Ramsey Cascades water fall in the Smoky Mountains.

The 4 Best Smoky Mountain Swimming Holes and Waterfalls

Summertime is a great time to visit the Smoky Mountain swimming holes and waterfalls. On average, June, July, and August are the hottest months of the year. These warm and humid conditions make it the perfect time to put on your swimsuit and take a dip in the pristine waters of the Smokies! There are numerous areas inside the national park to spend the day cooling off in the 65-degree waters. That’s right, 65 degrees! On a day when the temperature is 90 and the humidity level is 90%, you won’t want to get out of the water. Check out a few of the most popular waterfalls and swimming holes in the Smokies:

1. Greenbrier Entrance – Ramsey CascadesThe Little Pigeon River in the Greenbrier section of the Smoky Mountains.

One of the best areas of the park to find your perfect spot is the Greenbrier entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Greenbrier is located about 7 miles from downtown Gatlinburg, TN. If you are in downtown Gatlinburg or coming from Pigeon Forge, just turn at Gatlinburg traffic light #3 onto HWY 321 North. Follow HWY 321 North until you come to the Conley R. Huskey Bridge. You’ll turn right just before the bridge. On your right, there’ll be a sign that reads, “Great Smoky Mountains, Greenbrier Entrance.” This road follows the Little Pigeon River for about 7 miles into the national park. Along this 7-mile drive, you will come across a number of pull-offs where you can park and walk down to your own private swimming hole! If you make the only left-hand turn off this road, you will end up at the trailhead for Ramsey Cascades. This is one of the more difficult hikes in the park, but if you’re up for the challenge, Ramsey Cascades is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains at 100 feet high!

2. Midnight Hole

Mouse Creek Falls in the Smokies.Just across the Tennessee border in North Carolina, you will find the Mouse Creek Falls Trail. This trailhead is located at the Deep Creek Campground. About 1.5 miles along this trail, you will come across the most beautiful swimming hole in the park, “Midnight Hole.” It is about a 1-hour drive from Gatlinburg, but it’s well worth it. Midnight Hole is known as one of the top swimming holes in the nation! Just another 1/2 mile past Midnight Hole is Mouse Creek Falls, which is a gorgeous waterfall. Mouse Creek Falls is s 45-foot-tall waterfall.

3. Metcalf Bottoms Swimming Area

You’ll find this Smoky Mountain swimming hole located at the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, which offers access to the Little River. There are several shallow swimming holes scattered near the picnic area where you can cool off after a delicious lunch! You can also throw a tube in the water and relax. If you love to fish, be sure to bring all your fishing gear with you! This area is a great spot to catch some fish as well.

4. The Townsend Wye

Townsend Wye in the Smoky MountainsLocated near the Townsend entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Townsend Wye is arguable the most popular of the Smoky Mountain swimming holes. The pool itself is about 30 feet wide and 7 to 8 feet deep. While it’s well known as a great spot for tubing, there are also large rocks you can sunbathe and relax on. To get to the Townsend Wye, you’ll drive toward Cades Cove from Gatlinburg and the Sugarlands Visitor Center. After about 12.5 miles, you’ll reach a fork in the road. Parking for the Wye is located on the left.

These are just a few special places to visit. There are plenty of Smoky Mountain swimming holes and waterfalls to cool you off in the summer heat. At the end of the day, go back to your cabin rental in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge to relax in your outdoor hot tub beneath the moon and stars in the night sky. We can’t wait to see you in the Smokies!