Picnic Areas in the Great Smoky Mountains – My Bear Foot Cabins

Picnic Areas in the Great Smoky Mountains

When visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the best activities to do as a family, couple, or with friends is to have a picnic. After you eat, you can explore different parts of the national park.

CADES COVE

One of the most popular picnic areas is Cades Cove. The picnic area is located on the left before you enter the Cades Cove Loop and beside the Cades Cove campground. Most of the picnic tables are beside the creek and have a charcoal grill. Bring your own charcoal. After you eat, take a drive through the Loop and enjoy the beautiful sights.

Closes at 8:00 PM May 1 – Aug 31; at sunset on other dates

CHIMNEYS

The Chimneys picnic area is near Gatlinburg. There are 68 picnic table sites to choose from. You’ll be surrounded by trees, which provides a canopy of shade. You’re also close to the river, so climb the rocks and get in the crystal clear mountain water. There are grills at these picnic tables as well. You can go on the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail to see more of the area.

Closes at 8:00 PM May 1 – Aug 31; at sunset on other dates

METCALF BOTTOMS

Another pretty popular picnic area in the Great Smoky Mountains is Metcalf Bottoms. This area has 122 picnic sites, along with public restrooms and a large pavillon. Many of the sites are next to the river, so you can enjoy the water before and after you eat. Metcalf Bottoms is close to Cades Cove, as well as Metcalf Bottoms Trail. This is a great area to explore with family and friends to see the Walker Sisters Cabin and the Little Greenbrier School House.

Pavilion open April 19 – Oct. 28; can be reserved in advance for $25. North half of picnic area closed during winter. Only “pack it out” picnicking from April 10 – Nov. 1 all dumpsters are removed during the winter.

Greenbrier Picnic Area

The Greenbrier Picnic Area is one of the most scenic sections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located along the Little Pigeon River, Greenbrier is known for its breathtaking wildflowers in the spring. After your picnic at Greenbrier, you can hike two of the best trails in the Smokies: the Ramsey Cascades Trail or the Porters Creek Trail. Greenbrier is situated off of the East Parkway, about six miles from downtown Gatlinburg.

Pavilion can be reserved in advance for $12.50

Mynatt Park

Mynatt Park is just a five-minute drive from downtown Gatlinburg, but it feels like a world apart. With a beautiful stream and a peaceful atmosphere, this park is a wonderful place to kick back and relax with some tasty food. In addition to the park’s lovely picnic area, visitors can play tennis, basketball, baseball, or horseshoes. There’s also a children’s playground. Mynatt Park is located off of Historic Nature Trail on Asbury Lane.

Best Places to Buy Food for Your Picnic in Gatlinburg

After you chose the perfect location for your picnic, you’ll need to find the perfect food. Here are a few of our favorite places to pick up sandwiches before visiting one of the picnic areas in Gatlinburg TN or the national park:

• Old Dad’s General Store has everything you need for a great picnic lunch. Purchase sandwiches or they buy deli meats and cheeses by the pound. Old Dad’s will even pack your meal, providing containers for all of the sides with plenty of napkins and silverware.

• Parton’s Deli has been a staple of downtown Gatlinburg for over 40 years. This restaurant is known for its steamed subs, deviled eggs, potato salad, and lemon pound cake.

 Hungry Bear BBQ # 1 is across the street from the Greenbrier entrance to the national park. If you like pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, stop in at BBQ at Hungry Bear.

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When you stay at My Bearfoot Cabins, you will be a short drive to these restaurants and the best picnic areas in Gatlinburg TN and the Smoky Mountains. My Bearfoot Cabins come with upscale kitchens with everything you need to prepare your own picnic meal. Start planning your vacation today, and contact Pat if you have questions.
Pat and Don Kirchhoefer, Owners
Phone: 618-559-3915
Email: pat@mybearfootcabins.com
Website: https://mybearfootcabins.com