Wilderness at the Smokies lets you ride the waves, relax on the lazy river … or take a thrilling ride on one of many waterslides!
“Did you see that drop!?” “Oh, that looks awesome!” That’s what you hear as you walk around the resort at Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, Tenn. The recently opened Wild Vortex water slide provides a rush you have yet to experience: A sudden vertical 39-foot drop from the top sends your body sliding at 2.5 G’s in less than two seconds through a loop before splashing you to the end. This breathtaking slide is just one of the many attractions at this popular resort — a five-hour drive from Ohio.
Get into all the water slides in the Wild WaterDome Indoor Waterpark. On the Storm Chaser Thrill Ride, you never know which direction you’ll face as you drop through the fully enclosed slide on your raft. Slide and splash through the water to the tune of a thunderstorm complete with sound and lighting effects. If that’s not enough, grab tubes and ride down one of the two Trail Twisters Tube Slides — one is pitch black inside! There are small water slides in the toddler area or the Washout Mountain play structure, then after all that fun, sit by the wavepool and let the waves crash over you like at the beach. Or, if you want to feel what the surfers do in the ocean, take your chance on the Smokies Surf Rider. Eyeing that, I headed to the pool and hot tub — and all of this inside! Want to be outdoors? Grab your gang and head toward Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark for even more splashing around in yet another wavepool at Washout Wilderness Rapids. Lazily relax on a tube on the Catalooche Creek Adventure River, then finally, dry off under a rented poolside cabana or grab a lounge chair when you’re ready for more — but dry — fun.
Wilderness Adventure Forest has lots to offer for children of all ages. For an additional cost, you can get a day pass or game card and enjoy more than 100 arcade games, laser tag, glow putt-putt golf, miniature bowling, Tree Top Towers Indoor Ropes Course, a rock climbing wall and more. There is also a Cubs Climbing Den (free) with a multi-level treehouse. If you happen to have a birthday in the family coming up rent a party room!
There are a few places to choose from if you want to dine at the resort: Hidden Trail Bar and Grill for breakfast, lunch (seasonal) and dinner; Thirsty Miner Restaurant for breakfast and dinner buffets, lunch (seasonal) and dinner; Mountain Marketplace and Deli for coffee, fresh pastries, sandwiches and more, and there are also a few snack bars located around the resort for quick pick-me-ups. Or, save on your food bill by choosing a room with a full kitchen. Cook meals for the family — that’s one way to save big — and shop at the grocery store, just minutes away.
Now that you’ve had your fill of fun, take it easy in your room. Every room is equipped with TVs, a DVD player and more, and there are also suites that include a dining area, living room and gas fireplace. Having a resort with so many attractions allows you to have tons of fun, so it’s nice to be able to just slip back to your room for a nice little nap before heading for more fun!
Wilderness at the Smokies
1424 Old Knoxville Hwy.,
Sevierville, TN 37876
Kiera Ashford is managing editor for this publication and mother of two, ages 6 and 2.
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