding Nature Trail is a 0.75 mile loop trail with some of the best wildflowers in the Smoky Mountains.
- Little River Trail has wonderful flowers from mid-March through April.
- The Appalachian Trail features beautiful wildflowers from mid-April through May in the 2 mile section between Newfound Gap and Road Prong Trail.
- Porters Creek Trail is a great place to see wildflowers in the first 1.5 miles of the hike from late March through April.
- The Roaring Fork Motor Trail
- The Cades Cove Loop
2. Wild Flowers in the National Park
There are over 1500 species of flowering plants in the Smokies. The first flowers of spring bloom in March include:
- Jack in the Pulpit
3. Fewer Crowds
February and March are some of the slowest seasons for the number of visitors. This, of course, is great news for “the brave” who visit Gatlinburg in March. You can spend less time waiting and spend more time experiencing the best that Gatlinburg can offer.
4. Outdoor Activities
As the mountains come back to life, so do great outdoor activities. As soon as weather permits, many local outfitters start taking groups on fun adventures in the Tennessee mountains. Like other attractions this time of year, they are bound to be less crowded than the peak summer season.
- Ziplines – Several zip line companies like Rafting in the Smokies start their season in March and operate rain or shine.
- Rafting – Depending on water levels, rafting outfitters in the Smokies begin running the Upper and Lower Pigeon River beginning in March. While you may want to rent a wet suit for the cold mountain water, it can make your rafting adventure in the Smokies even more extreme!
- Riding Stables – Guided horseback rides in the Smoky Mountains also start around mid-March.
5. Enjoy Special Events
One of the best parts of vacationing in Gatlinburg in the spring is all of the incredible events going on! Here are a few of the most popular festivities:
- If you would like a guided tour of the wildflowers in the national park, try to plan your trip for mid-April so you can take part in the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.
- The Easter Sunrise Service at Ober Gatlinburg is an amazing way to celebrate the holiday in the Smokies.
- The Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread festival in May is definitely the culinary event of the season!