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Discover an Equestrian's Dream in the Great Smoky Mountains

by Scott Tidwell

Lifestyle Articles

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Published on this site: December 6th, 2010 - See more articles from this month

The Great Smoky Mountains are the perfect location for a peaceful trip away from the noise and endless activity of city living. Clear mountain streams, bright blue skies, and miles of lush forests soothe your overloaded senses and serve to remind you of a time when life was simpler and not so hurried and hectic. Walking a mountain trail can bring a sense of tranquility to even the most chaotic life, but true nature lovers will prefer to saddle up and see the mountains from horseback, just as the early settlers did. Whether you're a beginner or an avid rider, the variety of guided horseback tours available in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge means you'll find a getaway to perfectly match every skill level.

Spend an Afternoon Enjoying the Solitude

Even if the last horse you sat astride was of the carousal type, you'll love a short jaunt along an easy mountain trail. Meander along a well-worn path around a secluded lake, the calm waters reflecting the azure sky. Perhaps you'll catch a glimpse of the local wildlife as they come to the water's edge to drink or play. You'll enjoy seeing the wide variety of trees and flowers native to the area, including the delicate trillium and the brilliant orange Turk's Cap Lily.

These short and easy walks are perfect for the novice rider, or even for experienced horsemen who simply want to enjoy the scenery. Knowledgeable guides assist you every step of the way, including lessons in horsemanship and safety before you set off. The horses themselves know the trails well, and help make your vacation unforgettable.

Make a Day of It

For the more adventurous, a longer excursion is just the thing to bring you closer to nature. Follow the path of a mountain stream past shallow pools and hidden glades to remote waterfalls few people ever visit. With no easy-access walkways or gift shops selling plastic souvenirs to obscure your view, it's easy to forget civilization is just a few miles away.

Enjoy a picnic lunch in a trailside clearing as the horses rest. With no sound save the songs of birds and nothing to see but acres of green, it's easy to see why visitors return again and again to this idyllic spot. You'll smell the fresh scents of mountain wildflowers; see forest creatures as they scurry about in secluded meadows, and return to camp with a lighter heart and a renewed spirit.

Experience Life from a Settler's Point of View

If you enjoy a true wilderness spirit, don't stop at just a day trip. Head to the mountains for an overnight adventure that includes living much like the early pioneers did. You'll explore hidden valleys, discover unmapped trails, and at the end of the day you'll unwind around a roaring campfire. Pitch a tent under the stars and enjoy peaceful dreams, knowing the only alarm clock you'll hear in the morning will be the quiet snuffling of a horse.

Leave the cell phones, laptops, and day planners behind, and take a restful, calming tour of the Great Smoky Mountains. There's nothing quite like seeing the world from atop a horse, and in the Smokies, Mother Nature puts on a spectacular show. Miles of quiet trails, hundreds of species of wildflowers, and more wildlife than you'll find just about anywhere on earth make this vacation spot a nature lover's dream.

Scott Tidwell invites you to book cabins in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee through Arrowhead Cabin Rentals. Visit http://www.arrowheadpigeonforge.com for pricing and availability.

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