On the road: Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee

by: Nelson Hicks Updated:

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Sevierville, Tenn. -- Looking for a quick family getaway? WSBTV.com ventured north to Tennessee for a trip to Wilderness at the Smokies.

Wilderness at the Smokies is a 700-acre resort near Pigeon Forge that is all about fun. It features three outdoor water parks, two indoor waterparks, 36 holes of golf, mini-golf and a brand new seven-acre dry facility called Adventure Forest.

"We are opening Adventure Forest," said Rick Laney from Wilderness at the Smokies. "It's a real departure for us here at Wilderness at the Smokies. It is a dry park. And by dry park, what I mean is, it's the first thing we've ever built that doesn't involve water. You'll find ropes courses, you'll find bowling alleys, you'll find laser tag, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, you'll find a huge arcade."

Adventure Forest opened Friday.

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Adventure Forest is next to the Wild Water Dome. The dome features four slides, including Storm Chaser. It takes four guests  55 feet down a dark tunnel before dropping them through a zero gravity fall into a funnel. In the funnel, riders will experience several fast oscillations before splashing into a pool below. The Wild Water Dome includes a 150,000 wave pool, an indoor-outdoor hot tub, a mutli-level play area and the region's only surf rider.

With the unusually warm weather the south has experienced this winter, Wilderness at the Smokies has already started opening the outdoor parks on select weekends, too.

"If you come up to Wildnerness, you have a couple hours from Atlanta, you're here," Laney said. "You can park your car and literally, really never get in it again. You can eat at a different restaurant every meal. You can have a different activity everyday without ever getting in your car. But with so much in this area, it's tempting in the evening especially, to get cleaned up, go out to eat, go take in a show, go see one of the other attractions in the area, but if you really want the peaceful, don't get in the car, don't go anywhere vacation, you can certainly do that here year round."

The outdoor parks feature numerous slides, play areas, a wave pool, adventure river and cabanas.

Wilderness at the Smokies water parks are reserved for hotel guests. Only guests of the hotel are allowed in the water parks. With about 1,000 hotel rooms on the property, there are never lines longer than a few minutes Laney noted. Guests are allowed to use the water parks starting at noon on their arrival date and can use the facilities all day until close on their departure day.

For more on Wilderness at the Smokies, check out its website or join their Facebook page. Wilderness routinely runs specials on Facebook.