Things to Do: Southern Appalachians

Great Smokey Mountains National Park, TN

Jim Denham, flickr

The Southern Appalachians are an outdoor paradise. From mountain biking to kayaking to fishing to hiking through wilderness, there is something for everyone.

In addition to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, there are several National Forests in the area, creating no limit to the outdoor activities available.


The Southern Appalachians are a great place to go for a hike.  Whether it’s an afternoon ramble or several nights in the backcountry, there is sure to be a trail for you. 

If you are wanting a real adventure, make sure to check out the Appalachian Trail as it winds through the area!

Mountain Biking

The Southern Appalachians are one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the east.  The slick rock peaks of Pisgah National Forest are world renowned.  Hundreds – maybe thousands – of miles of trails go through the forests and up the peaks of the Southern Appalachians. If you have a mountain bike, be sure this area is on your vacation list.


The Nantahala River Gorge is a popular spot for rafting and kayaking.  There are many outfitters that can set you up for a day on the river. A list of outfitters can be found on the U.S. Forest Service’s website.


The mountain streams of the Southern Appalachians are home to the southern Appalachian brook trout.  These clever fish love the cold, clean water of the forests. Great Smoky National Park as well as the Pisgah, Cherokee and Nantahala forests all have plenty of good fishing spots!