Smoky Mountains Horseback Riding

Smoky Mountains horseback riding is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the mountains whether you're an experienced rider, or you've never been on a horse before. There are many options available, including guided tours, carriage and hay rides, backcountry horse camping, pony rides, and even weddings on horseback.

Horseback riding is available in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but there are also numerous stables and trail guides in the areas close to the Park. The cost of a one hour trail ride usually ranges between $20 to $25 per person.

Longer rides are also available, including overnight trips. Some facilities welcome group reservations, and there are usually age and weight limits. In most cases, children must be 5 years of age and up. For longer rides, or rougher terrain, only older children are allowed. Call to check before going.

Smoky Mountains Horseback Riding
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


There are 4 commercial stables located in or near the Park where you can rent a horse for guided horseback rides. They're open from mid-March through late November. There are weight and age limits, so call to check first.

Cades Cove Riding Stables offers hayrides and carriage rides as well as horse rentals. Located near Townsend, Tennessee. (865) 448-6286. Read reviews of Cades Cove Riding Stables

Smoky Mountain Riding Stables offers guided trail rides appropriate for beginners through advanced. Located 4 miles east of Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Highway 321 - East Parkway, (traffic light #3). (865) 436-5634. Read reviews of Smoky Mountain Riding Stables

Sugarlands Riding Stables, near Gatlinburg, TN offers guided horseback rides on Park trails. The cost is $20 per person per hour. The stable is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Located on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) approximately 1.5 miles south of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (865) 436-3535. Read reviews of Sugarlands Riding Stables

Smokemont Riding Stables near Cherokee, NC. (828) 497-2373

The National Park Service also offers information about horseback riding in the Smokies.

Smoky Mountain Trails and Backcountry Camping

You'll find some 550 miles of hiking trails that are open to horses, and some of the campsites on these trails are also available to horseback riders. You can obtain a trail map at any park visitor center, or download one from the National Park Service Maps web site.

Some of these backcountry campsites require reservations, and these are clearly marked on the trail map. Camping permits are required for any overnight stay. Some of the trails may be steep and narrow, so expect to find rugged conditions.

Smoky Mountain Drive-In Horse Camps

The Park also has 5 drive-in horse camps, open from early April through October:

  • Anthony Creek (Cades Cove)
  • Big Creek
  • Cataloochee
  • Round Bottom
  • Tow String

Facilities include picnic tables, grills, designated parking spaces (usually gravel), refuse containers, hitch racks and space to pitch a tent or two.

Big Creek has flush toilets with cold water. Other horse camps have portable toilets and no drinking water. Water is available for horses, either in the campground or at a nearby stream.

Reservations are required. Call the National Park Reservation Service at 1-800-365-2267 (park code GRE) or go to Only one of these (Anthony Creek in the Cades Cove area) is located on the Tennessee side of the Park. The others are in North Carolina.

Smoky Mountains Horseback Riding Close to the Park

There are many facilities close to the Park that offer a variety of options for Smoky Mountains horseback riding, including hayrides, weddings, pony rides, camping and cabins.

Pigeon Forge and Sevierville

You'll find a variety of options for horseback riding in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. For families with young children, there's a petting zoo offering pony rides and guided trail rides. For novices there are short guided rides and easy trails. There are all day rides, night rides and rides around Douglas Lake.

Townsend & Walland

Apple Valley Riding Stables
horseback riding, hayrides
5614 Old Walland Hwy.
Walland, TN 37886
(865) 448-8300

Bear Hollow Cabins
rental cabins and stables for your horses
P.O. Box 416
Townsend, TN 37882
(865) 448-6910; 1-877-448-6910

Davy Crockett Riding Stables
horses for hire, boarding, guided tours. Read reviews of Davy Crockett Riding Stables
(near Tuckaleechee Caverns)
505 Old Cades Cove Road
Townsend, TN 37882
(865) 448-6411

carriage rides, wedding carriage rides
117 Flynn Road
Walland, TN 37886
Phone: (865) 984-1459

Gilbertson's Lazy Horse Retreat
rental cabins and boarding facilities for your horses, self-guided tours
938 Schoolhouse Gap Road
Townsend, TN 37882
(865) 448-6810

Next to Heaven Mountain Adventures
unguided horseback rides, zipline adventures, and cabin rentals. Read reviews of Next to Heaven Adventures
1239 Wears Valley Road (Highway 321)
Townsend, TN 37882
(865) 448-9150
(800) 407-2231

Pack's Boarding Stables
boarding facilities only, self-guided tours
P.O. Box 184
Townsend, TN 37882
(865) 448-6318

Rock-n-Horse Stables
boarding facility only
7818 Berry Williams Road
Townsend, TN 37882
(865) 448-3957

Twin Valley Bed & Breakfast Horse Ranch
short rides, 1/2 day and day rides, riding instruction and boarding available. Offers bed & breakfast lodging and cabin rentals
2848 Old Chilhowee Road
Walland, Tennessee 37886
(865) 984-0980