Name: Cosby Picnic Area
Picnic Sites: 35
Pavilion: Yes – Seats 55
Hours: Closes at 8:00 PM from May 1 – August 31 and at sunset all other days.
Dates Open: April 3 – November 1, 2020
Directions to Cosby Picnic Area
From Gatlinburg: Take East Parkway (US 321 North) 18.0 miles until you arrive at the “T” intersection. Turn right onto TN-32 South and go 1.2 miles to Cosby Park Road on the right. Turn onto Cosby Park Road and drive 2.0 miles to Cosby Picnic Area Road on the left.
Cosby Picnic Area Description
Cosby Picnic Area is located just before the entrance to Cosby Campground. This secluded area is perfect for family or group picnics under large poplar trees with plenty of grass around.
Thirty-five picnic sites with tables and charcoal grills allow picnickers to choose a site that fits their needs. One site is handicap accessible, although a few others along the path to the restrooms could be used with assistance.
Restrooms are outfitted with flush toilets and sinks with running water.
The 60’ x 21’ pavilion seats 55 people and is handicap accessible. Thirteen picnic tables and three grills are available to anyone reserving the pavilion.
Cosby Picnic Area Pavilion does not have electricity or running water. However, you can find potable water at the restrooms.
The pavilion is available to be rented for two periods during the day: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. If you want the pavilion for the entire day, you need to rent it for both periods.
Availability, reservations, and payments can be made online at Recreation.gov or by calling 800-365-2267. The cost is $25 to reserve the pavilion.
Cosby Picnic Area Activities
Cosby Picnic Area is a wonderful place for a picnic (of course), but it is also a place to go fishing, hiking, horseback riding, birding, and viewing other wildlife.
Cosby Creek is nearby and is a good place to relax and watch the water pass by after a meal. On hot days, you can take your shoes off and dip your feet into the water.
WARNING: The National Park Service always advises against getting into the waters of the park, although it is legal. Care must be taken if you choose to enter any water in the park. Often rocks are slippery and hypothermia can sneak up on you in cold moving waters.
Nearby Points of Interest
The trailhead for Gabes Mountain Trail is almost across the street from the picnic area. Take this trail to Hen Wallow Falls for a beautiful hike to a waterfall. Cosby Campground is within walking distance. At the far end of the parking lot, Low Gap Trail leads to the Cosby Nature Trail.