Smoky Mountain lakes and rivers

The Smoky Mountain lakes and rivers are a hub for exciting water sports. The sparkling bodies of water cater to all forms of thrill-seekers and laid-back vacationers. Take a deep dive into four of the best spots for water enthusiasts: Douglas Lake, Norris Lake, Pigeon River, and Little River.

Douglas Lake boat rentals

Douglas Lake: Boat Rentals

Our journey begins with Douglas Lake, a beautiful Smoky Mountain lake renowned for its boat rentals. Whether you’re an avid angler, a water skiing enthusiast, or simply looking to relax on a pontoon, this lake has got you covered.

Lighthouse Pointe Marina

Lighthouse Pointe Marina offers Douglas Lake boat rentals on its pristine shores. Their spacious pontoons, perfect for sightseeing or bass fishing, cater to tranquil vibes. Meanwhile, their speed boats cater to thrill-seekers, promising a brisk, breathtaking view of the Smoky Mountains. 

Lighthouse Pointe Marina prioritizes safety by offering well-maintained water crafts with life jackets and safety equipment. Beyond rentals, they have a well-stocked ship store for boating essentials, snacks, and beverages. In addition, the Marina staff are handy with boat launches and docking services. Lighthouse Pointe Marina isn’t just a marina; it’s your doorway to Douglas Lake in the Smoky Mountains.

Norris Lake: Watersports

Next up is Norris Lake, another jewel in the Smoky Mountains. This crystal-clear, deep-water lake is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. This reservoir spans more than 34,000 acres with 800 miles of shoreline.

Norris Lake Watersports’ rental fleet includes luxurious pontoons perfect for a leisurely cruise around the lake. If you’re a thrill seeker, the company offers ski boats that pair perfectly with their large tubes, water skis, and wakeboards. If you plan on extending your lakeside fun, consider one of the companies Norris Lake house rentals. These large homes come equipped with double deckers docks and even water slides! 

tubing on the Pigeon River

Pigeon River: Tubing & Rafting in Hartford

The grandeur of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park extends beyond Sevier County, and encompasses other areas like Cocke County. Cocke County is often referred to as the Adventure Side of the Smokies, as it is home to numerous trails and challenging mountain hikes. Among its numerous attractions, the town of Hartford serves as a major hub for white water rafting experiences on the Pigeon River.

If you’re looking for the best tubing near Pigeon Forge, consider driving the 50 minutes east to Hartford, TN. The Pigeon River’s swift currents make for an exhilarating ride. You’re in for a fast-paced treat regardless of whether you go tubing or whitewater rafting. Here are a few ways this beautiful mountain location celebrates the great outdoors:

Outdoor Adventures

If you’re seeking more adventurous watersports on the Pigeon River, Outdoor Adventures in Hartford, Tennessee, is the place to go. For adrenaline seekers, try their white water rafting. The Pigeon River’s upper section offers Class III and IV rapids for a heart-racing journey through the Smoky Mountains. If you’re new to white water rafting or prefer a more relaxed pace, the lower section offers a gentler ride with Class I and II rapids. Either way, you’ll be guided by their trained and experienced river guides.

tubing on the Little Pigeon River

Little Pigeon River: Tubing in Pigeon Forge

If you’d prefer to stay close to Pigeon Forge, Wild Bear Tubing is another excellent option for outdoor adventures on the water. This company offers tubing in Pigeon Forge on the Little Pigeon River, blending relaxation and thrills with the Smoky Mountains as your backdrop.

Wild Bear Tubing has everything you need for a safe and fun tubing experience. You’ll get a rental river tube designed for comfort and durability. If safety is a concern, rest assured, knowing that every rental also comes with a life vest. The tubes are also brightly colored to help identify you during your adventure. 

Wild Bear Tubing takes the hassle out of tubing by providing a shuttle service that takes you to the launch point and picks you up at the end. That means you enjoy a one-way, downstream trip without worrying about how to get back to your vehicle. This shuttle service makes tubing in Pigeon Forge a breeze and allows you to focus on enjoying the stunning scenery and the thrilling rapids. Wild Bear Tubing is the perfect summer adventure for families and couples.

tubing on the Little River

Little River: Tubing in Townsend

Townsend is known as the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies.” This is where you find Little River. Here, the leisurely pace of river tubing is a favorite pastime.

Smoky Mountain River Rat

Considered one of the best places for tubing in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding Smoky Mountain area, Smoky Mountain River Rat guarantees an exciting day of fun and relaxation. This family-owned company, in business since 1995, offers river tubing for all ages. Located in Townsend, they provide two tubing options:

The Upper Section is for those seeking a little more excitement and rapids, featuring ripples and moderate rapids. The Lower Section offers a more laid-back ride perfect for families and those wishing to enjoy a slower pace. The Lower Section is a relaxing float where you sit back and soak in the magnificent views of the Smokies. Both sections allow plenty of time for splashing, swimming, and sunbathing.

Pigeon Forge water parks

Bonus: Pigeon Forge Water Parks

Pigeon Forge offers two top-notch water parks for those who prefer their watersports with a side of slides and lazy rivers. Soaky Mountain Waterpark is a new addition to the Pigeon Forge area. Wilderness at the Smokies has an indoor and outdoor water park for year-round fun.

Soaky Mountain

Located in Sevierville, this 50-acre water park provides exhilarating watersports for all ages. The park features a massive 35,000-square-foot wave pool that generates waves up to 6 feet high. The Avalaunch Water Coaster is also a one-of-a-kind water coaster with a combination of high-speed tunnels and thrilling drops. For the younger guests, there’s Boomer’s Bay, a fun and interactive kids’ play area with age-appropriate slides and activities.

Wilderness in the Smokies

Wilderness in the Smokies is a resort and waterpark all rolled into one. The resort is located in Sevierville and features indoor and outdoor water parks, lodging, dining, shopping, and more. There’s plenty of aquatic fun with a wave pool, water slides, and a surfing simulator.

The Smoky Mountains are a true haven for water sports lovers. Douglas Lake boat rentals near Sevierville provide a serene setting, with Lighthouse Pointe Marina offering top-notch boat rentals for a day out on the water. Norris Lake takes it up a notch with watersports that keep the adrenaline pumping.

For those who prefer the calming flow of a river, the Pigeon River in Hartford is an ideal spot for tubing and rafting. Sevier County’s Little Pigeon River also offers rafting and tubing adventure with Wild Bear Tubing and Outdoor Adventure.

The Smoky Mountain River Rat provides all the necessary equipment for a fun-filled day. Finally, Pigeon Forge has Soaky Mountain and Wilderness in the Smokies if you prefer a water park. Both offer slides and pools. No matter your preference, these Smoky Mountain lakes, rivers, and water parks are a splashing good time.

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Andy Rowe

Andy Rowe is an experienced Writer and Content Designer with a passion for storytelling. He earned his Masters of Business Administration while living abroad in Taiwan and has spent the past 6 years honing his skills in copy writing, social media content, and thought leadership. Andy has a talent for research and the ability to adapt this writing style to different audiences. When he’s not writing, Andy enjoys traveling, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and reading.

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