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Great Smoky Mtns. National Park Sights

Heintooga Picnic Area

  • Heintooga Ridge Rd.
  • Restaurant–Sight
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 10/11/2012

Fodor's Review

This is our favorite developed picnic area in the park. Located at more than a mile high and set in a stand of spruce and fir, the picnic area has 41 tables. Nearby is Mile High Overlook, which offers one of the most scenic views of the Smokies and is a great place to enjoy the sunset. For birders, this is a good spot to see golden-crowned kinglets, red-breasted nuthatches, and other species that prefer higher elevations. You're almost certain to see the common raven here.

Nearby are a campground and trailheads for several good hiking trails, including Flat Creek. You can return to Cherokee via an unpaved back road, Balsam Mountain Road, which is one-way, to Big Cove Road. The disadvantage is that due to the high elevation (and the risk of snow and ice) the picnic area is only open from mid-May to early October.

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Sight Information


Heintooga Ridge Rd., Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, 28719, United States



Sight Details:

  • Closed early Oct.–mid-May

Updated 10/11/2012


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