Great Smoky Mountains
Family of four standing with their bikes among trees
Blue heron in the Great Smoky Mountains
Log cabin in Great Smoky Mountains
Waterfall over rocks in Great Smoky Mountains
Guests white water rafting
Under Canvas tents, Great Smoky Mountains
Two Backroads guests riding e-bikes
Great Smoky Mountains
Blue Ridge & Great Smoky Mountains National Park Walking & Hiking Tour
Multi-Adventure
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Great Smoky Mountains Family Multi-Adventure Tour - Teens & Kids

National Park Adventures in Tennessee

Wide grins are in store for the entire family on our adventures through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See for yourself why this is our nation’s most beloved park and a World Heritage site. Witness fog dancing atop ancient mountains. Wildflowers and waterfalls. Birds and bears. With over 800 miles of stunning and incredibly biodiverse backcountry, the Smokies are ready to make you smile.

THIS ITINERARY: 5 days, 4 nights

ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual Hotels

FROM: $3,199 pp dbl occ
($600 for sgl occ)

Special Kids Prices
Bike
Walk/Hike
Raft
2022 Great Smoky Mountains Family Multi-adventure
2022 Great Smoky Mountains Family Multi-adventure

Tennessee

Start/End Knoxville

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Highlights
  • Hike on wooded trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, home to protected animals including brook trout, great-horned owls and the famous black bear
  • Stargaze and enjoy a s'more at our eco-friendly and upscale glamping campsite and relax on your cabin’s porch swing at our rustic lodge
  • Splash and cool off in some of the park’s picturesque waters—river raft along rapids and swim below a waterfall
  • Pedal on a riverside bike path, get to know the charming mountain community of Townsend and sit down to fine southern cooking
Videos
The Backroads Experience
The Backroads Experience
Backroads Family Trips
Backroads Family Trips
Backroads Multi-Adventure Trips
Backroads Multi-Adventure Trips
Backroads Trip Leader
Meet Our Leaders
Itinerary
Accommodations may vary based on departure date.
5 Days Casual Hotels
Accommodations may vary based on departure.
Days 1-2

On our first Tennessee morning, bike on a paved road offering sweeping vistas of the Smoky Mountains | Ride on the Townsend Historical Trail and hear the Little River hum as it appears through greenery | Spy great blue herons and discover views of the Tuckaleechee Valley | Hike through an old-growth forest along Alum Cave Creek to Arch Rock—a formation of black slate | Climb stone-carved stairs to catch sight of magical mountain scenery including the Eye of the Needle—a hole in the top of the rock at Little Duck Hawk Ridge | Gaze above for passing peregrine falcons | Discover Alum Cave, a massive concave overhang towering 80 feet high | Walk along trails showcasing bright mountain laurel and rhododendron tangles | Find incredible geologic formations at the top of Mount Le Conte, one of the highest Smoky Mountains | Relax fireside under the stars at our idyllic glamping site tucked in the woods.

Canvas Smoky Mountains
Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains
Pigeon Forge
| Casual Hotel

Nestled among wooded, lush terrain in the Land of Blue Smoke, the glampsite's safari-style canvas tents offer a wood-burning stove, deck and private bathroom.

Days 3-5

The family is in for a refreshing good time and thrilling white-water fun on the Class II-IV rapids of the Upper Pigeon River—complete with stunning views of Pigeon River Gorge | Bike a car-free and blissful route at historic Cades Cove, a formerly inhabited farming valley | Take in the lush landscape and look out for black bears and elk | Enjoy local dishes and handcrafted cocktails at Dancing Bear Lodge | Gather around as our Appalachian storyteller brings the region’s culture and history to life | Trek to one of the most scenic waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains, Spruce Flats Falls—feel free to take a dip under the cascading waters.

Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, Tennessee
Dancing Bear Lodge
Townsend
| Casual Hotel

With porch swings, rocking chairs and simple charm, the contemporary cabins at Dancing Bear Lodge offer rustic comfort in a serene setting.

Dates & Prices

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy

Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.

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Activity Level: 1-3

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.

Route notes

The terrain we encounter on this trip ranges from lightly rolling to hilly with several steep longer climbs. Some routes have exposed sections. Hiking trails are often uneven, with roots, mud, rocks and other obstacles. Our biking routes are a mix of bike paths and county roads. The roads do not have a shoulder. Please note that unpredictable mountain weather and humidity can make hiking conditions more challenging.

Daily Route Options

Day 1
Biking
Level 1 | 13 miles | 500 ft. gain
Level 1 | 16 miles | 700 ft. gain
Day 2
Walking & Hiking
Level 2 | 5 miles | 1200 ft. gain
Level 4 | 10 miles | 2800 ft. gain
Day 3
Rafting
on Upper Pigeon River (2.5 hours) | min. age: 8+ or min. weight: 70+ lbs
Day 4
Biking
Level 1 | 11 miles* | 900 ft. gain
Level 2 | 24 miles* | 1400 ft. gain
Level 3 | 37 miles | 2700 ft. gain
Day 5
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 2 miles | 400 ft. gain
* Includes shuttle.

What's Included

Available Bike Options

The key to a stellar day's ride is a bike that's perfectly in tune with your cycling style… Backroads has you covered with the best bike fleet in the world! Read on for your available bike options for this trip.

Backroads Performance Road Bike
Backroads Performance Road Bike
Performance Road Bike

This custom-designed titanium bike is lightweight and responsive, featuring Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting, 11-speed compact gearing, a premium Mavic Ksyrium Pro wheelset and a full carbon fork. 

Backroads Touring Bike
Backroads Touring Bike
Touring Bike

A proven classic, our most popular custom-designed titanium bike is suited for a wide range of cyclists. It features a comfortable ergonomic seat and a long wheel base that add to the bike’s control and stability.

Backroads Electric-Assist Bike
Backroads Electric-Assist Bike
NEW! Electric-Assist Bike

Our newly redesigned titanium e-bike is a lightweight yet powerful machine unique in the world of e-bikes. It provides plenty of power to flatten the hills and more than enough battery range to cover the distance.

Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem Bike
Co-Motion Torpedo Tandem Bike
Tandem Bike

This hand-built frame features Co-Motion's custom-designed cro-moly steel tubeset, powerful Avid disc brakes, Shimano Ultegra drive train, and a custom, upgraded wheelset. For experienced tandem riders.
$400 rental fee

Child's Bike
Child's Bike
Kids' Bikes

Backroads is the only travel company to manufacture its own line of kid's bikes. While the wheels might be small, the performance is big—it's the perfect choice for kids. On our Family Trips, you'll find 20" and 24" bikes.

Burley Kazoo Trailer Bike
Burley Kazoo Trailer Bike
Trailer Bike

The Burley Kazoo trailer bike, for children up to 85 pounds, attaches to an adult bike with your child providing some of the pedal power for a real team effort! It's ideal for kids who aren't yet ready for bike touring. 

Also Included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Straight talk

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Accommodations–Glamping

At Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains, we stay in large canvas-walled safari-style platform tents. Each is outfitted with a king-size bed including linens, a small fan, a small battery-operated lamp, a wood burning stove, plus an en suite bathroom with a hot shower, flushing toilet and sink. On family trips, kids sleep in a smaller tent set up with two cots adjacent to the parents’ tent or on a pullout sofa in the parents’ tent. Each tent has a USB battery pack to charge a cell phone or small device. While our tents are comfortable, they do not have electricity or air-conditioning. Daytime can be hot but the tents' screened windows allow cool air to flow at night. Also, the property does not have Wi-Fi or cell reception. Our location is close to the national park, so we may occasionally glimpse wildlife strolling through camp. With canvas walls and doors, sound may carry from nearby tents and chirping crickets, so we suggest packing earplugs. Under Canvas has a social atmosphere and we'll be sharing communal spaces with other guests.

Ask a trip expert

Have a question and need expert advice? Our team of Trip Consultants is here to help! You can also visit our FAQ's.

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