Smoky Mountains, TN - Sevierville, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg - Vacation Travel Guide

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Smoky Mountains Area Features

Newfound Gap Road

Beginning at the Sugarlands Visitor’s Center, Newfound Gap Road leads up and over the mountains to Oconaluftee.

Chimney Tops
The Chimney Tops, a sheer rise of almost 2,000 feet, were known to the Cherokee as “Dukiskwal-guni” (forked antlers). From the overlook on Newfound Gap Road, passersby can see the 30-foot deep “flue” in the right-hand peak which gives the outcropping its name. The Chimneys Picnic Area, located in a ravine on the mountain’s side, is an excellent place to stop for a leisurely lunch.

Mount LeConte
Mount LeConte is the park’s third highest peak at 6,593 feet. Despite runner-up ranking, LeConte serves as the focal point of the park.  The summit offers unforgettable views from two different overlooks, Myrtle Point and Cliff Top. Hikers can choose from five different  trails to the top, ranging from 11 to 16 miles round-trip. 

Newfound Gap
In 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially dedicated the park from this majestic site. The road, completed in 1932, straddles Tennessee and North Carolina here. Originally, Indian Gap, a point two miles west, was thought to be the lowest gap in the mountains, but Newfound Gap was discovered to be lower in elevation, thus the name.

Charlie’s Bunion
This 1,000-foot sheer drop-off can be found four miles east along the Appalachian Trail. The cliff is named after a bunion that prevented Charlie Conner, an Oconaluftee settler, from traveling through the Gap in 1928. Fellow travelers claimed the bare mountain resembled their friend’s bunion.

Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is the Smokies’ highest peak and the third highest point east of the Mississippi. Named for a colorful Civil War general, Clingmans Dome rears its head 6,642 feet. The observation tower, located seven miles off Newfound Gap Road, looks out on an ever-changing view. Occasionally the peak is above cloud level, creating a surrealistic scene of mountaintops floating in an ocean of white.

Andrews Bald
A picture-perfect picnic spot, Andrews Bald offers glorious views of the towering mountain ranges of North Carolina and Georgia. It’s a 3.6- mile round-trip hike from the Forney Ridge parking area at Clingman’s Dome and is the most accessible bald in the park.

Smokemont
This area was first a pioneer settlement called Bradleytown.  During the 1920s’ logging boom, Smokemont became a busy village, sawmill and railroad terminal to haul lumber down from the forest. Today, it is a popular park campground with a self-guiding nature trail through the reborn forest.

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