Driving from Gatlinburg thru the GSMNP heading to Cade's Cove, you'll see a sign for Townsend. Deep streams converge at that intersection, which locals call "the Wye".
FREE picnicking, sunbathing, tubing, swimming & kayaking, plus jump off the big boulders into the deepest part. Small parking lot & port-a-potties.
Smoky Mountain River Rat has inner tube rentals & a shuttle that will drop you off at the Wye. Float down the river until you're back at River Rats OR the shuttle will pick you up anywhere along the road, just in case you're too tired to walk back!
Attractions & Adventures:
Located 7 miles from Cade's Cove & known as "The Quiet Side of the Smokies". If you don't want all the traffic, trinkets & t-shirt shops....THIS nature lovers paradise is for YOU!
The Visitors Center offers FREE monthly artists showings, restrooms & a nice gift shop with plenty of parking, plus a picnic pavilion out back.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Turn at Traffic light #8 (Historic Nature Trail).
Go straight at the 3 way stop sign & follow signs into the forest.
Narrow road is NOT for large vehicles, RV's or trailers!
Enjoy FREE picnicking, hiking, waterfalls, exploring Appalachian settlers cabins, streams, scenic overlooks & watch for wildlife.
Stop at Ely's Mill at the end of your journey for authentic & unusual souvenirs. If you're brave you can use their real outhouse. For the not-so-brave, there are indoor restrooms available, too.
These are just some of the fun experiences you can have at the Smokies Nail Show!
After Traffic light #10 in Gatlinburg, you will enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Turn RIGHT at the Sugarlands Visitors Center & follow the road till you reach Cade's Cove. *approx. 45 min. due to winding roads & max speed 35mph
The Cade's Cove 11 mile, one-way loop is FREE & features panoramic views, wildlife such as deer & black bears, plus an 1800's grist mill (restrooms nearby). Bicycle rentals are cheap at the campground store, which also has restrooms. Explore settlers cabins, churches & cemeteries from the time before it became a National Park.
Pack a picnic lunch, for sure! The loop is closed to vehicles from 7am - 10am on Wed. & Sat. mornings. For an incredible experience, rent a bicycle at the camp store & bike the loop without traffic interference. Bikes rent fast, so arrive early.
Closed toe shoes required to rent bikes - NO sandals permitted