SNEAK PEEK: WildSide Set to Open in the Smoky Mountains in 2024

wildslide basecamp and a man on a utv in the mountains

WildSlide will feature UTV tours, mountain biking and more (photos courtesy of WildSlide)

From the minds behind Anakeesta, WildSide is set to be the largest attraction in the Smoky Mountains when it opens this summer

I’ve certainly seen a lot of planned attractions for someone who has covered the Smoky Mountains for nearly 25 years. Some of them live up to the hype, others falter and fail. But – if I’m being honest – there have been few that I’ve found as intriguing as WildSide, the massive outdoor sports park planned to open this summer just outside Pigeon Forge. 

Brought to you by the creators behind Anakeesta, WildSide is a 900-acre park located in the triangle between Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Wears Valley. It will offer e-bikes, mountain bikes and guided UTV tours through 15 miles of wilderness trails.

a man takes a photo on a mountain beside a utv
WildSide will allow guests to explore the Smoky Mountains in a whole new way (photo courtesy of WildSide)

About WildSide

It’s an adventure park located about 10 minutes from traffic light No. 10 in Pigeon Forge. While the park will be remote – don’t expect cell service – it will be a relatively short drive from the hustle and bustle of Pigeon Forge. For instance, you can see The Island’s Ferris wheel from the park’s highest point of WildSide, Raven’s Den. 

The owners of the park acquired the land which already had some trails on it. And that expanded the possibilities with new trails specifically designed for WildSide guests. It now features 15 miles of trails over a rugged mountain landscape, just like you’d see in the National Park. There are roaring streams, rolling foothills and more waiting to be forged and explored. 

Bike Rider at WildSide
Mountain biking and guided UTV tours will be among the many activities for guests to enjoy at WildSide (photo courtesy of WildSide)

Things to do at WildSide 

WildSide will offer a variety of outdoor sports. There will be traditional mountain biking on an extensive network of trails. The trails will be designed for riders of varying skill levels and abilities. There are also winding paths that allow you to enjoy the lush, rich mountain forests. There are more adventurous downhill descents for those looking for an adrenaline rush. Either way, the new paths will provide an unforgettable experience, organizers say. 

In addition to traditional mountain biking, there will be e-bikes (electric bikes) available. These bikes come with electric motors to help navigate the challenges of biking up mountain trails. They are not motorcycles, the engines provide extra power when pedaling. It’s an assist for those who need a little boost over the 1,500 feet of elevation change. 

Lastly – at least for now – there will be guided UTV tours. A UTV is like a cross between a four-wheeler and a dune buggy. Guests can get behind the wheel. However, WildSide will provide experienced guides to ensure a safe and exciting experience for guests. 

In addition to the trails, there will be a base camp located in the “pristine, stream-bordered valley” that will serve as the access point to the rest of the adventure. 

“WildSide is truly designed to give guests the most unique experiences in the Smokies,” said owner, Bryce Bentz, “our family is full of outdoor enthusiasts, and we are hoping to share that passion with everyone.”

The WildSide Attraction Base Camp Rendering
A rendering of the WildSide Base Camp (render courtesy of WildSide)

When will the park open? 

According to the latest information, the massive new park will open in the summer of 2024.

If organizers follow the same model as Anakeesta, they are already thinking about phases II or III as they prepare to launch Phase I. When Anakeesta launched, plans were already in place for growth. 

Are you planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains soon? Make sure to check out our coupons page before your trip!

Side-by-Side on WildSide Trail
WildSide is set to open this summer (photo courtesy of WildSide)
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