The Smokemont Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Smokemont Experience in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one that features an abundance of spring and summer wildflowers, and the pristine waters of the Bradley Fork of the Oconaluftee River. Bradley Fork is known for its healthy population of rainbow trout; and in the fall, fishing the Fork is especially rewarding when large brown trout make their way upstream from the River. Smokemont offers year-round camping, hiking trails and equestrian activities.

Smokemont Loop Trail Sign

Smokemont is nestled at 2,200′ above sea level near the southern entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is flanked by Bradley Fork on its north and west side.

Year-Round Camping in Smokemont
With 142 campsites Smokemont Campground is large and great for families. The campground accommodates trailers up to 35′ and motor homes up to 40′. There are no water, sewer or electricity hook-ups and generator use is restricted to 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. A tent pad, picnic table, grill, and lantern pole are provided at each site. Restroom facilities provide flush toilets and cold water. Although there are no showers available at Smokemont, they are available at several campgrounds in Cherokee. Smokemont Campground reservations may be obtained at recreation.gov along with important information on firewood restrictions, etc. during season; otherwise, the campground is open on a first-come, first-serve basis. Be sure to bring your bikes because the spacious campground is fun to bike, and that’s a good thing since bikes are off-limits on park trails.

Smokemont Campground is located 3.5 miles north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC on Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road) and 27 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN.

Hiking in Smokemont
Smokemont Nature Trail – 0.75 mile
The Smokemont Nature Trail begins in Smokemont Campground Section B.

Spring Wildflowers in Smokemont Campground

Smokemont hiking trails offer brilliant spring and summer wildflower displays.

Bradley Fork Trail – 7.4 miles
Bradley Fork Trail begins in Smokemont Campground at the far end of Loop D and ends at junction with Hughes Ridge Trail. The trail is an old roadbed and the lower part is frequently used by horses from nearby Smokemont Riding Stable. Bradley Fork Trail also provides easy access to backcounty campsite #50 on Chasteen Creek Trail. An abundance of spring wildflowers like trillium, wild phlox, false Soloman’s seal, hepatica, wild geranium, dwarf-crested iris, wood-sorrell, and others line the trail in many places. Even just a walking a few miles on this trail offers creekside views along with some great little swimming holes.  The trail climbs steadily to over 5,000 ft. to the Smokies’ spruce-fir forest.

Smokemont Loop Trail – 3.9 miles (5.6 miles roundtrip via Bradley Fork Trail)
Begin the Smokemont Loop Trail by hiking 1.7 miles on the Bradley Fork Trail or find the trailhead at the old concrete bridge at the campground. The trail itself is not a complete loop and must be combined with Bradley Fork Trail to return to the campground. Either way you hike the loop you’re in for a bit of a climb up Richland Mountain. The rewards are bountiful in the springtime with the variety of wildflowers and the autumn offers a quite a display of colorful foliage. The trail also contains a quite lengthy log footbridge; you’ll be thankful for the handrail! Smokemont Loop Trail also provides access to Bradley Cemetery that contains graves dating as far back as the late 1800’s.

Fishing in Smokemont
Fishing for rainbow and brown trout is popular in Bradley Fork, and if you hike a mile or two upstream from Smokemont Campground, you are greeted by solitary quietness and some outstanding fishing opportunities. A fishing license is required in all national park streams and rivers. Within the national park boundary either a Tennessee or North Carolina license is acceptable and may be obtained at www.ncwildlife.org or www.tn.wildlifelicense.com

Smokemont Riding Stable in Cherokee NCHorsing Around in Smokemont
Jump in the saddle or enjoy a wagon hayride at the Smokemont Riding Stable, an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service. Smokemont Riding Stable is open every day for the 2016 season (March 12 to November 1, 2016) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For reservations and information, call 828-497-2373 or email SmokyMtn@Hughes.net. Smokemont Riding Stable is located just south of the campground at 125 Smokemont Riding Stable Road in Cherokee.

Smokemont History
The Smokemont Campground was once a community known as Bradleytown. Then in the mid-19th century, Champion Fibre Company made this area, in the Oconaluftee Valley, its hub and installed a large band saw mill and railroad and it became known as the bustling logging village of Smokemont. Over the following decades millions of board feet of lumber were removed decimating the forest. It is hard to imagine today that the entire forest surrounding Smokemont was completely clear cut by the time the National Park was established in 1934.

A short walk from the campground will lead you to Lufty Baptist Church. The historic church is also known as the Oconaluftee Baptist Church and the Smokemont Baptist Church. The Baptist congregation first organized here in 1836 and built this church in 1912 and remained in active use until the establishment of the National Park.

More Hey Smokies Features:

Synchronous Fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains June 2024
Synchronous Fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains June 2024...
Smoky Mountain synchronous firefly dates announced. Synchronous Fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains June 2024. These aren’t your average back[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
LeConte Lodge 100th Birthday...
LeConte Lodge 100th Birthday. Nestled among the misty peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, Mount LeConte Lodge stands as a testament to both[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Spring Time Activities...
Smoky Mountain Spring Time Activities. Spring is in the air in the Smoky Mountains! In addition to fine dining, go karts and live music get[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Ramsey Cascades Closed...
Ramsey Cascades Closed beginning April 15, 2024. GSMNP will close Ramsey Cascades Trail on weekdays while trail crews finish the full-scale[Read More >>]
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway...
Did you know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is connected to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? That's right; another National Park is a[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Eighties Throwback Party At The Island...
Eighties Throwback Party At The Island. This will be a fun night of nostalgia for the entire family. Mark your calendar for May 18, 2024&n[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Skunk Washing Competition...
Smoky Mountain Skunk Washing Competition! Nothing smells like spring in the Smoky Mountains like the annual skunk washing competition! No-o[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
The Island St. Patrick's Day Celebration...
The Island St. Patrick's Day Celebration. The Island will host a free St. Patricks Day celebration with a jam session with Tuatha Dea. Tuat[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Cades Cove Burns...
Cades Cove Burns. Harnessing Fire: The Ecological Benefits of Prescribed Burns in Cades Cove. Nestled within the expansive Great Smo[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon
Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon...
Smoky Mountain full wolf moon is on the rise! Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon. Full Wolf Moon to rise on January 25, 2024. Mother Nature is g[Read More >>]
Wilderness Wildlife Week 2024
Wilderness Wildlife Week 2024...
Wilderness Wildlife Week 2024. Wilderness Wildlife Week is a week-long event that celebrates the natural beauty and wildlife of the Great S[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Black Bears Winter
Smoky Mountain Black Bears Winter...
Smoky Mountain black. bears. Always stay at least 50 yards away from Smoky Mountain wildlife. Smoky Mountain Black Bears Winter. Nestled wit[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
New Year Black-eyed Peas And Greens Recipe...
New Year Black-eyed Peas And Greens Recipe. What is behind the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Years[Read More >>]
New Year's Eve Celebration At The Island In Pigeon Forge
New Year's Eve Celebration At The Island In Pigeon Forge...
Join the fun this New Year's Eve at The Island in Pigeon Forge! New Year's Eve Celebration At The Island In Pigeon Forge. The Island in Pige[Read More >>]
Christmas Cookie Recipe
Christmas Cookie Recipe...
Christmas Cookie Recipe. When the holidays arrive in the Great Smoky Mountains there are many HeySmokies sweet treat favorites but the tradition[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Parking Pass Scam Alert...
Smoky Mountain Parking Pass Scam Alert! Great Smoky Mountain Park officials are investigating an online scam selling fraudulent parking tag[Read More >>]
Aerosmith Rocks Smoky Mountains
Aerosmith Rocks Smoky Mountains...
Aerosmith Rocks Smoky Mountains on January 13, 2024. Get ready to welcome rock royalty, Knoxville! Aerosmith, the iconic band that has def[Read More >>]
Fun Filled Christmas Activities At Biltmore Mansion
Fun Filled Christmas Activities At Biltmore Mansion...
Fun-Filled Christmas Activities at Biltmore Mansion. As the holiday season sweeps across the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Biltmore Estate tran[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Campfire Ban Expires
Smoky Mountain Campfire Ban Expires...
Smoky Mountain Campfire Ban Expires beginning Wednesday, November 29, 2023. Precipitation, cooler temperatures and shorter days allow for [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Aero Club
Smoky Mountain Aero Club...
Smoky Mountain Aero Club. Since 1936 Radio controlled model airplanes have been cruising the skies at local airfields across the country. M[Read More >>]