If you're anything like me, the cold and snow are only "bearable" when I'm doing an activity. Here are some favorite Snowy Smoky Mountain Adventure Activities.
1. Snow Tubing
Rowdy Bear's Smoky Mountain Snow Park and Ober Mountain make their own snow and offer 70 and 50 foot drop slopes, respectively. Not only do you get the thrill of the tubing, but the magic carpet conveyor does all the work getting you to the top. Buy your tickets in advance for this popular activity, as it sells out fast!
2. Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Ober Mountain has over 10 slopes giving options perfect for all levels from beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders. Their Ober Gatlinburg Freestyle Terrain was created to "nurture talents and give riders a place to have fun". New to skiing or snow boarding? No worries; they also offer group and private lessons. Or maybe you are an experienced skkier or snowboarder. Like racing? You can join their weekly races in January and February.
3. Cross Country Skiing
Clingmans Dome Road is closed to all motorized vehicles from December 1st to March 31st creating a peaceful cross country skiing route to the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome offers stunning panoramic views of the Smokies. Make sure you are prepared, as if you go all the way to the observation tower, you'll be making a 14 mile roundtrip excursion.
4. Winter Hiking
Ever wonder what it would feel like to be in the movie Frozen? Many hikes like Laurel Falls Trail and Hen Wallow Falls near the Cosby Campground entrance will lead you to a half-frozen waterfall. At Laurel Falls Trails, you'll experience 80 feet of this half-frozen wonder. And the views are less obstructed with all the leaves fallen. On clear days, you're mountain views over the National Park are just stunning. Add the snow capped trees to feel like you are in a winter wonderland. Again, just make sure you are properly prepared and check the National Park website for road closures.
5. Relax at the Cabin
At an elevation of 1,765 feet, there is a good chance you'll experience snow when at Ridge Top Adventure Cabin in the winter months. If you're feeling adventurous, you can have a snowball fight, build a snowman or even try sledding at the cabin. If you'd rather watch the snow through the windows, you can cozy up by the indoor fireplaces or in the theater room with all the plush blankets. Maybe you want both? Take a dip in the hot tub in the screened in porch. No matter your style, there is plenty of options at the cabin to keep everyone in your group entertained while enjoying the snowy weather.