On Thursday of our vacation we had many options to choose from. We wanted an outdoor activity to explore the area but were not sure which to choose: kayaking, ziplinging, horseback riding.


Well, because of constant concern with thunderstorms we decided to not go kayaking. And although zip-lineing would have been a new fun adventure for both of us, we were having a hard time choosing a company from all of the reviews.


Instead, we decided to go horseback riding at a fully functioning dude ranch which provides wagon rides, and weekly rodeo dinner shows in the summer.


We signed up for the 2 hour trip and were lucky to have a tour to ourselves. We were given a very knowledgeable guide who had been riding horses since he was very young. We enjoyed hearing his many  experiences in the rodeo, riding the trails, and working as a stunt double for shows including as chuck norris stunt double in walker texas ranger. It has been a long time since I had been on a horse and this was not a slow pony ride. We worked our way up the hill into the smokey mountains over rocky terrain and to a beautiful outlook where we took a break for the horses.


Then as we came back down we rode along a creek through a dense forest of more rohdi’s and pine trees. It was at first a little difficult but by the end I was grateful for the challenge and experience.


After this, we decided to return to the smokey mountain park for a few more trails. . We started out once again driving out to Cades cove but this time we stopped along the drive to take in a few waterfalls. Then at the end we decided to do one more hike before leaving.


The hike itself was again great as this time you had clear views of the foggy mountains on one side all of the way to the falls. You could hear the falls before you got to them and they were beautiful, even though it was crowded.


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