At the Greenbrier entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a community where about 1,000 people once lived until the 1930s. When land was designated for the park, residents relocated across the U.S., some staying nearby with family still residing in Pittman Center.
Some winning highlights of the area are wildflowers, picnic areas, walking trails, fishing.
In spring, the Greenbrier area of the park is renowned for its wildflowers. The drive to the Ramsey Cascades trailhead provides good wildflower viewing from your car, while the Porters Creek Trail makes a good wildflower walk.
To hike Porters Creek, follow the signs to the trailhead of the same name. Good displays of wildflowers can be seen along the first 1.5 miles of trail. Wildflower displays generally start in March and peak in mid- to late April.
Ramsey Cascades is another popular trail in the area with good wildflower-viewing opportunities. From the trailhead, it’s 4.0 miles to the cascades, which are the tallest in the Smokies.
Six miles of mostly gravel road follow the river and its tributaries into the upper Greenbrier area. Bicycling is permitted on Greenbrier roads, but is prohibited on all trails.
The Greenbrier picnic area is open year-round. Trout fishing is open year-round. Anglers need either a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license.
To get to Greenbrier Road, leave Gatlinburg at light #3 and head east on Hwy 321. Travel for approximately 7 miles and turn right on Greenbrier Road.
If you include the hike to Ramsay Cascades, expect this tour to take upwards of 5 hours.
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