Little River

Address: Great Smoky Mountains National Park State Route 73, Little River Road Gatlinburg, TN 37738 Phone: (865) 436-1200
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The Little River is a scenic Tennessee river containing spectacular scenery, with the first 18 miles located within Great Smoky Mountains National Park borders, and the remaining 33 miles flowing out of the mountains through Blount County to join the Tennessee River at Fort Loudon Lake in Knox County. Fish either the east or the middle fork (or "prong," in mountain usage) of the Little River to experience the joy of the quintessential Smoky Mountain trout stream. The Little River has three forks, or prongs: the west, rising on ridges on the slopes of Thunderhead Mountain; the middle, passing through Tremont's environmental center; and the east, being the largest fork. All three Little River forks draw waters from four mountains of 6,000 feet in height. From just below Elkmont, Little River runs parallel to State Route 73, also known as Little River Road. This road connects the two main Tennessee entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg and Townsend. Several small waterfalls feed into the river, and Meigs Falls has parking for viewing. Midway between Gatlinburg and Townsend, Little River enters a flat area known as Metcalf Bottoms, where there is an attractive area for picnics and wading. Past Metcalf Bottoms, Little River turns rapid, slicing through Little River Gorge. A notable gorge landmark is "The Sinks," where the river flows over a ten-foot waterfall into a large pool, seeming to disappear for a distance.


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