THE 225 CHALLENGE
Get moving in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it: Move 225 miles in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Take your activity level to new heights in the Smoky Mountains. The 225-mile goal can be completed by walking, running, pedaling, skating, paddling, or rolling. The idea is that it’s you moving (so zip-lining, horseback riding, and motoring don’t count, though they are super fun and we invite you to try them all!) Bring your mileage tracker of choice to Sevierville and have fun while racking up miles.
Sevierville celebrates its 225th birthday in 2020, and the 225 Challenge is one way the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the occasion. Tennessee’s eighth oldest town, Sevierville was founded in 1795 and incorporated in 1901. It’s named after John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee.
Ambitious locals may be able to reach the 225-mile goal quickly. As an example, walk five miles a day and you can reach the target in about a month and a half. But to give everyone a fair shot—including visitors who travel to Sevierville a few weekends or one week each year—the challenge runs through 2025. Start now and that’s just 45 miles a year. However you divvy up your workouts, keep track of your mileage to earn a limited-edition commemorative pin once you meet the goal.
It’s easy to find ways to get moving in and around the City of Sevierville. Here are some ideas about how you might add up activities to reach 225 miles. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to repeat some activities: After all, a hiking trail will look very different in spring than fall—both too beautiful to miss!
Discover Sevierville Greenways
The City of Sevierville Parks & Recreation Department maintains a network of paved, lit greenways near waterways, trees, and gardens that are a pleasure to walk, run, cycle, skate, or roll:
- 0.5 miles – The Sevierville City Park Trail is a half-mile path at its namesake park.
- 0.6 miles – The Municipal Campus Loop can be accessed at the Municipal Campus. It passes by the Middle Creek and several buildings including the Chamber offices. It serves as a trailhead, offering access to both the Middle Creek Greenway and the Veterans Boulevard Greenway.
- 6 miles – Veterans Boulevard Greenway is a 10-foot wide path that runs parallel to Veterans Boulevard all the way to Dollywood. It can be accessed at the Municipal Campus, which is where it connects to the Middle Creek Greenway.
- 2 miles – The Memorial River Trail Greenway runs along the Little Pigeon River.
- 2 miles – The Middle Creek Greenway can be accessed at the Municipal Campus, which is where it connects to the Veterans Boulevard Greenway.
- 2 miles – West Prong Greenway (formerly the Memorial River Trail) runs along the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River and crosses a small, covered bridge. It reaches the Burchfiel Grove and Arboretum along the banks of the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River with views of Mount LeConte and the crest of the Great Smoky Mountains.
- 1 mile – Gists Creek Greenway runs parallel to Old Knoxville Highway at the Convention Center.
- 0.5 miles – Northview Park Greenway is a half-mile loop around a park at the northern end of the city.
Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The nation’s most-visited national park offers miles of trails in old-growth forests with abundant waterfalls and spectacular views. Among the options:
- 3 miles – The Oconaluftee River Trail is one of only two walking paths in the park that allows dogs and cyclists. It is relatively flat and runs along the Oconaluftee River 1.5 miles one-way from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to the outskirts of the city of Cherokee, N.C.
- 3.6 or 11.2 miles – The Forney Ridge hiking trail begins at the Clingmans Dome parking lot and drops elevation to reach Andrews Bald in 1.8 miles. Turn around for a 3.6-mile hike or continue down to the Springhouse Branch Trail for a round-trip of 11.2 miles.
- 3.8 miles – The Gatlinburg Trail is one of only two walking paths in the park that allows dogs and cyclists. The relatively flat trail stretches 1.9 miles one-way from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the outskirts of the city of Gatlinburg. It runs along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.
- 4 miles – The Chimney Tops hiking trail is one of the National Park’s most popular trails thanks to its spectacular views. The steep 2-mile trail is a heart-pumping trek; walk both directions for a round trip.
- 4 miles – The Porters Creek hiking trail meanders through lush forest along the banks of Porters Creek to reach the 60-foot Fern Branch Falls at the two-mile mark; turn around to complete the round trip.
- 4 or 5.1 miles – The Little River hiking trail follows the scenic river towards its headwaters and passes historic cottages to reach Husky Branch Falls; turn around at the falls for a four-mile hike or, better yet, add the Cucumber Gap and Jakes Creek trails for a pleasant 5.1-mile loop.
- 5.4 or 13.4 miles – The Rainbow Falls hiking trail showcases an 80-foot waterfall that occasionally freezes into an hourglass shape in the winter. Trek 2.7-miles one way to the falls or continue past to up to the summit of Mount Le Conte for a total of 6.7 miles before turning back.
- 8 miles – The Charlies Bunion out-and-back hiking trail boasts breathtaking mountain views along the famed Appalachian Trail to reach a picturesque stone outcrop.
- 10 miles – The Alum Cave Bluffs hiking trail stretches out five miles from the trailhead past Alum Cave Bluffs to just below the summit of Mount Le Conte; turn back to complete the round trip.
- 11 miles – There are no mountain biking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but the Cades Cove loop welcomes cyclists. The 11-mile one-way road is a great way to see wildlife and tour 19th-century homesites.
Walk Downtown Sevierville
Depending on what route you take, you can rack up a mile or more on a self-guided walking tour of historic downtown Sevierville. A free map showcases 20 of the city’s most important historic sites; grab one near the bronze statue of Dolly Parton that’s located on the front lawn of the Sevier County Courthouse. That courthouse was built in 1896, the same year Tennessee celebrated its centennial. While wandering around the city, don’t miss the two new murals on Bruce Street.
Scale Foxfire Mountain
Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park is home to 150 acres of excitement. Among the adrenaline-pumping ways to complete some miles here:
- 60 feet – The Gorilla Climbing Wall is the largest climbing wall in the Smoky Mountains. It offers five climbing lanes of varying degrees of difficulty.
- 335 feet – The Bridge to Prosperity, American’s longest swinging bridge, crosses over Foxfire Gorge.
- 1 mile – The waterfall trail leads to a picturesque cascade.
- 1 mile – The river trail incorporates several bridges.
- The Tree Climber Aerial Ropes Course is a self-guided challenge with 12 elements including balance beams, invisible steps, and tight rope walks. The distance you’ll navigate depends on your chosen route and stamina.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
You can cover a whole lot of miles while shopping in Sevierville! The total distance you’ll cover depends on your own interests and perseverance. Among the shopping destinations:
- Tanger Outlets Sevierville is Tennessee’s largest authentic outlet center. The open-air mall is home to nearly 100 brand-name stores that sell designer clothing, shoes, accessories and more at discount prices of up to 70% off retail.
- Mountain Knife Works is “the world’s largest knife showplace.” Don’t miss the Relic Room where you can buy a piece of history.
- Great Smokies Flea Market is Tennessee’s most-visited flea market and features more than 1,000 vendors offering a mind-boggling array of products.
Paddle the Pigeon River
Whitewater rafting is a heart-pumping challenge to steer an inflatable craft between rocks and down inclines of rushing water. The pros at Big Creek Expeditions offer three guided trips:
- 5.5 miles – The Lower Pigeon River trip features Class I and II rapids.
- 6 miles – The invigorating Upper Pigeon River trip includes Class III and IV rapids.
- 11.5 miles – The full day river adventure combines the upper and lower routes for a longer rafting adventure.
Play a round at the city’s Sevierville Golf Club which features two award-winning 18-hole championship courses: The Highlands and The River. Both courses offer different sets of tees to accommodate players of all levels; one offers a 9-hole play option. Walk the course rather than rent a cart in order to rack up miles.
- 1.8 miles – Play 9 holes on the front of The Highlands course.
- 3.75 miles – Play 18 holes at The Highlands, a par 70, 6,200-yard course with tree-lined fairways.
- 3.75 miles – Play 18 holes at The River, a par 72, 7,120-yard course that was recently ranked by Golf Advisor as the No. 1 best course in Tennessee. It plays along and across the Little Pigeon River and is the more challenging of the two courses.
Take Aim and Splatter
The total mileage you’ll cover depends on your game strategy, but you’ll definitely get a heart-pumping workout at Tennessee Mountain Paintball, a 20-acre facility with eight courses. Billed as “the real-life video game,” low impact paintball delivers high adrenaline but little pain for maximum fun. The goal is to eliminate game competitors by tagging them with paint-filled capsules using an air-powered launcher. Anyone age seven and older can play.
The total distance you’ll go depends on your stamina, but you can add up miles climbing, splashing, sliding, swimming, and body surfing at Sevierville’s waterparks . Both Wilderness at the Smokies and The Resort at Governor’s Crossing are open year-round with consistent, comfortable temperatures in the mid-80s. The new 50-acre Soaky Mountain Waterpark, which is open seasonally, offers more than 19 attractions including a total of more than 1.5 miles of waterslides.
Peloton with Parton
Since Sevierville is Dolly Parton’s hometown, there’s a way you can rack up miles wherever you’re located: Peloton with Parton. Peloton, which makes at-home gym equipment, an exercise app, and workout videos to live-stream through Peloton products, is offering a new “Artist Series” of workouts. Search for “Dolly Parton” and direct link to one of the three workouts that feature the megastar’s music throughout the sessions produced in collaboration with Dolly. The options include Dolly Parton Yoga Flow with Kristin McGee, Dolly Parton run with Selena Samuela, and Dolly Parton ride with Robin Arzon. The number of miles you can rack up depends on how fast you go during the 30-minute workouts.
Learn more about Sevierville’s 225-mile Challenge and how to log your miles at VisitSevierville.com/225Challenge.