Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. Cocke County is one of only 3 Tennessee counties that make up part of the national park.
Among the park entrances is one in Cosby that leads to a campground and picnic area. The Cosby entrance to the national park is not as developed as other national park entrances, but many visitors like the “secret entrance” to the park from this area.
Leading from the campground are hundreds of hiking trails and nature walks. The campground has 165 sites, 3 of those accommodate up to 20 people each and 16 sites are designated for RVs.
Visitors enjoy wildflower pilgrimages, bird-watching, hiking, photography, fishing, horseback riding and other activities in the national park, too. Occasionally, Smoky Mountain black bears and other wildlife animals can be seen throughout the park – depending on the time of year of your visit.
Newport Parks & Recreation
The Newport Parks & Recreation Department continues to provide an ever-increasing valuable service to Newport, Cocke County locals and visitors. The department continues to expand on a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy.
The city recreation department is responsible for the maintenance of several parks and playgrounds in Newport. Included are Newport City Park, Filbert Street Park, White Oak Park, Pet Milk Park, the Presbyterian Church Memorial Park, Eva Babb Sexton Memorial Park and the Newport Grammar School Sports Complex.
The football field at city park is one of the locations where the Newport Little League football program plays its games. The program is for the Grasscutter, Super Grasscutter, and Pee Wee age groups. Also, major league, junior league and senior league baseball games take place at city park. Plus, several district and state tournaments are held at the tradition-rich Newport City Park baseball field. The park has tennis courts, two pavilions with grills available, a walking track, a swimming pool with pavilion, basketball court, playground, toddler playground with a sand box, a volleyball court and concessions.
The pool opens during the summer months. Lifeguards are on duty at all times during operating hours.
In addition, the Newport Parks and Recreation Department provides a large number of activities at the Newport Community Center. There is an Olympic-sized, heated, indoor swimming pool with lockers and shower facilities on the premises. The center also hosts meets of the Cocke County/Cosby High School swim team and the Newport/Cocke County Rapids swim team. Also at Newport Community Center, you can find a wellness room with total body elliptical cross-trainers, treadmills, bicycles, stair climbers and free weights and a racquetball court.
Cocke County Recreation Department
The Cocke County Recreation Department continues to show steady growth in the number of local youth and adults who take advantage of the department’s valuable service. The facility includes a gymnasium and a small children’s playground to the rear of the building. At the main office location, there are two fields, one for baseball and the other for softball.
Cocke County Golf Courses
The Smoky Mountain Golf and Country Club is located at 1220 Golf Course Road, Newport, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and offers players a challenging round of golf with beautiful, panoramic views of the mountains. Smoky is one of the oldest and best golf courses in East Tennessee. It is also home to Cocke County High School and state champion Newport Grammar Middle School golf teams. The front nine is relatively open and gives the golfer plenty of fairway space to hit the long ball, while the back nine is somewhat narrow and requires a more delicate and controlled shot selection with control and distance that rewards above average players. Two of the holes, numbers 10 and 17, are rated by area golfers as two of the most difficult in East Tennessee. Amenities include a pro shop, driving range, putting green, full-service restaurant, lounge and swimming pool.
Baneberry Golf and Resort is located at 704 Harrison Ferry Road in Baneberry just across the Cocke County Line in Jefferson County off Highway 25E. An outstanding layout featuring gently rolling land, lakes, streams and bunkers will challenge golfers of all abilities. Baneberry has twice been the home of the $75,000 Baneberry Classic that is held by the T. C. Jordan Tour (now the NGA Hooters Tour). Amenities include 2 putting greens, a chipping green, tennis courts, a large swimming pool, a boat ramp into Douglas Lake and a club house with a pro shop, restaurant, lounge and a spacious deck overlooking the front nine. Baneberry also offers two bedroom villas or large efficiency rooms. All have fully equipped kitchens.