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foothills parkway in the smoky mountains

Top 5 Scenic Drives in the Smoky Mountains You Should Take

Posted on April 1, 2020
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Seeing the Smoky Mountains is a must when you are in the area! Some people may not want to get out and hike, so what better way to get out and see the beauty of the mountains than to take a scenic drive? You have plenty of options, and we want to talk about them with you! Here are the top 5 scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains you should take:

1. Newfound Gap Road

view from newfound gapNewfound Gap is one of the popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. It runs from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina. Newfound Gap is actually the lowest pass through the Smoky Mountains. Along your drive, you will see incredible views of the mountain range and pass through old forest growth. There are quite a few landmarks along the way where you can stop and explore, such as Clingmans Dome.

2. Foothills Parkway

Another popular road to take is Foothills Parkway. The road was first approved in 1944, and construction began in 1960. Irregular funding and environmental factors have complicated the completion of the road, but sections have been finished over the last 75 years. Whatever portion of the road you decide to explore, you will have gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains and the Cumberland Mountains. If you want to see awesome views of the mountains, this is the road you should take!

3. Cades Cove

cades cove loop with mountains in the backgroundIf seeing history and possibly wildlife is at the top of your list, then you should drive along the Cades Cove Loop. This 11-mile loop is paved through a valley in the middle of the mountains. You might see black bears, white tailed deer, turkeys, and many other wild animals along your trip. You will definitely see historic buildings that were built by pioneers, and you can stop at any point and stretch your legs along the loop. There are also quite a few trailheads along the Cades Cove Loop if you want to hike!

4. Roaring Fork Motor Trail

A more scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains is the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. The road is 5.5 miles long, and it is one way. There are places along the road where you can get out and walk to a historic building to stretch your legs and learn a little more about the area. You’ll make your way along the creek, and there’s even a waterfall called the Place of a Thousand Drips you can see from your car! The trailheads for Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls are along this scenic drive.

5. Little River Road

little river road in the smoky mountainsA great drive in the Smokies is Little River Road. It may not be very popular, but it’s a great drive nonetheless. This road takes you from Gatlinburg to Townsend. There are a ton of places where you can stop, such as the Sinks or Meigs Falls. There are also picnic areas along the road. You’ll travel beside a mountain creek most of the road, and it’s a great way to see the mountains.

These scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains are a great way to explore the national park if you don’t want to hike. Since you have an idea of what you might do when you’re in town, you just need a place to stay! Look at our Smoky Mountain condos today and start planning your next trip!

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