As someone who grew up in the Smokies, I’ve explored just about every attraction in town and eaten at roughly 90% of the local restaurants.
Needless to say, I consider myself a bit of a Smokies expert. Even a critic, if you will.
At times I fancy myself as a modern-day Smoky Mountain Siskel or Ebert.
I’ve experienced some great attractions and great dining. And I’ve had a few not-so-great experiences.
I’ve also seen many attractions and restaurants come and go over the years.
This is why every time a new attraction rolls into town I feel like a kid on Christmas Day, ready to open her gifts. Will it be a winner? Or is it doomed to go the way of Bunny Golf?
Last week, I had the opportunity to explore a brand new Sevierville attraction: Skyland Ranch. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
Y’all, I think this one is here to stay.
Area Deals and Discounts
Subscribe to our newsletter and we will instantly deliver the best area discounts to your inbox.
What is Skyland Ranch?
Skyland Ranch is a mountaintop entertainment venue accessible by a scenic chairlift (or Skyland Safari Truck for chairlift averse).
It’s the latest brainchild of Mark and Lisa Williford who also own the successful Rowdy Bear Adventure Parks in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
It’s most comparable to Gatlinburg’s Anakeesta attraction albeit smaller, more easily accessible and less crowded with ample parking and an entirely different theme – life on the ranch.
It offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Parkway with a nod to simpler times but rife with modern conveniences – like food trucks.
What is there to do at Skyland Ranch?
With general admission to Skyland Ranch, visitors can enjoy:
1. The Horizon SkyRide
The Horizon SkyRide is Skyland’s chairlift.
While free parking is available at the base of the mountain, the main attraction is located at the very top of the mountain and is only accessible by either chairlift or Skyland Safari Truck.
It takes approximately 9-10 minutes for Skyland’s chairlift to make it to the top from the bottom and vice versa.
2. Miniature animal petting areas
Once atop the mountain, guests are invited to meet Skyland’s many miniature four-legged friends.
Animal encounters include miniature horses, miniature donkeys, miniature cows, goats, sheep and a miniature bull named Diesel (my personal favorite).
Interacting with the miniature farm animals turned out to be one of our favorite things at this attraction.
3. The Backyard
The Backyard is a chill outdoor event space to hang out, kick back in a rocking chair, and explore Skyland’s food truck offerings and other eateries while you watch a bit of live entertainment.
4. Live entertainment
Speaking of live entertainment, Skyland Ranch’s daily entertainment lineup features a series of rotating talents that include Wild West magic shows, banjo music and appearances from mascots and other special guests.
Around the holidays, Santa and Mrs. Claus have even been known to make an appearance.
5. Access to retail shops
Guests can also shop at Wiliford Mercantile – also known as the retail barn. But be warned, while window shopping is free with admission, you may be tempted to pull your wallet out for this one.
The boutique souvenir shop features a toy store, western wear, hats, bags and a variety of souvenirs.
There’s also a Skyland Sundry that features basic Skyland Ranch-branded items T-shirts and mugs.
6. Access to dining
Guests may also choose to buy a snack or grab a sandwich at the Skyland Cafe & Bakery also known as the food barn.
The gourmet bakery features a sandwich shop with soups, salads, ice cream and milkshakes, a homemade candy shop with a variety of treats, a coffee shop and a bakery where you can make your own custom candy bar.
There’s also a variety of food trucks available.
And coming soon to Skyland Ranch, guests will be able to enjoy:
7. Legacy Lookout
Coming soon to Skyland Ranch is the Legacy Lookout attraction – currently under construction at the time of this writing.
Legacy Lookout will feature an elevated scenic walkway with 360-degree gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains and the Parkway 350 feet down below.
Judging from the conceptual renderings, it looks like it will be similar to SkyLift Park’s SkyTrail attraction.
Sold separately, guests can also enjoy:
8. The Wild Stallion Mountain Coaster
The Wild Stallion Mountain Coaster is the longest mountain coaster in the Southeast. It features a 1.25-mile ride that lasts around 8-9 minutes. Riders control their own speed.
However, this particular attraction is not included with general admission.
If you wish to ride the Wild Stallion you can either bundle your Skyland Ranch tickets with the mountain coaster ($44.99 for adults ages 10 and up or $33.98 per child) or purchase a coaster ticket separately ($19.99 for adults ages 10 and up or $9.99 per child).
The coaster has a 375-pound weight limit. Children must be at least 3 years old and 38″ tall to ride. If the child is less than 54″ tall, they must be accompanied by an adult.
Pro-Tip: At the time of this writing Skyland Ranch wristbands (issued upon park entrance) feature a hidden $2 off Mountain Coaster coupon on the underside that can be used on a return trip to the park.
So don’t be too quick to toss those wristbands after you leave.
How much time do people spend at Skyland Ranch?
Guests should expect to spend at least 2-3 hours exploring this attraction if they wish to do so at a leisurely pace and enjoy a small meal or a snack once at the top.
Although, it could be done in less than one hour if you’re in a hurry.
How much does it cost to go to Skyland Ranch?
At the time of this writing, prices for Skyland Ranch are as follows:
- General Admission Adult (10 & up): $29.99
- General Admission Child (3-9): $23.99
- Mountain Coaster Adult (10 & up): $18.99
- Mountain Coaster Child (3-9): $9.99
- General Admission/Coaster Combo Adult (10 & up): $44.99
- General Admission/Coaster Combo Child (3-9): $33.98
Kids must be at least 3 years old to ride the Wild Stallion. General admission is free for children 2 and under.
Prices mentioned in this article are at the time of this writing and are subject to change. Prices do not include food, drink or souvenirs.
Where is the Skyland Ranch?
Skyland Ranch is at 1620 Parkway in Sevierville, just outside of Pigeon Forge.
It is located next to Five Oaks Farm Kitchen across from Tanger Outlets.
Have you been to Skyland Ranch yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.