Little River Road Auto Tour

About the Little River Road Driving Tour Originally an old railroad, this 18-mile Smoky Mountain driving tour runs from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Cades Cove Loop Road. A relatively slow-go, the Little River Road meanders alongside (you guessed it) Little River, passing at one point the exit to Townsend TN. Along the road, you will spot a variety of different natural and manmade structures. You’ll pass the trailhead to the Laurel Falls trail. About 10 miles into the drive, you’ll see the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. If you’re able, you can stop and enjoy a picnic in the afternoon. You may even be able to see some wildlife during your afternoon picnic! From the picnic area, you can see the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse. Once you get back on Little River Road, you’ll come up to the Townsend Y, a popular swimming hole for visitors and locals. Then, later on the road, you can make a stop at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. In addition to these great stopping points, this road shows you some of the best of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can really see the beauty of the forest and mountainside and you also have a really great chance to see wildlife like the Smoky Mountain Black Bear. You can’t go wrong with this Smoky Mountain driving tour. Directions to Little River Road Auto Tour From Pigeon Forge, turn at traffic light #3 (Wears Valley Road). You’ll travel about 14 miles into Townsend. From Gatlinburg, travel about 2 miles south on South 441 to reach the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The, you’ll turn right onto...
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: Month(s)Hours January9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. February9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. March9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. April9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. May - July9:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. August9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. September - October9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. November9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. December9:00 a.m. -...

Greenbrier Road Auto Tour

The Greenbrier area is less visited than many areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but once people have visited, they return each time they visit the Smokies. It’s most known for the Ramsey Cascades waterfall area, but there are many other reasons to visit the Greenbrier area. About the Greenbrier Road Auto Tour If you really like the forestry and trees of the mountains, you can find a variety of large hemlock trees and maple trees along this Smoky Mountain driving tour. The trail is about 6 miles long, so it generally doesn’t take too long to drive, but you’ll want to plan for plenty of time to enjoy the area. Here’s a couple of places that are popular along this tour: John Messer Barn The John Messer Barn is one of the most popular structures in the Greenbrier area because it is the only remaining structure (that was built before the creation of the national park) in the Greenbrier Cove. This barn is a cantilever barn which were not popular in many places outside of Sevier County. Fortunately, the structure still stands today. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Tyson McCarter Place The Tyson McCarter Place features a barn, a smokehouse and springhouse. This was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and is located along the Old Settlers Trail. The Old Settlers Trail is popular for anyone who wants to experience the forestry and history of the Greenbrier area. Directions to Greenbrier Road Driving Tour Getting to Greenbrier Road is easy! From Gatlinburg, you’ll travel to light #3. At light...

Cataloochee Auto Tour

This 11-mile tour passes an historic school, home, and church on the North Carolina-side of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cataloochee is bounded on the north by Mount Sterling Ridge and on the south by the Cataloochee divide. Furthermore Cataloochee is enclosed by Balsam Mountain to the west and Scottish Mountains on the east. For these reasons, Cataloochee is more difficult to get to than other areas of the Park. Before the arrival of the Park in 1934, Cataloochee consisted of farmland maintained by an agrarian community of approximately 1,000 people. While few of the original structures remain, Big Cataloochee, the largest of several coves in the area, is considered to be North Carolina’s “Cades Cove”. The Caldwell and Woody homes, the Will Messer barn, Beech Grove School and Palmer Church in CataloocheeService. The entrance to Cataloochee is via old NC 284 (Cove Creek Road), which is immediately south of exit 20 on I-40. From the south or east, follow US 276 to Dellwood, NC, and turn right to continue on US 276. Go approximately 5 miles and turn left on Cove Creek Road. Take note—there is no sign to mark Cove Creek Road. At approximately one-half mile, the pavement ends. After another half-mile, you will come to a fork in the road—the Cove Creek Road continues to the right. You will climb approximately 5 miles to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boundary at Cove Creek Gap. Continue on about 2 miles. Turn left onto the new Cataloochee Road, cross Cataloochee Creek and on to Cataloochee Campground, which has 27 sites for vehicle camping. The Boogerman Loop Trailhead is...
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...

Newfound Gap Road

Sugarlands to Oconoluftee The 33-mile drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee North Carolina along Newfound Gap Road (US 441) is the only route that completely traverses the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The drive offers a unique opportunity to enjoy an abbreviated experience of everything the Park has to offer, without necessarily trekking far from your automobile. The drive takes about one hour, depending on traffic. The experience can take several hours if you stop at each of the suggested points of interest. June through August and the month of October are the busiest months of the tourist season, and you can spend a lot of time looking at a bumper in front of you. You shouldn’t let the congestion discourage you from the experience, however. If you want to avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic, we would simply recommend you try the same experience in April or May (wildflowers are already blooming) or after peak fall colors. In fact, winter is even a wonderful time in the Smokies. Mountain vistas are magnified by the lack of foliage. Quiet walkways, unforgettable views of the various peaks in the Smokies, a vast variety of trees, flowers, and wildlife; campgrounds, picnic areas–they all await you on this wonderful journey. This road is closed to commercial traffic as well. You begin your drive from Gatlinburg (or from Cherokee for that matter–this travelogue assumes a departure from Gatlinburg) and go less than a mile to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Its worth the stop here to view the displays of the natural history of the Park, get an idea of what to expect on the drive, pick up...