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COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAMPGROUND PHASED REOPENING

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas Social Distancing Required Visitors Centers, Stores and/or Other Facilities Closed
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If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know by using the link after clicking this box.

COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAMPGROUND PHASED REOPENING

If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know here.
So what does "Campground Phased Reopening" mean?

According to the U.S. National Park Service, Big Creek Horse Camp is currently working on reopening. This can mean that certain areas and facilities are closed. Visit the source link below for more detailed information regarding this park's status.

What we know:

The below source link has more information about the status of the horse campgrounds within the park. The National Park Service requires everyone at this park, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, such as narrow/busy trails, overlooks, visitor center patios, & other congested areas.

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas

Big Creek Horse Camp is currently requiring masks or face coverings in certain or all areas. Depending on your vaccination status, if you are not fully vaccinated (meaning two weeks after your final vaccination), and according to CDC guidelines, which currently depends on the COVID-19 transmissibility rate in the community in and around the park. Most parks requiring masks indoors have put an alert out (found below in the Alerts section). Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service and the local community for more detailed information.

Social Distancing Required

Big Creek Horse Camp is currently requiring everyone to social distance, 6 feet or more, from others. This usually means outside of your immediate group. Some parks may also have size restrictions on gatherings to help assist in social distancing. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service and the local community for more detailed information.

Visitors Centers, Stores and/or Other Facilities Closed

Big Creek Horse Camp currently has visitors centers, stores, or other facilities closed due to Covid-19. It is highly suggested that you bring all the supplies you may need in case a store is closed or shopping is limited due to local communities or the park. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service and the local community for more detailed information.

Last Updated: September 16, 2021

Big Creek Horse Camp Overview

The only horse camp in the Great Smoky Mountains with potable water and flushing toilets!

Pack up your horses for a getaway at Big Creek Horse Camp, located on far northeastern side of Smoky Mountains National Park, approximately 16 miles from Newport, Tennessee. This campsite sits along the gently rolling waters of Big Creek and offers miles of horse trails with breathtaking scenic backdrops. 

You MUST have a HORSE to camp in Big Creek Horse Camp!

Recreation

The rolling terrain surrounding the campsite makes for some of the best horseback riding trails in the park. Numerous trails are accessible from Big Creek and for riders looking for a little hiking, the Appalachian Trail can be easily reached via the 2.1 mile Chestnut Branch Trail, located within walking distance from the camp. 

Day Use horse area- so invite your horse riding friends and family for a fun day even if they don't want to camp with you.
Campers can also enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the countless streams that snake through the mountains, with Rainbow and Brook trout available in abundance, particularly during spring months.

Facilities

Big Creek Horse Camp is fairly primitive, providing only the basic amenities, but an unforgettable outdoors experience. The sites are large and the facility does offer flush toilets, drinking water and plenty of shade.

Since horses are not permitted in the camping area, horse stalls and hitching rails are provided to guests.

There are no hookups or showers at the campground, but water is available from the campground spigot. 

You MUST have a HORSE to camp in Big Creek Horse Camp!

Natural Features
At a 1,700 foot elevation, Big Creek provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. The camp is surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges and pristine mountain streams.
Nearby Mouse Creek Falls, a 35 foot waterfall forming at the confluence of Mouse Creek and Big Creek, is reachable by horseback or on foot via the Big Creek trailhead located on-site.
The beautiful falls splits over moss covered rocks and falls about 20 ft. before pooling and falling another 15 ft. into Big Creek. The falls can be reached via the Big Creek Trail, which is covered in wildflowers during spring months.
Nearby Attractions
The Big Creek Group Campground is located nearby, with plenty of space for larger groups.
Full service grocery stores and medical facilities are located 16 miles away in Newport, Tennessee.
Directions to Campground

The campground is located off I-40 Exit 451 (Waterville). It sixteen miles east of Newport, TN. Follow Waterville road, crossing over the Pigeon River, past the Walters Power Generating Station and continue one mile to the 4-way intersection at Mt Sterling Gap.   Follow the signs to Big Creek. Drive up Big Creek Park Road. Shortly after passing the Ranger Station, take the first left turn into the horse camp.  Coordinates: 35°45'15.7"N 83°06'25.8"W 35.754361, -83.107167 Mailing Address: (Do not use GPS directions by name)   236 Big Creek Park Road Newport, Tennessee, 37821

This page includes information about Big Creek Horse Camp in Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park. | North Carolina, Tennessee | https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm