View Full Version : Driving from Townsend to Cataloochee?

08-26-2009, 11:13 AM
As stated in a previous thread, I will be in Townsend over Labor Day and thinking of taking the family over to Cataloochee to see the elk (and maybe wet a line?!?) but wonder about driving time and best route to take. I know it's a haul but need some idea for in-law informing.
Thanks Again,

08-26-2009, 11:22 AM
Considering you will be there during the holiday weekend, I would estimate at least 2.5 hours. Never done the whole trip as one leg before, so that is me piecing the segments together.

Probably the fastest route would be to take 321 to 441, then 441North to 416 toward Pittman Center. Get back on 321 to 32 and take it to Big Creek. From there take the gravel road all the way to Cataloochee. It is a crazy way to go, but cuts off a lot of traffic jams....

Jim Casada
08-26-2009, 11:24 AM
Jedidiah--There's no easy way. If I were making that trip and time was a factor, I'd go from Townsend to I-40 and head east before taking the exit (don't remember the number off the top of my head but think it is Exit 20) which puts you on Cove Creek Road. Then just follow the road, which will turn to gravel, into the valley. Jim Casada

Carolina Boy
08-26-2009, 11:38 AM
Yes Sir it is exit 20, come off the interstate and take your first right onto cove creek rd, stay straight on that road all the way (no gas stations or stores once you turn onto this road), it becomes a dirt road up and over the mtn. but it is not a 4X4 required pass. Water levels are a bit low so hopefully we will get some rain over here before then. I fished it a bunch in the spring/summer and it was the best i the water has looked in several years, it is a great place and worth the trip.

08-26-2009, 01:13 PM
What's that REM song? Oh yea...."Can't Get There from Here"

08-26-2009, 10:28 PM
Yep, exit 20, I think it says Maggie Valley, and Waynesville. It's HWY 276 and Cove Creek Road that takes you over the gap into the park will be on your right just off of 40. Cove Creek road is about a 100 yards off of the interstate. That will be quicker than taking the gravel road over the mountain from Big Creek.:smile:

08-27-2009, 11:32 AM
not considering traffic, you could drive right over the mountains, through cherokee, maggie valley and right on into cataloochee. It would be a scenic route.

08-27-2009, 11:41 AM
I took the gravel road from Big Creek to Cataloochee two weeks ago. I prefer gravel roads, no telling what you might see. I think there were five other cars on it that particular day.

Rog 1
08-27-2009, 11:53 AM
That gravel road actually extends all the way to Cosby...but it is quite a haul and in some places looks more like a horse trail...best bet is to choose your poison getting to I-40 and get off to Cove Creek Road...that is going to be the shortest route time wise...very little phone coverage on the gravel road and meeting five cars on that road is like rush hour traffic.

08-27-2009, 12:40 PM
If a guy was staying at the Cataloochee front country campground whats the easiest way from there to get to fish Palmer Creek? Can you drive to the horse campground and park there or do you have to walk the road to get to it? Does Palmer Creek come into Cataloochee Creek right there at that horse camp?

Also do you all normally fish Palmer from the mouth up or how far up do you usually go before dropping a line?


08-27-2009, 02:38 PM

I usually park at the horse camp and walk up from there. A short distance up the trail you will see a small waterfall. I usually start fishing there, and that first pool usually holds a few very active brookies. From there up for a distance the trail works its way up the mountain and away from the stream.

08-29-2009, 07:35 PM
drive to the horse camp...
or take the cataloochee choo choo....just say pardon me boys, it that the cataloochee choo choo.........