Geography of Cocke County, Tennessee

By | March 12, 2024

Geography of Cocke County, Tennessee

Cocke County, nestled in the eastern part of Tennessee, is a region distinguished by its stunning natural beauty, rugged mountain landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. Spanning approximately 437 square miles, it is situated within the Appalachian region and offers a diverse range of geography, including mountains, valleys, rivers, and forests. Cocke County is renowned for its outdoor recreational opportunities, historic sites, and picturesque scenery, making it a beloved destination for both residents and visitors alike. Check ezhoushan for information about Benton County, Tennessee.


Cocke County is predominantly rural and is characterized by its mountainous terrain, which forms part of the Appalachian Mountain range. The county is home to several prominent mountain peaks, including the Great Smoky Mountains to the southeast and the Bald Mountains to the northwest. Elevations in Cocke County range from around 875 feet above sea level in the river valleys to over 6,600 feet at the summit of Mount Guyot, one of the highest peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The county is dissected by numerous streams and rivers, including the French Broad River, which flows through the heart of Cocke County from north to south. Other significant waterways include the Pigeon River, Nolichucky River, and Big Creek, each contributing to the county’s diverse geography and providing habitat for a variety of aquatic species.

In addition to its mountainous terrain, Cocke County is also home to fertile agricultural valleys and rolling hillsides, where farms and orchards thrive in the rich soil. The county seat, Newport, is the largest town and serves as a commercial and cultural center for the region, while smaller communities such as Cosby, Del Rio, and Parrottsville dot the countryside, each with its own unique character and charm.


Cocke County experiences a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons, characterized by warm summers, mild winters, and ample precipitation throughout the year. The region’s climate is influenced by its elevation and proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, which can create microclimates and variations in weather conditions across the county.

Summers in Cocke County are typically warm and humid, with average high temperatures ranging from the upper 70s to the low 90s Fahrenheit. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, bringing heavy rainfall, lightning, and occasional gusty winds. The higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains may experience cooler temperatures and more frequent rainfall due to orographic lift.

Winters in Cocke County are generally mild, with average high temperatures in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit. While snowfall is relatively infrequent in the lower elevations of the county, the higher elevations of the mountains may receive significant snow accumulation, making them popular destinations for winter sports enthusiasts and outdoor recreation.

Spring and fall bring transitional weather to Cocke County, with fluctuating temperatures and changing foliage. Springtime brings blooming wildflowers, budding trees, and warmer temperatures, while fall is characterized by cool, crisp air, vibrant foliage, and the harvest season for local farms and orchards.

Rivers and Lakes:

Cocke County is blessed with an abundance of waterways, including rivers, streams, and lakes, which provide habitat for diverse wildlife and offer recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The French Broad River, one of the county’s most significant waterways, flows through the heart of Cocke County, providing opportunities for fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.

The Pigeon River, another major river in the county, is known for its scenic beauty and whitewater rafting opportunities, particularly in the upper reaches near the North Carolina border. The Nolichucky River, which forms part of the county’s western boundary, is also popular for whitewater rafting and kayaking, offering thrilling rapids and stunning mountain scenery.

Several lakes and reservoirs are scattered throughout Cocke County, providing additional opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming. Douglas Lake, located to the west of Newport, is one of the largest and most popular lakes in the area, attracting anglers, boaters, and outdoor enthusiasts from across the region.


In conclusion, Cocke County, Tennessee, is a region of breathtaking natural beauty, rugged mountain landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. From its towering peaks and fertile valleys to its meandering rivers and tranquil lakes, the county offers a diverse range of geography and outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. With its humid subtropical climate, warm summers, and mild winters, Cocke County remains a beloved destination for those seeking to experience the beauty and tranquility of the Appalachian Mountains.