Great Smoky Mountains National Park

directions

Park Entrances

There are six entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Besides the two main entrances at Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Cherokee, North Carolina, there’s an entrance at Townsend, Tennessee (billed as the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies”) and three lesser-known entrances at Cosby, Cataloochee, and Wears Valley. Gatlinburg and Cherokee are at the northern and southern terminus of Newfound Gap Road – the only road that completely traverses the Park. In addition, there are more opportunities for lodging at these two points of the Park boundary.

Visitor Centers

Park visitor centers are maintained in three locations within the Park. At either end of Newfound Gap Road (the only road that completely.traverses the Park) visitor centers are open daily at Sugarlands (by Gatlinburg TN) and Oconoluftee (near Cherokee NC). The third visitor center is located in Cades Cove midway around the 11-mile loop road.

Visitor centers maintain naturalist exhibits, provide Park literature such as trail maps, self guided tours, and books, and Park Rangers are on-hand to answer all Park-related questions.

From the North

If you’re coming from Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati or Lexington, take I-75 to Knoxville. Take I-40 east to exit 407. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue until the first major intersection in Sevierville. Turn left onto U.S. 411 and follow 411 to S.R. 416. Turn right on S.R. 416 and follow until you reach U.S. 321. Turn right onto U.S. 321 south and west and continue until you reach Gatlinburg. Continue through Gatlinburg. From light #1, it is less than a mile to the Park entrance and the Sugarland Visitors Center.

From the Northeast

If you are coming from Harrisburg and Roanoke, take I-81 south to I-40 east. Take I-40 to Wilton Springs/U.S. 321 south and west exit 440. Turn right and follow U.S. 321 into Gatlinburg. From light #1, it is less than a mile to the Park entrance and the Sugarland Visitors Center.

If you are coming from Baltimore and Washington D.C., take I-66 to I-81 southand then to I-40 east. Take I-40 to Wilton Springs/U.S. 321 south and west exit 440. Turn right and follow U.S. 321 into Gatlinburg. From light #1, its less than a mile to the Park entrance and the Sugarland Visitors Center.

From the Northwest

If you are coming from Mikwaukee and Peoria, take I-65 to I-40 east to the 407 exit. Turn right onto S.R. 66. Continue until the first major intersection in Sevierville. Turn left onto U.S. 411 and follow 411 to S.R. 416. Turn right on S.R. 416 and follow until you reach U.S. 321. Turn right onto U.S. 321 south and west and continue until you reach Gatlinburg. Continue through Gatlinburg. From light #1, it is less than a mile to the Park entrance and the Sugarland Visitors Center.

From the East

If you are coming from Richmond, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, take I-85 to I-40 west. Take I-40 west to the Foothills Parkway exit 443. Turn left onto U.S. 321. Follow U.S. 321 until you reach Gatlinburg. Continue through Gatlinburg. From light #1, it is less than a mile to the Park entrance and the Sugarland Visitors Center.

From the Southeast

If you are coming from Tampa, Montgomery, Birmingham, Macon, Atlanta and Chattanooga, the quickest route is to take I-75 to exit 81 (S.R.95). Go east on 321 through Maryville and Townsend. where you enter the Park from the Townsend entrance, near Cades Cove. Optionally, if you are in the upper reaches of Georgia and North Carolina, you can enter the Park at the south entrance at Cherokee, NC via 441 at Dillsboro.

If you are coming from Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, Asheville, Jacksonville, Miami and Daytona Beach, take I-26 to I-40 west and the Foothills Parkway exit 443. Turn left onto U.S. 321. Follow U.S. 321 until you reach Gatlinburg. Continue through Gatlinburg. From light #1, it is less than a mile to the Park entrance and the Sugarland Visitors Center.

From the Southwest

If you are coming from Tulsa, Little Rock and Memphis, take I-40 east to exit 364 S.R. 95. Go east on 321 through Maryville and Townsend. where you enter the Park from the Townsend side of the Smokies, near Cades Cove.

(Biloxi, Gulfport and Mobile): Take I-65 to I-85 and I-75 north. Continue on I-75 north to exit 364 S.R. 95. Go east on 321 through Maryville and Townsend. where you enter the Park from the Townsend side of the Smokies, near Cades Cove.

From the West

f you are coming from Witchita, Kansas City, St. Louis and Nashville, take I-70 to I-64 (through St. Louis). Continue I-64 to I-57 to I-24 and the I-40 east (through Nashville). Stay on I-40 east and exit 364 S.R. 95. Go east on 321 through Maryville and Townsend. where you enter the Park from the Townsend side of the Smokies, near Cades Cove.

Road Conditions

During the winter months, weather conditions can close the Foothills Parkway. If in doubt, call the Park. If the Foothills Parkway is closed, take I-40 to exit 440 to S.R. 32 and U.S. 321 through Gatlinburg to enter the park.

During the summer months, construction and repairs are often being accomplished on the routes described above. You should call the Tennessee Department of Transportation or stop at the visitor’s centers when entering Tennessee to request an update and map showing where construction or repair might cause traffic delays.