GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Anakeesta is expanding its 70-acre outdoor theme park with new outdoor experiences, more dining and shopping options and a new way to reach the summit of Anakeesta.

Interactive and immersive experiences have been added to Vista Garden Walk and more than5,000 new flowers, 800 shrubs, and 250 trees have been planted, doubling the size of the botanical garden

The Overlook is open and offers breathtaking mountain views. 

Vista-Garden Walk with Mount Leconte views. (Photo courtesy of Anakeesta)

By late this summer, Anakeesta will offer guests a new way to reach the summit.   In addition to the Chondola ride with open-air quad chairs and enclosed six-person gondola cabins, guests will be able to reach the top of Anakeesta Mountain via an immersive ride on an adventure truck through the forest. 

A fifty-foot observation tower will allow guests to rise to a height of 1,930 feet for a panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains.  The stone and timber structure will look like a traditional fire tower structure found at Mt. Camerer in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park but with modern flair.

 “Anakeesta began with the vision of creating an authentic experience where families would enjoy the outdoors together,” said Bob Bentz, Managing Partner.  “It’s been exciting to see that vision become a reality and we are excited to continue to grow and expand the park.”

St. Francis statue overlooking Mount LeConte. (Photo courtesy of Anakeesta)