Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The nationss most visited national park includes more than a half-million acres of mountain terrain equally divided between North Carolina and Tennessee. Roughly 40 percent of the Park is in Swain County. While most visitors experience the Park from US 441 the main road connecting Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC the park has much more to offer including 800 miles of hiking trails that range from easy to more challenging back country trails.

Deep Creek Waterfalls, Fishing, Tubing & Hiking

Deep Creek Waterfalls, Fishing, Tubing & Hiking

Deep Creek, one of the most popular areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is just five minutes north of downtown Bryson City. Deep Creek is known for its three sparkling waterfalls, hiking trails, mountain swimming holes, whitewater tubing, and fly fishing. Before visiting Deep Creek, it would be helpful to download and print this Deep Creek trail and waterfall map (PDF).
Fontana Lake North Shore

Fontana Lake North Shore

Forney Creek, Eagle Creek and Hazel Creek are three isolated areas of the National Park accessible only by foot or by boat. Hazel Creek is where the logging town of Proctor once stood, with more than 2,000 residents at the turn of the century. Today, the area has largely returned to nature and is visited primarily by hikers and fishermen.
Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Official Visitor Center for the National Park. In addition to a wealth of Park literature, visitor guides, gifts and apparel, there’s a small museum that celebrates mountain life in the 19th century and chronicles the development of the Park in the early twentieth century.
Location: US 441 N, Cherokee NC
Mingus Mill

Mingus Mill

Mingus Mill is a water-powered grist mill a half-mile north of the Visitor Center. It is in operation from mid-March through mid-November. Visitors can purchase a bag of freshly-ground corn meal from the miller.
Location: US 441 N, Cherokee NC, 1/2 mile North of Park Visitor Center
Smokemont Riding Stables

Smokemont Riding Stables

Smokemont Riding Stables, five minutes north of Cherokee just off US 441, offers a choice of four guided trail rides into the National Park, from late March thru October.
Location: US 441 N, Cherokee NC
Newfound Gap

Newfound Gap

At an elevation of 5,046 feet, Newfound Gap is the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the highest point on US 441, the road from Cherokee to Gatlinburg. This is the state line for North Carolina and Tennessee and you can stand with one foot in each state.
Location: US 441 N, Cherokee NC
Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome

At 6642 feet Clingmans Dome, is the highest peak in the Smokies and the third highest east of the Mississippi. Near the peak of the Smokies, take the seven-mile drive from US 441 to the Clingmans Dome parking lot and visitor center. There’s a steep half-mile trail to the observation tower at the peak.
Location: US 441 N, Cherokee NC
Mountain Farm Outdoor Museum

Mountain Farm Outdoor Museum

Behind the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, the Park Service has recreated a late 19th century mountain farm with authentic log structures moved from their original locations throughout the National Park. During the summer, the farm is a living museum with the same livestock and crops that settlers would have grown.
Location: US 441 N, Cherokee NC
Elk Watching

Elk Watching

Elk were reintroduced into the National Park at the beginning of this century, initially in the eastern Cataloochee area of the Park. As the herd has grown a number of the animals have found their way to the Cherokee area of the Park and often can be spotted grazing in the field adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Best view is generally in the early morning or late afternoon.
Location: US 441 N, Cherokee NC