This mountain pass located at 5,048 feet is one of the Smokies’ greatest attractions. Named because it was not discovered until the 1850s, Newfound Gap is the lowest pass over the mountains. Today’s visitors enjoy its refreshing cool air, its views, and the fact that you can straddle the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina. It was here, on September 2, 1940, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
There is a large parking lot here, with the best views looking southward into the Oconaluftee River Valley in North Carolina. The Appalachian Trail, which travels the ridge of the mountains through the Smokies, crosses the road here at Newfound Gap. You can hike along the AT in either direction for as long as you like.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition