Cabins USA Gatlinburg Logo
Loading Page
(800) 584-9872
Cabins USA Gatlinburg Availability Search IconAvailability Search Small Icon

5 Secret Places in the Smoky Mountains

Blog Home : Category Posts : 5 Secret Places in the Smoky Mountains

Every year, millions of visitors visit incredible sights in the Smoky Mountains like Cades Cove, Newfound Gap, and Clingmans Dome.

While there's nothing wrong with visiting these sights, sometimes we all want to explore something a bit further from the beaten path. After you've been to the must see places in the Smokies, you're going to want to explore even more of America's most visited national park.

That's why we've made this list of 5 best kept secrets in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

These beautiful spots are somewhat hidden away, so you can enjoy the beauty of nature without the crowds. 

These 5 secret places in the national park that are favorite stops for locals and experienced hikers. Explore some of these unfrequented regions in the national park on your next trip to Gatlinburg and the Smokies!

1. Cosby

Fire Tower on Mt Cammerer

Located just off of US-Hwy 321, Cosby is another hidden treasure of the Smokies. This area is primarily a campground, but it serves as a trailhead to one of the most spectacular sights in the national park: the Fire Tower on Mt. Cammerer.

To reach the fire tower, you'll need to hike on the Low Gap Trail. Altogether, this strenuous trail requires an 11-mile round trip, but the work is well worth the reward. At the top, you'll be treated to gorgeous panoramic views and you'll get to explore a restored western-style fire tower.

Even if you aren't an experienced hiker, the forests around Cosby Campground are exceptionally lush and beautiful. Better yet, you won't run into big crowds in this area of the park.

2. Greenbrier

Frozen Waterfall in the Smoky Mountains

Located only a 15 minute drive from Downtown Gatlinburg, it's surprising that the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park doesn't draw bigger crowds.

To enter this region of the park, you'll have to drive along an old gravel road that runs parallel to a beautiful stretch of the Little Pigeon River.

Ramsey Cascades is the most famous sight in this area of the park. At a height of 100 FT, these impressive cascades are the tallest falls in the Smokies. As an added perk, this region of the park is home to a few sections of old-growth forest that have never been logged before.

Some other options for hiking include the Porters Creek Trail and the Old Settlers Trail. These routes are home to some of the biggest concentrations of historic structures in the park. On a hike in the Greenbrier, you'll like pass by dozens of chimneys, rock walls, and other evidence of past residents of this area. If you love exploring old cabins, it's definitely worth checking out the John Messer Barn and the Tyson McCarter Place.

3. Cataloochee

Bull Elk in the Smoky Mountains

This best kept secret is nestled in the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Though it may be a long drive to reach this remote valley, its well worth your time.

Cataloochee is famous for having one of the only elk herds in the Eastern United States. Elk are native to this area, but they were over-hunted. Recent conservation efforts have reintroduced Elk to the Smokies.

Other highlights in this peaceful valley include old country churches, farms, and historic homesteads. The Little Cataloochee Trail is a great way to explore the past of this remote region of the park.

4. White Oak Sinks

Wildflowers in the Smoky Mountains

If you love wildflowers and find yourself in the Smokies during spring, you'll want to visit White Oak Sinks.

This incredible area of the national park is famous for its lush fields of wildflowers, waterfalls, and caves. White Oak Sinks gets its name because of the water that flows into small caves throughout this small valley surrounded by steep mountainsides.

You'll find the trailhead for White Oak Sinks a half a mile into the School House Gap Trail between Cades Cove and Tremont. The trail isn't marked and doesn't appear on most maps. Luckily, the hike to White Oak Sinks is only about 2 miles in length.

Occasionally, the park service requests that this trail be closed to protect a population of bats that live in the caves of White Oak Sinks. Recently, the White Nose Fungus was introduced into the area that threatens to wipe out bats in this area. The park service has closed White Oak Sinks until March of 2016, but may reopen this area in the futher.

5. Tremont

Waterfall in Tremont

Located off of the Little River Gorge Road, Tremont was once the site of a thriving logging community along the river. Today, this beautiful part of the Smokies is a great place for fly fishing and hiking.

Located at the end of a winding gravel road, the Middle Prong Trail is a beautiful trail that passes by several waterfalls. This wide, level trail was once a logging road and hikers will see artifacts from this period. There is also evidence of CCC work camps and a rusting old jalopy that's nearly 100 years old.

Spruce Flats Falls is a lesser known waterfall that's only 0.8 miles away from the Great Smoky Mountains Institute in Tremont.

Along the way, you'll traverse some steep, rocky sections of trail, but you'll be treated with gorgeous views of Thunderhead Mountain and a multi-tiered waterfall.

This quiet area of the national park is an excellent place to sit back and just listen to the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

Map Of Best Kept Smoky Mountain Secrets

With over 800 square miles, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park always holds new wonders to explore. Just when you think you've seen the national park completely, there are always new secrets waiting to be discovered.

Use this guide to see a new side of the Smoky Mountains and maybe find your own special places to enjoy!

After you experience a few of these hidden spots in the national park, you may want to check out a few of Gatlinburg's best kept secrets!

One of the best ways to see all the wonders of the Smokies is to reserve a log cabin just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our cabin rentals in Gatlinburg, TN can help you experience this beautiful part of the Smokies in comfort and style. Better yet, you can save 15% on your cabin by taking advantage of this special deal.

Book Your Cabin & Save 15%

Written by

Recent Articles

Gatlinburg Wildlife Viewing Guide In The Smoky Mountains

Wildlife in Gatlinburg

Use this guide to find beautiful wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg. Be sure to bring a camera to record the beautiful animals you'll see!
Best Shows In Gatlinburg | Live Entertainment Guide

Top Shows in Gatlinburg

Want to see great theater shows on your Gatlinburg vacation? Check out these top places to see great entertainment in the Smoky Mountains!
Gatlinburg Parking Map | Where To Park In Gatlinburg, Tn

Gatlinburg Parking Map and Guide

Searching for parking in Downtown Gatlinburg? Our guide has tips on where to find the cheapest parking in Gatlinburg as well as a map to help you find the right parking area for the attractions you want to see!


Blogger Bear's Adventures In The Smoky Mountains

Blogger Bear's Smoky Mountain Adventures

Meet our new guest blogger! This blogging bear loves sharing the Smoky Mountains with everyone. He knows his home well - read more...
Hiking Blog In The Great Smoky Mountains

Hiking in the Smokies Blog

Planning adventures in the great outdoors? Our hiking blog has tips and tricks for vacationers in Gatlinburg who want - read more...
Seasonal Events And Celebrations In Gatlinburg, Tn

Seasons in Gatlinburg

Any time of year is a great time to visit Gatlinburg and the Smokies! Explore these articles to learn more about fun e - read more...
Gatlinburg Vacation Tips

Vacation Tips

Make the most of your vacation in the Smoky Mountains with our tips and tricks! - read more...

Please Note: Cabins USA Gatlinburg's area information, area events, and blog pages are provided as a public service. Cabins USA Gatlinburg does not endorse any of the products, vendors, consultants, or businesses referenced in these web pages. Any mention of vendors, products, businesses, or services on the Cabins USA Gatlinburg web site is for informational purposes only. Users of this web site are responsible for checking the accuracy, completeness, currency and/or suitability of all information. The inclusion of this information does not imply endorsement by Cabins USA Gatlinburg. Furthermore, specific questions regarding any content should be directed to the appropriate organization and not necessarily to Cabins USA Gatlinburg.

Cabins USA Gatlinburg Official Logo
510 Ski Mountain Road
Gatlinburg, TN  37738
(865) 436-5031

VLS #157
Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals
Guest Reservations
(800) 584-9872
2 Night Minimum

Help Icon
Join Our Newsletter
Guest Sign In
Copyright 2013-2016, Cabins USA Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg, TN

Want to receive up to date information on cabin specials and events in the Smokies? Sign up for our newsletter! Simply provide a contact name and email so that we can reach you. Cabins USA Gatlinburg respects our guest's privacy and never shares this information with third-party sites. We treat any information that you share as confidential.

For each of the fields, please provide the following information:

There are several boxes that can be checked to broaden or narrow your search. Once you select your desired amenities or locations, simply click "search" to filter out available properties for your desired date. Once search results are provided, you can sort your results by bedrooms, name, rate, and rating.

After your first search, it isn't necessary to click the "search" button again as this feature will automatically filter your results for any new search features you provide, unless you change the date, the number of nights, or go to a new webpage.

It isn't necessary that you wait for a search to be completed before you select or deselect different search features.

When browsing results, you can add them to your "favorites" by clicking the red plus mark on the bottom left of your desired property. You can view your selected properties by click the "favorites" tab at the top of the search bar.

Add/Remove Favorites
When using our "search" feature, you can make a list of favorites. After doing an availability search for your desired vacation date, our site will produce a list of available cabins. Simply click the "+" sign on the lower left side of the property you are interested in.

Doing this will add the rental to your favorites list. You will notice that the "+" has now changed to a "-". You can click this minus sign to "unselect" this property from your favorites list.

You can also remove a property from your favorites list by clicking the minus sign to the right of the property name under the favorites tab. Additionally, you clear your favorites list by clicking "remove all" on the favorites bar. After doing this, you will have to perform a new availability search.
The number next to the favorites tab is the number of properties you have selected.

View List
To see all of your favorite rentals on one page, simply click "view list"

Compare Favorites
Under the favorites tab on the search bar, you can view your selected favorites. By checking the box next to your selected rentals, you can compare up to three properties.
Simply select the 2 – 3 properties you wish to compare, then click "compare" to see these rentals side-by-side.
Once you find your perfect rental for the right date, simply click "book now" to begin the booking process.