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 Little River Road.