Top 8 Bryson City Kids Fun Things to Do

Family vacation is a time to make life-long memories. One of the most common questions we get at Carolina Bound Adventures is, “We’re bringing the kids and want to get expose them to the outdoors… can you help?”  Our reply: “absolutely, yes!” If your family is living in a state somewhere without mountains, we have tons of things to do around Bryson City, NC that you won’t find just anywhere. Here’s some of our favorites for families with kids of all ages.

1. Family Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains – Experiencing the outdoors in the mountains is a great new experience for many kids. We have a lot of families join us on our guided hiking tours that have never been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and many have never even seen mountains.  Our most popular hike with families is our Guided Waterfalls Hike which is an interpretive experience.  We cater our hike to all physical abilities, having hosted families with members from 2 to 80.  One of our tour challenges is to see how many wildflowers we can count or different species of trees.  We share information about the pioneers who lived here in the Smoky Mountains and their predecessors, the Cherokee Indians.  We walk along 2 beautiful creeks and try to spot trout in the waters and have often seen bears and deer during our tours. 

2. Mountain Biking. If the kids have ridden a bicycle on sidewalks or pavement, then they’re ready to give Mountain Biking a try! We’ve got rental mountain bikes available with gentle starter trails and offer Guided Mountain Bike Adventures for those new to the sport. When they’re feeling a bit more confident, and your Bryson City things to do list still includes your own bike, there are groomed mountain bike trails out towards the Fontana Lake area that are manageable and navigable for kids as well.

Look Dad! Puddles!!

3. Whitewater Rafting. Mom! It’s OK!!! Whitewater Rafting on the Nantahala River near Bryson City, NC is family friendly and one of the biggest attractions in the area. At Carolina Bound Adventures, we’ve paid great attention to Smoky Mountain Rafting Reviews and have collaboration partnering with the best and most fun Whitewater Rafting Outfitters in the Bryson City Nantahala area. The Guided trips are fun and splashy. Perfect for cooling down on a warm summer day.

4. Lake Kayaking or Paddle Boarding. The Nantahala River Gorge puts a beautiful flow of fresh mountain stream water into Fontana Lake. Carolina Bound Adventures has availability for Fontana Lake Kayak or Paddle Board rentals or, if you prefer, we offer Private Guided Lake Kayak or Paddle Board Tours also. If the kids fall in, so what? It’s a good way to get them rinsed off before the campfire and s’mores!

Ziplining for Kids

5. Ziplining for Kids Ages 4 to 12. Do you have a kid that’s a budding adrenaline junkie? We have a fun aerial zipline playground you can book here where the kids can zip, climb and play in the trees of the Nantahala Gorge. Let the kids zipline while parents, grandparents and others can watch and take pictures.

6. Horseback Riding in the Nantahala National Forest.  Guided horseback trips will allow you to enjoy beautiful wooded scenery, an overlook of Fontana Lake, and views of the Great Smoky Mountains in the Nantahala National Forest.  Our horseback riding guide service is family-owned and has been operating in the area for over 40 years.  This family fun adventure requires no riding experience, the maximum number of people per trip is 15, open to children 5 years of age and older, a weight limit of 250 pounds or less.  Don’t forget the camera!

7. Visit Cherokee NC. If you’re exploring additional things to do around Bryson City NC, Cherokee is just 10 minutes North. Cherokee is a town on the reservation home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation and is loaded with adventure and activities. One of the most popular activities is “Unto These Hills” Outdoor Drama which recounts the history of the Cherokee Indians in the Great Smoky Mountains. If it’s a warm day, visit the Oconaluftee Islands Park. The generally shallow depth of the Oconaluftee River invites stone -skipping contests, building an ancient Cherokee fishing weir, or just wading up to your ankles to beat the heat.  Don’t forget Elk viewing and Mingo Falls when you visit Cherokee also.

8. Railroad Excursion on The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Tops on a           Bryson City things to do list is a Great Smoky Mountain Train Ride. Located in, and departing from Bryson City, The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes you on a scenic rail excursion along the Nantahala River and through the Nantahala Gorge.  This is a 4 1/2 hour excursion totaling 44 miles, making its way through mountain valleys, tunnels and across the Nantahala and Tennessee rivers and over Fontana Lake into the deep river gorge. Along the way you’ll enjoy a 1 hour layover from the Railroad ride at the world famous Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) where you’ll be able to enjoy their great restaurants or just sit by the river and watch the fabulous rafting and kayaking adventures!  Great fun for all ages!!   
Come see all of the fun adventures at!

“Carolina Bound Adventures were super helpful when we had to adjust our plans, they were quick to know our names and made it seem like we had been friends for years. The hike was a wonderful time with family and the kids loved learning so much about the area. Get a guided adventure with Carolina Bound Adventures if you can, you will NOT be disappointed!” Crystal D.