Mingus Mill

Categories: Play, Hiking & Backpacking, Kid-Friendly, Places of Interest, Museums & Historic Sites, Outdoor Fun, Great Smoky Mountains National Park... NC


  • Mingus Mill- an historic "Grist" mill built in 1886 that's still functional today 
  • Rehabilitated by the National Park Service in 1968
  • Watch as the water powered, cast iron turbine churns corn into cornmeal by the "miller"
  • Cornmeal and other mill-related items can be found for sale in the mill house
  • Walk the path along the "millrace" as the water races towards the historic mill 
  • Family-friendly atmosphere with easy access
  • Nice place for wildflowers in the spring & summer months

The Local Scoop

Mingus Mill is a conveniently located piece of Smoky Mountain history just off of U.S. highway 441 through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We recommend this stop to the entire family.  Take the short stroll from the very large parking area along Mingus Creek to where the mill sits.  The fairly large building is powered by the water that rushes into the "millrace" from a diversion upstream.  The path leads all the way to where this diversion occurs.  As you walk up the millrace you'll notice how the wooden planks that makeup the siding have remained firmly in place over the years, considering it was built in 1886.... that's a long time. Although it was rehabilitated in 1968 by the National Park service, it is still an impressive sight to see.  
Stop in the mill house to chat with a local volunteer or "miller" that can tell you even more about the history of this place.  You can even purchase mill-related items like actual cornmeal.  The mill was used to make cornmeal as well as wheat flour that supplied the small community located near Mingus Creek with food.
There are bathrooms located near the parking area for your convenience.  Even if you pull into Mingus Mill for a stretch or an emergency bathroom break, this location has you covered.  Hours of operation are from 9 am -5 pm (mid-March thru mid-November) and Mingus Mill is also open Thanksgiving weekend, offering folks that are traveling through to see their families, etc a chance for some history!
If you have never stopped for Mingus Mill, we recommend doing so the next time you are in the Great Smoky Mountain area.  Whether you're a visitor just passing through or a longtime native of this area, you might be presently surprised. 

The Local Directions

From Cherokee, NC
From downtown Cherokee, take U.S. Hwy-441 North towards Great Smoky Mountains National Park (KFC on one corner & the Oconaluftee River on the other).  Travel 2.5 miles along the Oconaluftee River passing Cherokee shops & restaurants and eventually entering the park's boundaries.  You'll also pass the Oconaluftee Visitor's Center on your right.  At 2.5 miles turn left into Mingus Mill.

From Gatlinburg, TN
Take U.S. Hwy-441 South towards Cherokee, NC for 29.5 miles to a right into Mingus Mill. 

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Difficulty Levels

  • Hike3What's this?
35.5979431, -83.2934086
Easy via U.S. Hwy-441
Hike Distance
0.3 mile
Nearest City
Swain County
Hours of Operation
9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
(mid-March - mid-November)
*Open Thanksgiving Wknd 
Distance From
Cherokee 2.5 miles 
Gatlinburg, TN, 29.5 miles