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The Great Smoky Mountains and family friendly Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are just around the corner from the Blue Ridge Parkway on the western end of North Carolina. Many visitors to this region enjoy both the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway and the Blue Ridge Parkway – taking their time to explore the rich culture, natural beauty, and fun-filled activities the area offers.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park – located just beyond the southernmost end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the states of North Carolina and Tennessee – encompasses 800 square miles of which 95 percent are forested. The park is open year-round. Visitor centers at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove are open all year, except Christmas Day. There are no entrance fees, due to deed restrictions imposed when the Park was established.

For more information contact: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Road

Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Visitor Information: 865.436.1200

Explore Communities in the

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Region

Community Milepost
Bryson City & Swain County 469.1
Franklin, Highlands, & Macon County 469.1
Gatlinburg, Sevierville & Pigeon Forge Area 469.1

Stories from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Region

March 16, 2022
The trees are budding, the sun is shining, rain is falling (plus a few snowflakes, too!), and spring ephemerals are starting to peek out on the forest floor. It is spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Some sections of the Parkway may still be closed due to winter weather at high elevations, but check out all these amazing spring activities that you can enjoy without needing to access the Parkway!
January 18, 2022
Would you like to travel the Parkway with a pet? Here are some tips for finding pet-friendly lodging, dining, and attractions near (or even on) the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Recommended Itineraries

2 - 3 days
Bryson City and Swain County are located just west of the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 469.1), and the Cherokee entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here’s a sample multi-day itinerary to inspire your next getaway.
1 day
Here’s a sample one-day itinerary to inspire your next getaway to Bryson City & Swain County, including a variety of waterfalls, restaurants, and even boating on scenic Fontana Lake.