4 Scenic Drives in the Smoky Mountains You Don’t Want to Miss
Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains are world renowned for their stunning natural beauty. One of our favorite ways to take in the area’s majestic scenery is with a relaxing drive through the mountains. What could be better than admiring the grandeur of the Smokies with the windows down and a refreshing breeze blowing through your hair? To help you make the most of your next vacation, The Appy Lodge has put together a guide to four of the most scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains.
1. Newfound Gap Road
Cutting through the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Newfound Gap Road is famous for its breathtaking mountain views and for showcasing a variety of forest ecosystems. In fact, a trip along Newfound Gap Road has been compared to a drive from Georgia to Maine, in terms of the different types of trees you’ll see.
Running from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC, Newfound Gap Road stretches for 31.63 miles, but you don’t need to travel the full length of the road to see some spectacular scenery. When you drive along Newfound Gap Road, be sure to stop at the Rockefeller Memorial, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1940.
2. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is another one of our favorite scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. A trip along the Motor Nature Trail is especially convenient for guests at The Appy Lodge, because the 5.5-mile long, one-way loop road is situated minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg. Auto tourists on the Motor Nature Trail will have the chance to see a lovely stream (the “Roaring Fork”), historic log cabins and homesteads, gorgeous mountain views, and technicolor foliage in the fall. Please keep in mind that the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is typically closed from November 26 – April 7.
3. Little River Road
Little River Road is the most charming way to get from downtown Gatlinburg to Cades Cove, the most frequented area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Running beside the Little River, this route is actually made up of three different roads: Fighting Creek Gap Road, Little River Gorge Road, and Laurel Creek Road. In addition to stunning views of the river, Littler River Road passes by The Sinks waterfall and features breathtaking forest scenery.
4. Cades Cove Loop Road
Each year, over 2 million people visit Cades Cove, and it’s not hard to see why! This incredibly picturesque valley is well known for its mountain vistas, historic buildings from the 1800s, and unparalleled wildlife viewing. If you’re hoping to see a black bear during your vacation, Cades Cove is the place to be. The valley is very easy to navigate because there is an 11-mile, one-way loop road that stops at all of the major landmarks in the cove.
Planning on being in the Smokies in the autumn? Find out which Smoky Mountain scenic drives you should experience in the fall!
Where to Stay in the Smoky Mountains
When you stay at The Appy Lodge in Gatlinburg, TN, you will have the perfect home base for taking all of these scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. Offering free parking, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, walk-in showers, and complimentary breakfast, The Appy Lodge has everything you need for an incredible vacation. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of beautiful hotel rooms!