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A group of horses grazing in Cades Cove.

Everything You Need to Know About Horseback Riding in Cades Cove

You’ve probably driven the Cades Cove Loop before, but did you know you can go horseback riding in Cades Cove? This is an incredible way to explore the area in a new way. Plus, it’s a great activity for people of all ages! Find out everything you need to know about horseback riding in Cades Cove:

Horseback Riding in Cades Cove

riding horses in the smokiesCades Cove Riding Stables is the only park-authorized riding stable of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You are able to go on a guided tour of this incredible area of the national park. On the guided tours, you can go in a group of about 9, making it feel like you’re riding with a friend. This is a great activity for first-time riders and expert riders. It doesn’t matter if you have kids or older adults in your group, everyone can participate!

Before you head out on the trails, the employees will provide an orientation to get you ready for your tour. They pair you with a horse based on your skill level. Tours depart throughout the day and typically last about 1 hour. You’ll walk through wooded trails and the open fields with incredible mountain views. There’s nothing like seeing the mountains when you’re horseback riding in Cades Cove.

horse in the smoky mountainsThe riding stable is located at 10018 Campground Drive, Townsend, TN 37882. The season lasts from March 3 to November 30. They are open from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Other Exciting Activities

You may think the only activity you can participate in when you visit Cades Cove Riding Stables is horseback riding, but that’s not the case! There are a couple of others you might want to experience.

Carriage Rides

If you want to plan something romantic with your significant other, you can book a carriage ride around Cades Cove. You’ll love the private tour as you sit back and take in the beauty of the area while you’re in the carriage. Horses are led by drivers, and they will tell you all kinds of information and history about the area. These rides last about 30 to 45 minutes, and the carriages can hold up to 6 people at a time. These are open at the same time as regular rides.


hayrideAnother exciting activity you can do other than horseback riding in Cades Cove is going on a hayride. People sit in a huge trailer covered in hay while a truck pulls the trailer around Cades Cove. Kids and adults will enjoy being able to look out at the beautiful area while going for a ride. The guides will provide you with an entertaining ride while giving you information about the area.

Hayrides must have at least 2 people and have a maximum of 65. The rides last anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the traffic in the Loop. The hayride schedule differs slightly from horseback riding and carriage rides. From March 3 to May 31 and August 16 to November 30, there are rides at 10 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm. From June 1 through August 15, rides depart at 10 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, and 6 pm.

Horseback riding in Cades Cove is a fun activity you won’t forget. Wondering what else you can do when you visit the Smokies? Check out these other things to do in the Smoky Mountains for some ideas!