Great Smoky Mountains National
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
WELCOME to the Great
A Wondrous Diversity of Life
Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles
the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and
animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of
its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America�s
most visited national park.
Places to Picnic:
Picnic areas are located at Big Creek,
Chimney Tops, Cades Cove, Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek,
Greenbrier, Heintooga, Look Rock, Metcalf Bottoms, and Twin Creeks.
The picnic areas at Big Creek, Cades
Cove, Chimney Tops, Cosby, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, and Metcalf Bottoms
remain open year-round. The remaining picnic areas are closed during
All picnic areas have pavilions except
Chimneys and Cades Cove. The picnic pavilions at Collins Creek, Cosby,
Deep Creek, Metcalf Bottoms, and Twin Creeks can be reserved for
groups one year in advance by calling (877)444-6777, or online at
All pavilions except Twin Creeks cost
$20 per use. Twin Creeks' fee ranges from $35-75 depending on the
usage. Payment can be made by credit card or personal check at the
time the reservation is made.
Please remember that feeding bears and
other wildlife is illegal. The
black bear symbolizes the invaluable wilderness qualities of Great
Smoky Mountains National Park. But bears are dying unnecessarily due
to improper disposal of garbage or illegal feeding by visitors. A bear�s
remarkable sense of smell may lead it to human foods, such as a
picnicker�s cooler, garbage left in the open, or food scraps thrown
on the ground or left in the grill.
A bear that has discovered human food
or garbage will eventually become day-active and leave the safety of
the backcountry. It may panhandle along roadsides and be killed by a
car or it may injure a visitor and have to be euthanized. Please do
your part to help protect black bears and other wildlife in the Great
Smokies. Clean your picnic area,
including the grill and the ground around the table, thoroughly after
Things to Do
Whether you delight in the challenge of
a strenuous hike to the crest of a mountain or prefer to sit quietly
and watch the sun set, Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a
myriad of activities for you to enjoy. The hardest part may be
choosing which auto tour, trail, waterfall, overlook, or historic area
Auto Touring - An auto tour of
the park offers a chance to see panoramic vistas, rushing mountain
streams, weathered historic buildings, and majestic forests stretching
to the horizon. Inexpensive booklets are available to serve as your
personal tour guides along many park roads.
Bicycling - Ride through Cades
Cove on a misty summer morning for a truly memorable way to experience
Camping - Escape into the
Smokies wilderness for a backpacking adventure or opt for a tamer
excursion in one of the park's developed campgrounds.
Fishing - Anglers can match
their skills against wily brook, brown, and rainbow trout on over 700
miles of fishable streams in the park.
Hiking - Choose from over 800
miles of trails ranging from quiet walkways to multi-day backpacking
treks through the backcountry.
Historic Buildings - The park
has one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United
States. Nearly 80 historic structures�homes, barns, churches,
schools, and grist mills�have been preserved in the park.
Horseback Riding - The park has
hundreds of miles of horse trails and five drive-in horse camps. If
you don't own a horse, four rental stables provide mounts and guides.
Picnicking - Craving hotdogs,
potato salad, water melon... and ants? There are eleven picnic areas
to choose from in the park�many have pavilions that can be reserved
Waterfalls - Waterfalls can be
found on nearly every river and stream in the park. Here's your guide
to some of the best.
Wildflowers - Great Smoky
Mountains National park is known as the "wildflower national
park." You can find blooming plants year-round here, but spring
and summer are renown for spectacular displays of wildflowers along
roads and trails.
Wildlife Viewing - Hoping to see
an elk, white-tailed deer, or black bear? Read some tips to improve
your chances of spotting animals during your visit to the park.
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