Creek at Greenbrier

Greenbrier Description

Greenbrier is one of the great off-the-beaten-path areas of the park. It is generally not very crowded, but boasts some of the best spring wildflower viewing and one of the best waterfalls (Ramsay Cascades) in the Smokies.

The six mile, mostly gravel, Greenbrier Road starts at Highway 321 about 6 miles east of Gatlinburg. It follows the river past the ranger station, the picnic area, the Ramsay Cascades trailhead, and dead ends at the Porters Creek trailhead.

Best times to visit

  • Greenbrier is one of the best places to view spring wildflowers. Peak months for wildflowers in Greenbrier are March and April.
  • Greenbrier not as busy as some other areas in the park, making it a great place to visit in peak tourist times such as during the leaf changing season in mid to late October or weekends in the summer.
  • Greenbrier Weather

    Greenbrier is located very near Cosby, TN. Click on the graphic below for complete weather information and a forcast for the Cosby and Greenbrier areas.
    Click for Cosby, Smoky Mountains Weather Forecast

    Best Hiking in Greenbrier

    Two popular hiking trails start in the Greenbrier area:

    • Porters Creek trail is one of the the best hikes in the Smokies for spring wildflowers. It starts with an easy 1 mile gravel path that is wide and great for families or groups. After the 1 mile point, the trail is still well maintained, but narrow and no longer gravel. Continue another mile to Fern Branch Falls and then another 1.7 miles to the end of Porters Creek trail. The trailhead is at the end of Greenbrier Road, about 4 miles from Hwy 321.
    • Ramsay Cascades is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Smokies. The hike is a moderate 8 mile round trip through one of the largest virgin forests in the park. To reach the trailhead, turn onto Greenbrier Road from Hwy 321, go 3.2 miles, turn left at the sign to Ramsay Cascades, go 1.5 miles until the road dead ends at the trailhead.

    Picnicing at Greenbrier

    The relatively small picnic area at Greenbrier is located 3 miles off of highway 321 on Greenbrier road. The first mile is paved, the next 2 miles are gravel. It has picnic tables and grills. There is a parking area and restooms at the picnic area. In addition to the picnic area, there are infinite places to spread out a blanket and have a picnic if you don't need a picnic table or grill.


    Restrooms with running water and flush toilets are available in the picnic area.

    Directions to Greenbrier

    From Gatlinburg, take U.S. Highway 321 for 6 miles to Greenbrier. Turn right onto Greenbrier Rd at the sign pointing to Greenbrier. Greenbrier Road is 5 miles long. The first mile is paved, the last 4 miles are gravel. Click on the link below for directions from other locations.

    Driving Directions:
  • from Gatlinburg, TN
  • from another location
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    Recommended Reading

    100 Hikes in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most informative books available about hiking in the Smokies. It gives detailed information about many of the hiking trails in the park.
    Rescue in the Wild is a wonderful children's novel set in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is a fictional book, but gives great information about the national park while telling an entertaining story.
    Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains A beautiful wildflower guide with many full page full color pictures. The pictures and informative descriptions help you identify wildflowers in the Smokies and surrounding areas.

    For More Information

  • Smokies Bookstore
  • Cosby
  • Cataloochee

    Back to www.smokies.ws