Winter Wonderlands in the Smokies

Posted by Phil Rodgers in Things to Do

Have you been out to Goats on the Roof yet this holiday season? If not, you should swing by the next time you're in Pigeon Forge. We're all decorated for Winterfest, so even after dark, our family attraction is a sight to see.

But don't just drive by. Stop for a while, and you'll be rewarded with indoor and outdoor fun for all ages, from our gem mining area to our famous Goat Coaster - an alpine coaster that measures almost a mile in length from top to bottom. Of course, we have live goats on our roof (seasonal availability may vary). When they're hanging out up top, you can visit them on the second level of our store and souvenir shop (a great place to Christmas shop), or you can pedal our unique, stationary Goat Cycle, which helps carry buckets of goat feed up to the rooftop.

Ski or snowboard at Ober

If you're looking for other places to make the most out of a winter visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, you might also head a few miles south and check out all the fun at Ober Mountain amusement park. Now that winter is practically here, it's the ideal season to hop the Aerial Tramway in downtown Gatlinburg and head up to this mountaintop attraction that's been around for 60 years. Or you could drive up Ski Mountain Rd. to the top of Mt. Harrison and park on site.

Ober Mountain started out as a ski resort, and that's primarily what it's known for in winter. The mountain features nine slopes that are serviced by three chairlifts. Slopes range from easy to difficult, but if you're just starting out, the resort offers a ski school as well as equipment and clothing rentals.

Currently (mid-December), they haven't received any natural snow on the mountain, and temperatures aren't cold enough for Ober to spray manufactured snow on the slopes (sub-freezing is required). But as soon as nature starts cooperating, you'll be able strap on some skis and start shooshing. The slopes are also a great place for snowboarders to hone their skills, and the terrain park provides a unique environment in which to work on those trick moves.

Another popular activity there is the 10-lane snow tubing course. Each ticket is good for a 90-minute session, during which you can head downhill on an inner tube as many times as you want. The outdoor escalator will take you from the bottom of the course back up to the top. Once you're there, you're looking at an undulating 350-foot-long slide to the bottom, with a net drop of 50 feet along the way.

Younger children will enjoy Cubbies Snow Zone at Ober Mountain. This discovery play area is a perfect setting to play in the snow, including making snowmen and snow angels. Children 6 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

This winter, Ober is also offering its Winter Discovery Program for all levels of skiing and snowboarding experience. Each package includes four lessons, four ski passes, equipment rentals and four Aerial Tramway tickets.

Other outdoor excitement includes the Ski Mountain Coaster, a scenic chairlift and a carousel. There's also fun to be had indoors at Ober Mountain. The ice rink hosts skating year 'round, and you'll find multiple shops, a full-service restaurant, ice bumper cars and a wildlife encounter in climate-controlled environments as well.

Keep in mind that while there's no admission fee per se to visit Ober Mountain, most activities do require separate ticket purchases. For example, the Aerial Tramway costs $22 per person (round trip), and ski passes top out at around $79 for an adult full-day session.


This content posted by Goats on the Roof of the Smoky Mountains. Visit our home page, goatsontheroofofthesmokies.com for more information on the goats and their coaster.

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