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Experience the Gravity of the Situation in the Smokies

Posted by Leif Palmer in Pigeon Forge Attractions

We could drop some heavy science on you and go into a lot of detail explaining how gravity works. But suffice it to say we all know it's the force that keeps us all safely on the surface of the earth. Because of gravity, we have the well-known saying “What goes up must come down.”

The cool part is that there are several attractions here in the Smokies that have taken that principle and made it work to their advantage, offering experiences that allow their guests to surrender to the force of gravity but have an awful lot of fun in the process. This week, we'll give you a few ideas for how that works.

Try a bungee jump.

There are several attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg that offer this activity that's not recommended for the faint of heart. Imagine climbing the stairs to the top of a multi-story tower, where you climb into a harness and then take one big leap of faith off the edge of the platform. It's a straight freefall down toward the safety airbag, but fortunately, that springy bungee cord will snap you back up before you make contact. You'll get a few good bounces in before operators gently lower you to the ground.

Ride a zipline.

Gravity is still the primary force here as you harness up, clip onto a zipline trolley and then coast your way along the line from point A to point B. The greater the difference between those points, the faster you'll go, although the weight of the participant plays a role too. See? Even physics is fun when you think about it…

Visit Outdoor Gravity Park.

This unique attraction in the Smokies used to be known as Zorb, and although the name has changed, the basic principle remains the same. Participants get inside a giant inflatable ball and roll downhill. When it was Zorb, riders used to tumble and flip as the ball rolled downhill, but now they put 10 gallons of water in the ball, so riders are able to stay sitting upright inside the compartment, sliding down the hill as the ball turns beneath them.

Get wet on a water slide.

This is the more old-fashioned way to slip and slide your way to outdoor fun in the Smokies. Two of the more notable places you'll find them are at Dollywood theme park and Dollywood's Splash Country. Dollywood has rides like the Slidewinder and Daredevil Falls, both of which put riders in a vessel of some sort but make going downhill on the water a lot of fun. Or at Splash Country, you can try any number of slides that utilize rafts, tubes or just the cushion of your own derrier to help you twist and turn your way from the top of the slide to the bottom.

Leif Palmer - Smokies blogger

About Leif Palmer

Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.


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