If you go to the Smoky Mountains for some outdoor adventure, the Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center should be one of your first stops. There you have a choice to either go tubing down the Little River or go biking on the scenic nature bike trails of Townsend with beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains. The Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center has the safest and most comfortable tubes with mesh bottoms made by AIRE to provide you with the best river tubing experience possible. For your convenience, the Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center also provides a shuttle that runs regularly throughout the day to transport you to the beginning of your tubing adventure. If you want to do something before or after tubing, bike rentals are available through Knuckle Busters to enjoy nature without having to hike.
About the Facility
Before or after your fun day tubing or biking, you can visit the indoor gift shop that sells all the top outdoor brands, such as Costa, ENO, Kavu, Patagonia, and Yeti. Should you have any questions about the products sold there, the Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center’s staff are knowledgeable about everything there to answer any questions or help you find exactly what you are looking for.
If you aren’t interested in shopping, you can enjoy a little more of nature outside these high-quality facilities to play corn hole, relax in one of the ENO hammocks, or have a picnic at one of the picnic tables accompanied by a breathtaking view of the mountains.
Tips for Tubing Down the Little River
Whether this will be your first or tenth time river tubing, here are a few tips you should consider before you go:
- Don’t take any valuables with you, such as keys, phones, jewelry, or prescription glasses. If you must take something like this with you, keep it sealed in a plastic bag or container.
- Lather yourself up with sunscreen and lip balm before you go out. Sunburn is a common occurrence for river tubers.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses to shade your face from the sun, but don’t wear your favorite or designer brand hat and sunglasses. There is the potential for these to get lost or ruined, so wear something you won’t mind losing.
- Wear water shoes or old tennis shoes, not flip flops as they can easily be swept away by the river and you may need to walk on rocks at some point during the day. You won’t want to be left barefooted.
- Bring a towel and a dry change of clothes and leave them in your car. By the time you are at the end of the river, you’ll be wishing for some dry clothes that aren’t sticking to you.
- If you drink alcohol on the river, drink responsibly as accidents are prone to happen when someone loses control. Also, remember to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated in the summer heat.
- If you bring food or drinks out on the river, avoid anything in glass or styrofoam as these are dangerous to the river and often litter the water.