A majority of visitors enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg and Townsend, but did you know there is a lesser-used national park entrance in Wears Valley, TN?
The Wears Valley National Park entrance on Wear Cove Gap Rd is an excellent alternative way to access beautiful sights in the Smoky Mountains! Here's everything you need to know about this hidden secret in the Smokies!
About This National Park Entrance
The Wears Valley National Park entrance is probably the least-used entrance to the national park that offers access to major sights like Cades Cove and Newfound Gap. Since this national park entrance connects to the Little River Gorge Road, you can easily reach all of the major areas of the park via Wears Valley.
This entrance to the national park takes visitors to the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area that's located between the Elkmont and Tremont districts in the Smokies.
Additionally, this "hidden" entrance to the national park is a great alternative way to enter the Smoky Mountains when the main road in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is crowded.
Many locals use this entrance to bypass traffic in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, so it's an excellent way to quickly reach the Smokies.
Directions To The Wears Valley National Park Entrance
From Pigeon Forge, drive 9.2 miles on Wears Valley Rd to Wears Valley, TN. Then take a left onto Line Springs Rd. Here, you'll see a sign directing you to the national park. Continue on Line Springs Road for 1.4 miles and this road will turn into Wears Cove Gap Rd when it crosses the national park boundary. Before reaching the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area, you'll cross a single-lane bridge across the river.
Please exercise caution on Line Springs Rd. This route is curvy and narrow, so slow careful driving is encouraged.
Map of Wears Valley Park Entrance
The Wears Cove Gap Rd Entrance to the National Park connects to The Little River Gorge Road, which can be used to access sights like Cades Cove, Tremont, The Townsend Wye, Elkmont, Newfound Gap, and Clingmans Dome.
If you're staying in Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley, or Sevierville, the Wears Valley national park entrance might be the quickest way for you to enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
This is especially true if Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are busy or a major event like a Rod Run is in town. While you're in the area, be sure to check out these other fun things to do in Wears Valley!
In any case, we hope you enjoy using this "secret" entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains!
Written by Mark Frazier