If you’re looking for the perfect place to enjoy a family picnic, you can’t do much better than Metcalf Bottoms! This incredibly scenic area is just a few minutes away from the Wears Valley entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located right beside the gorgeous Little River, an afternoon in Metcalf Bottoms ideal for soaking up the last rays of the summer sun or admiring the fall foliage. Read on for everything you need to know to plan the ultimate Smoky Mountain picnic.
Getting to the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area
The Metcalf Bottoms picnic area in Wears Valley is accessible by both Old State Highway 73 Scenic or Wear Cove Gap Road. If you are using a GPS, plug in the following longitude and latitude:
- 35°40’49″N, 83°38’58″W
To get turn by turn directions on Google Maps, take a look at the embedded map below:
What to Expect at Metcalf Bottoms
The Metcalf Bottoms picnic pavilion has everything you need to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors! The picnic area has:
- Tables and benches
- Covered seating
- Charcoal Grills
- Water fountains
With accommodations for up to 70 guests, you’ll never have to worry about not having enough space at Metcalf Bottoms. As you eat your lunch, you’ll have a front-row seat to the famous Little River. A hallmark of the National Park, this river is extremely popular for both fly fishing and tubing. Don’t be surprised if you see someone float on by during your picnic!
Metcalf Bottoms has an elevation of 1,700 feet, giving the area a moderate climate. The autumn months at Metcalf are simply spectacular, never too hot or too cold.
What to Bring for Your Picnic in Wears Valley
Before you head out to the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area in Wears Valley, don’t forget to pack the following items:
- A large blanket
- A picnic basket or tote bag
- A cooler
- Cups and plates
- Trash bags
- Charcoal, lighter, spatula, (if you’re grilling)
- Lots of food!
If you don’t feel like preparing your own food, you can pick up sandwiches at one of the local restaurants in Wears Valley and bring them to Metcalf Bottoms. For some great options, check our blog 5 Wears Valley Restaurants You Didn’t Know About – But Should.
What to Do After Your Picnic: Metcalf Bottoms Trail and Historic Sites
After your picnic, we recommend checking out the nearby Metcalf Bottoms Trail. Along the trail you will come across two fascinating historic buildings:
- The Little Greenbrier School was built 132 years ago! When the residents of Little Greenbrier asked for a school teacher in 1882, Sevier County told them to build a proper schoolhouse first. John Walker and dozens of other Greenbrier locals accepted the challenge and built the area’s first school.
- The Walker Sisters Place is the remains of a homestead belonging to the five Walker sisters. The daughters of John Walker, these sisters became local legends because they never married and lived very traditional lives until the last sister died in 1964.
To learn more about some of the best hikes and things to do in the area, check out our Great Smoky Mountains National Park page!