Sky High Adventures in the 9 Lakes
August skies in the 9 Lakes always seem to be bluer and the sunsets are more dramatic. making this the perfect month for “sky high” adventures. Here are some of our favorite ways to get vertical:
Located in the heart of downtown, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is the longest suspension bridge in North America. It spans 680 feet across a deep valley. Your adventure will take you on a walk that with a panoramic view of the Smokies, while standing 140 feet above the valley floor. The attraction is open until 10 pm nightly.
Or float high above the Smokies on a hot air balloon ride. What’s up Ballooning offers some of the most dramatic views of the Smokies. These rides are very popular during the late summer and fall foliage season, so you will want to book now.
Colorful hot air balloons are the draw at the annual Great Smoky Mountain Balloon Festival in Townsend, TN. This year’s festival will be held on August 20 from 5 pm to 9 pm. Experience the festival by taking a tethered ride to see the summer beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At dusk, the evening sky will be lit up with a balloon glow set to the back drop of a Tennessee sunset. Gates open at 4 pm.
The iconic Sunsphere in Worlds Fair Park provides a 360 view of Knoxville. Celebrating its 40th year as the centerpiece of the 1982 World’s Fair, visitors to the Sunsphere will be treated to a photo gallery of memorabilia from forty years ago when the world descended on Knoxville. Find out why you had to be there.
Lace up your hiking boots for a 5.6 miles sky high hike on the Mount Sterling trail. The fire tower at the summit provides what some hikers have deemed as the most panoramic view of the Smokies. The moderately rugged trail winds its way through firs and spruce on its upward ascent. Trailheads can be found in the Cosby Campground or off of I40. The trail also abounds in history dating from early settlements to Civil War deserters. Be sure to stop by Our Place in Cosby for a cup of coffee and to learn more about the area.
With so many sky high adventures in the 9 Lakes, you will want to get elevated.