Perfect Picnic Spots

Rafting in the Smokies Family Adventure Island is the perfect place to have a fun picnic. Bordering the banks of the beautiful Pigeon River, sit in the shade under the canopy of native trees and plants.

No worries here – Family Adventure Island is complete with picnic tables and grills. Remember when you were a kid? Make some memories here. A swimming beach is perfect for the little ones. Get in and splash around or if you’re a sun-bunny bring a book and a lounge chair and relax to the soothing sounds of the Big Pigeon River rushing by. Want to enjoy a little nature walk? Get ready to spot some of our feathered friends or catch some lightning bugs in a jar! The possibilities are endless – we just know they all come wrapped up in fun.

Everyone knows that picnic food somehow just tastes better – it must be the setting! Family Adventure Island is a picture-perfect site for an entire day of fun. The perfect picnic definitely involves good company, so bring your family and friends. Come out and play! Soak up the sun and get ready to chow down with those you love – we promise this is going to be an experience you won’t soon forget.

Other Picnic Spots We Love

  • Close by is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Cosby Campground. Complete with rushing creek, picnic pavilion, nature hikes and more, this location is said to be one of the best-kept secrets in the Smokies. Primitive camping is available and you just might hear some mountain music from the Amphitheater. From Rafting in the Smokies, travel on 1-40 West to the 443 Exit (Foothills Parkway). Follow to the end. Turn left and travel approximately two miles to the Campground. Turn right and enjoy!

  • Another great nearby location is the Big Creek section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Big Creek offers you a trip to one of the more primitive and quieter sections of the Smokies. There is a small established campground and picnic area on the site of an old logging camp. To reach Big Creek, take I-40 Waterville Exit (451) and cross the bridge over the Pigeon River. At the end of the bridge, turn left and proceed one mile to the Carolina Power and Water Plant. The power plant sits at the confluence of Big Creek and the Pigeon River. Continue following the road past the power plant another 1.3 miles to the Park boundary and an intersection with the old NC 284 road. The road into Big Creek continues straight through the intersection. The Campground and picnic area is located about 1 mile beyond the ranger station.

  • Stroll through the remnants of the Howell Tree Nursery at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and sit in the Adirondack chairs under the Cedars of Lebanon watching the sun set over the Smoky Mountain ridges in the distance.

  • Metcalf Bottoms is a beautiful and peaceful place with picnic tables along the banks of The Little River. This area is within 2 miles of Wears Valley.

  • Laurel Falls Trail is a partially paved path with a 75-foot waterfall crossing the trail at the 1.3-mile mark. Eat your picnic amongst the native rhododendrons, mountain laurel, silverbell, poplar, hemlocks and old growth oaks. The parking area for the trail is at Fighting Creek Gap.

  • Cades Cove, the most visited part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offers numerous picnic spots along the 12-mile loop. Pioneer structures dot this cove and tell the history of its early inhabitants. Wildlife is abundant.