Smoky Mountain Central Area
Beersheba Springs, Tennessee
Maps | Directions
From Beersheba Springs, Tennessee
- Head southwest on Dahlgren Ave toward Hege Ave (164 ft)
- Turn left onto Hege Ave (0.1 mi)
- Continue onto Stone Door Rd (413 ft)
- Turn left onto Grassy Ridge RdPartial restricted usage road(1.2 mi)
THE Y [THEY]:This is a deep, wide place in the clear Little River, very near a bridge where you will find lots of people swimming, jumping and tubing on a warm day. YOUTUBE . Large parking area. To get there, it is at the bridge over Little River just where you enter the National Park from Townsend. Just before this bridge, there is a very large, paved parking on the left, the swimming place is at the bridge. There is also a lot of tubing here - tubes can be rented nearby in Townsend. LAT, LON: lat=35.65975, lon=-83.7078(source: Measured) (accuracy: exact). LINK TO GOOGLE MAP . PHOTO of THE Y . Very confident. Verified.
Road Trip Dip
Turning north (left) on Little River Rd., from the Townsend entrance there are a number of swimming places, in the order below: (If you come south on Little River Rd. from Gatlinburg, reverse the directions below, beginning at the Elkmont turn off) (Be forewarned - Gatlinburg is a very congested, touristy area.)
THE STEPS [STEP]: (Our name for this place) Initially the river is on the left of Little River road. At about 1 mile past The Y, just after you go over a bridge, the river is now on the right. There are steps down to the river on the right side and a small parking area. This is a nice family swimming hole (The Steps is just our name for it.) PHOTO . LAT, LON: lat=35.670, lon=-83.681(source: measured) (accuracy: exact). LINK TO GOOGLE MAP Verified 4/02. Very confident
THE SINKS [SINK]: About 4.5 miles past (north of) "The Steps" on Little River Rd., you cross another bridge so that the river is now on the left. Under this bridge are a series of small falls, rapids and pools, up to 6 ft deep. CAUTION: DO NOT CLIMB AROUND THE FALLS OR SWIM AT THE FALLS - GO DOWNSTREAM FROM THE FALLS TO SWIM. THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL DROWNINGS AT THE FALLS OF PERSONS WHO WERE CLIMBING ON THE FALLS AND FELL IN AND WERE HELD UNDERWATER AT THE BOTTOM BY THE FORCE OF THE FALLS. You can see how strong the currents are at the falls in this video: YOUTUBE . To get there, cross the bridge and park in a parking area on the right side, with an information sign (there is no sign on the road itself). If the currents are low, you might swim at the Sinks (but not in the falls) themselves: PHOTO , PHOTO . If the currents are high, take the trail downstream (that leaves from the parking area) a short distance, over a hill, and you will find more secluded, slower current, swimming places: PHOTO , PHOTO , PHOTO . LAT, LON: lat=35.66917, lon=-83.66194(source: measured) (accuracy: exact). LINK TO GOOGLE MAP Verified 4/02. Very confident.
NEXT BRIDGE [NEXT]: (Our name for this place) About 4 miles past (north of) "The Sinks" on Little River Rd (past Metcalf Bottoms picnic area), you cross another bridge so that the river is now on the right. Cross the bridge, park at the gravel pullout on the right, and walk down to the river to a swimming hole. (Next Bridge is just our name for it.) PHOTO 1 , PHOTO 2 . LAT, LON: lat=35.669, lon=-83.626(source: measured) (accuracy: exact). LINK TO GOOGLE MAP Verified 4/02. Very confident
ELKMONT [ELKM]: About 9 miles past (north of) "The Sinks" on Little River Rd. is the turn off for the Elkmont Campground. This is a nice campground (though perhaps it fills up fast) and a good base to visit many of the places mentioned here. (There is said to be a swimming hole in the river in the campground too - unverified.) For swimming holes, go up this road to near the campground then keep left at a sign that says ".6 miles Little River Trail". Drive to the end of this road and park BUT DO NOT BLOCK THE GATE. Walk past the gate and up the road/trail for about 1.3 miles. The trail will go between two small rocks and about 500 feet after that you will see a fallen white log laying diagonally just off the right side of the trail. You have just passed a steep path down to the river on the left which leads down to a huge, deep swimming hole with beautifully clear water and big rocks to hang out on. PHOTO . The coordinates are pretty accurate for this first spot and may also help you find it as it is hard to see from the trail. (Continue about .5 miles further on this trail and you will come to the Husky Branch Falls swimming hole as shown in this video: YOUTUBE . ) LAT, LON: lat=35.6489, lon=-83.5600 (source: measured) (accuracy:exact). LINK TO GOOGLE MAP . Very confident. Verified 4/2008. Updated 1/2013.
Going back to The Y, where you entered the Park, and turning south (right) on Laurel Creek Road and going toward Cades Cove, there are swimming places as below: (The traffic at Cades Cove can be very heavy and slow and there is no way to pass anyone; try to go down here in an off-peak time.)
LYNN CAMP [LYNN]: Immediately after you turn south (right) from The Y onto Laurel Creek Road take a left onto Middle Prong Rd. toward Tremont. Drive about 5 miles to the end of this road and park DO NOT BLOCK GATE. Pass the gate and walk about .6 miles up the Middle Prong Trail. Count the log benches as you go and, at the 3rd log bench, go down to the river where there is a falls with nice swimming holes both below and above the falls. PHOTO . LAT, LON: lat=35.6161, lon=-83.6617 (source: measured) (accuracy:exact). LINK TO GOOGLE MAP . Very confident. Verified 4/2008. Updated 4/2008.
ABRAMS FALLS [ABRA]: This is a major falls with swimming places below (verified) and above (not verified) the falls. It is a very popular place; you will not be alone! YOUTUBE .
NOTE: We received this CAUTIONARY email in 8/2006:"I wanted to mention that swimming at Abrams Falls can be very dangerous and should not be attempted at the falls themselves. We were visiting the Smokies last month and while we were there, a young man drowned because he got too close to the falls and the force of the water drove him under. He got lodged under a overhang and couldn't come back up." SO STAY AWAY FROM THE FALLING WATER HERE!
To get here: go all the way to the west end of Cades Cove. There is parking and signs to Abrams Falls, a 2.5 mile hike each way. (You can hike between Abrams Falls and the Abrams Creek Campground on the Little Bottoms trail, about 5 miles each way, and there are swimming holes along this hiking trail at about half way, at an area called "Little Bottoms". See "SMOKY MOUNTAIN - SOUTH AREA; LITTLE BOTTOMS" swimming hole for more information about this and for directions from Abrams Creek Campground.) PHOTO . LAT, LON:lat=35.60833, lon=-83.87972 (source: Topozone) (accuracy: exact). LINK TO GOOGLE MAP Verified 4/02. Very confident.
Courtesy of swimmingholes.org
Other Swimming Holes Nearby
Savage Gulf Area
Beersheba Springs, Tennessee4.6 miles W
The Savage Gulf Area is one of several spectacular natural areas in the in the South Cumberland Recreation Area State Park, on the Cumberland Plateau. This plateau,...Swim
Grundy Forest Area
Tracy City, Tennessee18.9 miles S
This is an easy loop hike through a beautiful forest along a creek with numerous swimming holes, depending on water level. The Grundy Forest Area is one of several...Swim
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Pikeville, Tennessee21.3 miles NE
Fall Creek Falls State Park embraces a large, beautifully wooded area of the Cumberland Plateau, crossed by several creeks and falls. There are several places to swim...Swim
Rock Island State Park
Rock Island, Tennessee25.0 miles N
The Rock Island State Park has an excellent swimming hole downstream from the Great Falls dam (called locally "blue hole".) Waterfalls, cliffs to jump off of, a swinging...Swim
Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee26.3 miles SE
Many swimming holes along a trail, some beginning as close as 10 minutes walk. Great for families. This is a State Natural Area and CLOSES 7 PM (I think they lock the...Swim
Dayton, Tennessee34.1 miles E
Outstanding easy hike and lots of swimming places for the whole family. This trail follows Richland Creek in the Laurel-Snow State Natural Area which has a number of...Swim
Smithville, Tennessee35.2 miles N
CLOSED. This is on private property and is only accessible to guests of Evins Mill. See details below. It is important to note that Carmac Falls is located on the private property of Evins Mill, a...Swim
Readyville, Tennessee41.6 miles NW
River swimming hole with rope swing.Swim
Walls Of Jericho
Estillfork, Alabama42.0 miles SW
Very spectacular wild, scenic area with massive limestone amphitheatre in the Southern Cumberland Plateau (on the border between TN and AL) where water cascades 200 feet...Swim
Piney River Area
Rockwood, Tennessee45.3 miles NE
The Piney River area has a 10 mile through-trail that leads to several swimming holes. For good information about this area... Bathing suits:...Swim
Stones River Rentals
Christiana, Tennessee45.5 miles NW
River outfitter with canoe rentals, camping, and a swimming hole. Swimming hole has swing over the water and dock.Swim
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
Manchester, Tennessee27.3 miles W
Built around 2,000 years ago Old Stone Fort provides hikers a unique experience visiting the ruins left by Native Americans during the Middle Woodland Period. Visitors can follow the Old Stone Fort...Camp, Hike