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Top 5 Can’t-Miss Scenic Drives in the Smoky Mountains

foothills parkway

Taking scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains are great ways to spend an afternoon! It doesn’t matter what season or what the weather is like, you can enjoy driving through the mountains and seeing the sights. Check out the top 5 can’t miss scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Cades Cove Loop

Road in Cades CoveOne of the most popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains is Cades Cove Loop. This 11-mile-long road takes you through a valley surrounded by the mountains for beautiful scenery. Wildlife is active in this area, so you will probably see black bears, white tailed deer, birds, and much more. The landscape is beautiful no matter if it’s lush with green in the spring or covered in snow in the winter. You can also enjoy the historic sites and buildings throughout Cades Cove Loop. There are plenty of places where you can stop and get out to stretch your legs or get a better look at the buildings.

2. Foothills Parkway

Foothills Parkway is a unique scenic drive. Congress approved the road construction in 1944, and it was separated into 8 sections. Foothills Parkway is the only congressionally approved road that still isn’t completely finished. The newest section was completed in 2018. Along this road, you’ll see incredible views of the mountains. It’s a great spot to enjoy driving through and seeing mountains in the distance and the forest up close.

3. Roaring Fork Motor Trail

roaring fork motor trail next to a riverIf you want to take a more rustic drive, go on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. This is a one-way road that travels over creeks and streams. You can park along many stops for access to hiking trails, and there’s even a stop where you can see a waterfall called Place of A Thousand Drips. You will also be able to see grist mills, homesteads, and cabin homes that are well preserved from when pioneers first came to the mountains.

4. Little River Road

Another popular scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains is Little River Road. This road runs from Gatlinburg to Townsend. There are many places you can stop and pull off, from The Sinks to Miegs Falls. You’ll wind along the Little Pigeon River and get to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery as you drive. You can get to Cades Cove, Townsend, and many other places from Little River Road.

5. Newfound Gap

newfound gapSome of the most incredible views of the mountains and woods are along Newfound Gap. It is also the lowest drivable pass in the Smoky Mountains. Newfound Gap is one of the roads take will take you from Tennessee to North Carolina that goes through the national park. There are many pull offs where you can stop and have a picnic, and you can get to Clingmans Dome on this road.

You’ll enjoy any of these scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains for something fun to do! Now all you need to do is book one of our cabins in the Smoky Mountains, and you’re ready to explore!