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Getting to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The expansive Great Smoky Mountains National Park has three main entrances. The Gatlinburg and Townsend entrances are in Tennessee. The Cherokee entrance is in North Carolina. The nearest commercial airport is the Knoxville, TN, airport, which is located in Alcoa. The second closest is the Asheville, NC, airport. The nearest major interstates are I-40 and I-75 in Tennessee and I-40 in NC.

West Side: Gatlinburg Entrance

Take I-40 to the Gatlinburg/Sevierville/Pigeon Forge exit. Follow four-lane TN 66 through Sevierville. In Sevierville, continue right onto US 441 South. This four lane leads through the busy Pigeon Forge tourist area and continues straight into the Smoky Mountains. The visitor center will be on your right.

From the south or west, take I-40 East or I-75 north. They will join together just south of Knoxville, TN. In Knoxville, I-75 turns northwest, but you will stay north on I-40 East. The Gatlinburg exit is about 20 minutes north of Knoxville.

From the north, take I-81 south until it deadends into I-40. Take I-40 west for about 20 minutes to the Gatlinburg Exit. From North Carolina, you can pick up I-40 west in Asheville. After I-40 west crosses into Tennessee, take the US-321S/Gatlinburg/Wilton Springs Rd Exit. Continue on US 321 to Gatlinburg. Follow the signs for US 441 South and the park entrance.

West Side: Townsend, TN, Entrance

From the south, take I-75 to Exit 376B. Follow I-140 East toward Maryville. At the US 129 South split, take 11A to the left toward Alcoa. In Maryville, take TN 25 to US 321 North. US 321 will join TN 73, which goes through Townsend and into the park.

From the north, take I-40 west into Knoxville. Take Exit 386B toward Alcoa/Maryville. Follow US 129 South into Maryville and pick up US 321 N.

East Side: Cherokee, NC, Entrance

From Asheville, take I-40 West. From Tennessee, take I-40 East into North Carolina. At Exit 27, follow US-74 to Waynesville. Take US 19 past Maggie Valley to Cherokee. Pick up US 441 North in Cherokee and continue to the park entrance.