Best Picnic Areas in the Smokies

It is officially summer once again! This is when most families are finally able to go on their long awaited annual vacation. It’s the time when we all get to have some fun as well as get the rest and relaxation that we’ve been craving. It’s nice to take a step away from our crazy daily routines and have some time where you don’t have to follow a schedule, it’s something we all look forward to. When I think of summer, a few things automatically come to mind: barbecue, picnics, sunshine, and water activities! Lucky for us, our charming town has it all! Pigeon Forge is nestled amongst the beautiful Smoky Mountains which offer plenty of exciting things to do, especially during this wonderful season. Now all you need is a place to lay your head at during your trip. When you stay with us at Bear Crossing, we offer affordable two and three bedroom luxury condos that come complete with a private balcony facing the little pigeon river. We’re located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, giving you easy access to all the areas that you may be wanting to visit. As a thank you for booking with us, you receive FREE TICKETS to numerous shows and attractions in town, as well as a free dinner at Mama’s Farmhouse. I’m sure you’ve all been waiting to get to spend some time outdoors, so we decided to dedicate this blog to looking at some of the Best Picnic Areas in the Smokies!

  • Cades Cove – This is one of our absolute favorite places in the national park and they just so happen to have an amazing picnic area for us all to enjoy. It’s located on Laurel Creek Road which is actually right at the beginning of the Cades Cove Loop entrance. There is actually 81 individual picnic sites surrounding the single loop road and they sit between two beautiful and serene creeks – Abrams Creek and Green Branch. This is the perfect spot to visit if you want to see some beautiful mountain views and luscious greenery throughout the valley, so have your cameras ready! Pack up a delicious lunch to take with you, or stop by some of the little shops in Gatlinburg that sell sandwiches and chips and get ready for a relaxing day at this popular destination. If you feel like doing a little barbecue, which just screams summer to me, they do have grills on site as well. We know it’s probably going to be hot out, so feel free to take a dip in the creek, you’ll love being able to cool off there for a bit. This is definitely one picnic area that you’ll want to add to your list. Make sure to get here early, it will get crowded fast. Don’t forget this is also a popular destination for hiking, so you can find numerous trails along the way to bring a picnic to and enjoy it while being surrounded by some truly magical scenery.
  • Greenbrier – Located just off of 321 on Greenbrier Road, this quaint little picnic area will offer some of the best views of our beautiful wildflowers. This site doesn’t tend to get as busy as the others, so if you’re looking for a more peaceful spot, this is right where you’ll want to be. They do have one grill per table, so get ready to grill up some delicious summer favorites like burgers and hot dogs! One important thing to keep in mind about this particular area is that it does not have running water, so there is just an outhouse so to speak here. You can also find some very popular trails here like Porters Creek and Ramsey Cascades (a must see!)
  • Metcalf Bottoms – This is my personal favorite picnic area and one that I will always recommend when someone asks where to visit. It’s located right off Wears Valley Road and is in one of the prettiest parts of town – Wears Valley. It is absolutely beautiful here, you are nestled inside of the National Park and all you see is lush greenery everywhere you look. It brings on such a sense of serenity that we all maybe looking for when we’re on our well deserved break from our real life. They also have a little river that everyone can swim around in for a cooling day in the water! Everytime I visit, I see families here and everyone has a smile on their face. It’s such a great area with picnic tables and grills set up, so you all can spend a day outside, it’s warm again after all. Best of all, it’s completely free of charge and yet you can still have a day of fun. Make sure to get there early so you can get a table right near the river!
  • Twin Creeks – This picnic pavilion is the largest in the park and is surrounded by a beautiful scenic forest. It’s located on Cherokee Orchard Road which is just off traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg. It’s completely covered and can accommodate up to around 150 guests. There are multiple grills, so you can all enjoy that delicious barbecue scent before devouring your meal. You are right near the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, so you can take a scenic drive before or after your picnic! One thing to keep in mind is that groups can reserve the pavilion, but if no one is using it, then anyone may use it. This is also one of the few spots in the park that has access to electricity. You will also find numerous trailheads here for popular hikes, so make sure to check them out!

We hope you enjoyed this insider’s look at some of the Best Picnic Areas in the Smokies! One of the best parts about being on vacation is getting to spend some uninterrupted time with our loved ones. We know that life can get hectic and so getting to have that week or so with our family is meant to be made special. Nothing says summer vacation like playing in the water and grilling up some delicious barbecue. You will fall in love with picnics in the Smoky Mountains, we promise. Get ready to make some amazing memories that will last a lifetime during your trip. So what are you waiting for? Book Your Smokies Summer Vacation now or give us a call at 1.866.453.9696 and one of our friendly reservationists would love to assist you with finding the perfect condo for your stay. Come and join our family here at Bear Crossing, we would love to have you! Don’t forget to let us know what you thought about the Best Picnic Areas in the Smokies!

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