cades cove smoky mountains
May 08, 2020

If you love going on drives and want to explore the national park when you’re in town, you should go on a scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains! There are a ton of roads you can drive to find beautiful mountain views and enjoy the mountain scenery around you. You have several options, and we want to tell you about some of the popular choices! Here are 5 popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains to go on:

1. Foothills Parkway

foothills parkwayWant to see beautiful mountain views from the comfort of your car? You should drive along Foothills Parkway. This is a unique drive because it isn’t completely finished. The road has been under construction for years. There are sections of the road that have been complete, but there’s about 33.5 miles of road left to be built. Funding and environmental issues have both contributed to the road not being finished, but the portions that are complete provide people with incredible mountain views.

2. Cades Cove Loop

The most popular scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains is the Cades Cove Loop. This road is 11 miles long and is a looped road with open fields and mountain views. There are several spots along the road where you can get out and explore historic buildings. You’ll also find several trailheads along the road. Cades Cove is known for having a ton of wildlife out and about, so people like to go look for animals too.

3. Newfound Gap

newfound gap road smoky mountainsNewfound Gap Road is the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was discovered by a Swiss geographer, and the road is about 1 mile high. Because of its location, it receives significantly more snow than anywhere else. If you want to take a scenic drive from Tennessee to North Carolina, this is the road you want to take. It connects Gatlinburg to Cherokee, and there are several places where you can stop and get out along the road, as well as several trail heads for hiking trails.

4. Little River Road

Little River Road is a scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains that takes you from Gatlinburg to Townsend. Along the drive, you will see tons of native plants, a mountain creek, and possibly even wildlife. There are several pull offs where you will see picnic areas, waterfalls, water features, and overlooks. You’ll also find plenty of hiking trails along this road. It’s a great drive, especially in the fall when you want to see the color changes.

5. Gatlinburg Bypass

gatlinburg overlookOne of the ways to go to the national park is to go through downtown Gatlinburg. If you want to skip the traffic and have an even more scenic route to get into the park, you should take the Gatlinburg Bypass. There are quite a few hiking trails along this road, and you might spot wildlife and plenty of native plants. The Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is along the Bypass, which is where you can see downtown Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.

These are just some of the popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains you should go on. Since you have an idea of what you want to do when you’re in town, now you just need a place to stay! Check out our affordable Pigeon Forge hotel rooms and book one for your next trip today!