The Only Great Smoky Mountain National Park Map and Guide You Need for Your Vacation

The Only Great Smoky Mountain National Park Map and Guide You Need for Your Vacation

As the most visited national park in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is filled with all sorts of amazing things to see and do. While it is massive – 816 mi² to be exact – we want you to be excited about your adventure into the national park! That’s why we’ve put together the one and only Smoky Mountain National Park map and guide you’ll need for your visit. Print this handy guide or bookmark it on your phone, so you have it any time you visit the Smoky Mountains. You’ll have your map in-hand and adventure in your spirit, so you’ll be ready to go! It’ll take a few trips to see everything we’ve included here, so you better get started soon! Visitor Centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Sugarlands Visitor Center Named for the abundance of sugar maple trees found when settlers arrived to the area in the early 19th century, Sugarlands Visitor Center is the best place to start your exploration of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Visitor Center offers special programs including ranger-led activities, a free 20-minute film about the park, natural history exhibits and a store. Located 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441, Sugarlands Visitor Center is open every day except for Christmas. Their hours are as follows: January – February 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. March 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. April – May 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. June – August 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. September – October 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. November 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. December 8:00 a.m. –...

Blue Ridge Parkway Auto Tour

This route follows the Appalachian Mountain chain from Shenendoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—a distance of 469 miles. There are frequent turnouts for mountain vistas, waterfalls, picnic areas, and visitor centers. Much of the Parkway is closed in winter. The speed limit is strictly limited to 45 miles per hour, and trucks are prohibited.The South Section Auto Tour covers the last 175 miles of the parkway beginning at the visitor center at Linville Falls, North Carolina. The parkway passes through a series of gaps, meadows, tunnels, and scenic overlooks. Points of interest include the Museum of North Carolina Minerals, the Folk Art Center and Craggy Falls. A popular sidetrip is a visit to the Vanderbilt’s magnificent Biltmore...
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

About Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail Roaring Fork is one of the most popular driving tours in the Smoky Mountains. It gets its name from the large, fast stream that flows next to the trail — “Roaring Fork.” The motor nature trail is popular because you get to experience the wooded forestry views as well as some of the history of the national park. The loop road driving trail is a little over 5 miles long, and you can make the adventure last as long as you want. You can take a fairly quick drive along the trail or you can spend time pulling off the trail to take photos and enjoy the mountain scenery. You should expect to spend at least 2 hours on the tour. If you plan to go hiking in the mountains, of course, expect to spend more time. For the best experience along the Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains trail, stop by one of the national park visitor centers before you start your trip. At the visitor center, pick up one of the $1 guide books for the nature trail. It will guide you through the trail, explaining historic areas and parts of the forestry that you may not have noticed on a drive alone. Keep in mind that Roaring Fork is closed in the winter months due to the ice and snow that cause dangerous driving conditions. In addition, no trucks, RVs or trailers are allowed along the motor nature trail because the road is extremely narrow. Directions to Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains From the main Gatlinburg Parkway (Hwy 441), make a turn at stoplight...

Rich Mountain Road Auto Tour

This 7-mile, one-way route runs north from Cades Cove to the Park boundary at Rich Mountain Gap and on down the mountain to Townsend TN. Rich Mountain Road was built in the 1820s following an old Indian trace into Cades Cove. Points of interest include a stand of shagbark hickory, a species rarely found in the Smoky Mountains. At one point on the road—shortly after leaving Cades Cove—you can enjoy a spectacular view of the cove and the Primitive Baptist Church, a favorite of photographers (see photo). The road is closed in winter. No trailers or RVs are allowed. Plan on spending about one hour on this trip if you stop to enjoy the spectacular view back down towards Cades Cove and the Primitive Baptist Church—a favorite of photographers (at right – view from Rich Mtn to Cades...

Parson Branch Road Auto Tour

This 8-mile gravel road leads from the Cades Cove Loop Road to US 129 toward the North Carolina side of the Park and Calderwood Dam. Parsons Branch Road was originally a main artery among a complex of roads feeding the smaller coves and hollows with Cades Cove. These highlands coves were home to several mountaineer farmers who stood against Confederate raiders. Parsons Branch leads south from Cades Cove and is located just after the Cades Cove Visitors Center. No trailers or RVs are allowed. This route takes approximately one hour to...

Cades Cove Loop Road Tour

The most visited part of the Park—and for good reason. A favorite in the Fall, this 11-mile loop road is located in an idyllic setting and offers a self-guided tour of historic homesteads, preserved structures, and churches. Mountain vistas, beautiful pastureland, abundant wildlife, and a visitor’s center allow the visitor a real feel for what it was like for the early settlers to the area. The loop road also provides access to Parson Branch Road and Rich Mountain Road which exit on the NC and TN sides of the Park, respectively. An additional feature of Cades Cove is access to the trailhead to Abrams Falls, a relatively easy 5-mile roundtrip hike. From this trail, Abrams Creek bends away in a horseshoe shape to a secluded area favored by anglers for trout fishing. Plan on spending the entire day in Cades...