Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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Few Smokey Mountain towns draw tourists like Gatlinburg, Tennessee. At a year round population of nearly 4,000, Gatlinburg has been the go-to stop for visitors to Great Smokey Mountain National Park since the park’s 1934 inception. On any given day you’re liable to find hundreds of tourists exploring Gatlinburg’s downtown area, sometimes in should-to-shoulder fashion. But contrary to popular belief, there’s much more to Gatlinburg than pancake houses and t-shirt shops.

The Smokies offer some of the most compelling scenery you’ll find anywhere in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and Gatlinburg makes an ideal launch pad or base camp for those hoping to venture into this wild and wonderful part of the Southeast. When visiting Gatlinburg you’ll have a chance to engage in such activities as fly fishing for the area’s legendary wild trout, road cycling the Cades Cove Loop, whitewater rafting the Big Pigeon River, hiking the AT, or exploring the area on horseback.

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Did you know? Gatlinburg is home to Tennessee’s only ski resort. With well-maintained slopes at 3,000 feet, Ober Gatlinburg hosts skiers, snowboarders, and inner tubers all winter long.

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