For true Smoky Mountain adventures all you have to do is go to Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa. There you can choose from a half dozen things to do and see, enjoy a quick snack at Cowboy’s Cafe, eat a picnic lunch around the pond and shop in the General Store. The adventures include horseback riding, an ATV trail ride, petting zoo, gem mining, fishing in the pond and exploring history in the Heritage museum.
The folks at Big Rock promise the best horse ride in the Smokies and work hard to make sure your ride is enjoyable and that you leave with great memories. The trail is 3.5 miles long with great views of the Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area. Their horses are beautiful, well fed and groomed, and selected for each rider for their temperament and disposition. They strive to match the rider with the perfect horse. and if you are a bigger person Big Rock can accommodate you but you must let them know in advance.
The 4×4 ATV ride is an hour long and takes you through creeks, gorgeous forests and up the mountain for spectacular views. Helmets, safety gear and driving instructions are provided.
You need to be at least 16-years-old or have a permit to drive. Your guide will lead the ride to ensure your ride is fun, safe and memorable.
The petting zoo offers a barnyard full of chickens, rabbits, goats, ponies, llamas, emus, ducks, geese and peacocks! This is fun for all as you wander around and pet the animals. The gem mine is full of Geo’s and a typical panning will yield, quartz, crystals, agate, turquoise, jade, pyrite and more. Kid’s love the experience and will leave with a bagful of beautiful stones that they discovered and mined themselves.
So you see, you can spend an entire, fun-filled day at Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa, and you will take home great memories and you could also take home fish stories, bags of semi-precious stones and souvenirs from the Big Rock General Store. Take your own picnic feast or buy your food at Cowboy’s Cafe. Either way it will all taste great on the picnic tables around the pond out in the fresh air of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. For more Smoky Mountain information and coupons go to www.bestreadguidesmokymountains.com/.