Want to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but don’t want to go hiking? You should go on a drive! There are several scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains you should go on! You’ll see beautiful mountain views, and there are several places to explore. Here are the top 5 scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains you should go on:
1. Cades Cove
The most popular place to go for a scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains is Cades Cove. This road is an 11-mile loop people love to visit because there are so many incredible sights to see. You’ll see rolling hills, beautiful meadows, and mountain views, and there’s the possibility of seeing wildlife. There are several places where you can stop and get out along the drive, making it easy to stretch your legs or explore the historic buildings in the area. This drive is beautiful any time of the year, and it’s perfect for families.
2. Newfound Gap
Newfound Gap is another one of the great scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains you should go on. This road connects Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina. It winds through the mountains and the national park, giving you breathtaking views any time of the year. Newfound Gap is the lowest drivable pass through the park, and there are several places where you can pull off to enjoy the views or explore the area. Clingmans Dome is a pretty popular short hike where you’ll have an amazing view of up to 100 miles away on a clear day.
3. Foothills Parkway
Foothills Parkway is one of the most unique scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. Congress approved the road in 1944, and construction started in 1960. It is supposed to be completed in 8 sections, and there are still 33.5 miles left to build. The unfinished section is in the middle, so you can drive on the western or the eastern end. There are beautiful overlooks where you can enjoy mountain views, and many people love to stop and have a picnic while they enjoy the drive.
4. Roaring Fork Motor Trail
Want to go somewhere a little more scenic? Roaring Fork Motor Trail is the perfect scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains. This is a one-way road near Gatlinburg where you can enjoy wooded views and drive close to a creek. Many people say they see all kinds of wildlife along their drive. There are several historic sights along the road, as well as hiking trailheads.
5. Little River Road
Little River Road is the road that connects Gatlinburg to Townsend. This road twists and turns through the mountains along the Little Pigeon River. You can see Meigs Falls from the road, or you can stop and see The Sinks to stretch your legs. You can get to Cades Cove and Metcalf Bottoms on this road. Driving on Little River Road in the fall is incredible since you get to enjoy the beautiful colors, but it’s spectacular any time of the year.
These scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains are just some of the fun things you can enjoy when you’re in town. Want to know what else you should be doing? Check out our Adventure Power Pass to see what kind of deals you’ll get when you stay in one of our cabins!