5 Gatlinburg Adrenaline Activities to Get Your Heart Racing

A spirit of adventure permeates the entire Smoky Mountain region but is especially evident in Gatlinburg, where a variety of attractions encourage you to get your heart racing as you make the most of the great outdoors.

On the hunt for Smoky Mountain thrills? You’ll find a healthy dose of adrenaline at these top Gatlinburg attractions:

CLIMB Works

Climb Works Zip Lining Tour

Photo provided by SmokyMountains.com user @rolyat2598 (Taylor Collins)

Get ready to gain a whole new perspective of the Smoky Mountains at CLIMB Works, which facilitates world-class zipline adventures. The company’s friendly guides prioritize safety but also make every effort to ensure that visitors feel comfortable and confident.

CLIMB Works offers two excellent zipline tours worth booking. The Mountaintop Zipline provides panoramic views of the Smokies, as well as numerous opportunities to learn more about the region’s fascinating history. In addition to soaring along a unique dual-line course, you’ll navigate multiple aerial bridges and rappel off a platform. This tour also includes an exciting ATV ride to the top of the mountain.

Different, but equally gorgeous views can be enjoyed on the Treetop Zipline, which will have you flying from tree to tree along nine thrilling lines. As with the Mountaintop Zipline, this tour also incorporates rappelling and an ATV trip. No matter which CLIMB Works adventure you select, you’ll love the view and the excitement. If you’re really dedicated, you’ll build time into your schedule for both excursions, as each brings a unique element to the zipline experience.

White Oak Zipline & Family Fun Center

Another top Gatlinburg zipline company, White Oak Zipline provides a thrilling and perfectly safe experience on a memorable canopy tour constructed by an Association of Challenge Course Technology approved builder. This hidden gem offers the ultimate break from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg, while still remaining easily accessible to those not willing to travel too far.

Although the company’s zipline tours offer a good time for visitors of all ages, they’re particularly well-suited to families with school-age children. Friendly guides make every effort to set nervous adventurers at ease. By the time you leave, you and your companions will be hooked on the thrill of ziplining.

Smoky Mountain Outdoors Whitewater Rafting

people navigating a large wave while white water rafting

Hit the great outdoors for an exciting excursion with Smoky Mountain Outdoors Whitewater Rafting. Ideal on a hot day, these guided tours take you to the most beautiful and exhilarating areas of the Pigeon River, where you’ll navigate Class III or IV rapids. If you’re feeling especially daring, sign up for the extreme tour, which allows you and up to two other rafters to hit up the river’s biggest waves alongside an experienced guide. Otherwise, you’ll still love the company’s more relaxed excursions, which are fun for beginners and experienced rafters alike.

Beyond whitewater rafting, this tour company also offers thrilling trips in inflatable kayaks. Available for kayakers of all levels, this option grants you a greater degree of control over your water-based experience while still providing the reassurance of a skilled guide, who can offer the paddling tips needed to take your kayaking to the next level.

Rowdy Bear Adventure Park

If you love both roller coasters and the great outdoors, you’ll be in heaven at Gatlinburg’s Rowdy Bear Adventure Park. This top destination combines the fun of thrill rides with the natural beauty of the Smokies.

Rowdy Bear is home to multiple rides, but no trip is complete without at least one journey on its iconic alpine coaster. Reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, this gravity-propelled ride twists and turns through the forest, providing stunning views along the way. During your journey, you will enjoy complete control over the pace of your car. Your ride can be as fast-paced or as gentle as you desire. Simply push the lever forward to go faster or pull it back to slow down.

In addition to its exciting mountain coaster, Rowdy Bear boasts a suspended rail coaster that will have you soaring through the treetops. Known as the Mountain Glider, this one-of-a-kind ride allows you to enjoy the experience of hang gliding in a safer, more accessible environment. Departing from Rowdy Bear Mountain’s third floor, the ride will deliver free-falling sensations and memorable scenery.

Ski Mountain Coaster at Ober Gatlinburg

Child smiling while riding the Ski Mountain Coaster at Ober Gatlinburg

Another excellent attraction for Gatlinburg thrill-seekers, the Ski Mountain Coaster is situated at Ober, which has delivered year-round excitement for generations of visitors. In the summer, this coaster provides an excellent alternative to the downhill skiing that dominates the famous mountain destination when the snow and cold take over. Like the alpine coaster at Rowdy Bear Adventure Park, this ride provides full control over the speed as it cruises through exhilarating zig-zags and corkscrews.

The Ski Mountain Coaster is one of several exciting activities offered at Ober during the summer months. Other favorites include an alpine slide and a summer tubing ride that mimics the thrill of Ober’s better-known snow tube park.

Of course, the simple process of accessing Ober is thrilling in its own right. Your trip on the famed aerial tramway might not deliver the heart-racing sensations of a mountain coaster or an alpine slide, but the view alone should be enough to get you excited.

It’s easy to get your heart racing in Gatlinburg, where ziplining, whitewater rafting, and mountain coasters deliver unforgettable thrills. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to take on Gatlinburg’s one-of-a-kind adventures.