Art of the Smokies
The Great Smoky Mountains are home to some of the most spectacular natural beauty in the world! One of our favorite ways to take in the area’s incredible scenery is on a Smoky Mountain or Gatlinburg motor trail. To help you make the most of your next trip, Hushh Magazine has put together a guide to the top four scenic drives in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is located just minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg! Running along a gorgeous mountain stream, this 5.5-mile one-way loop road is filled with lovely scenery. Highlights of this Gatlinburg motor trail include historic log cabins, beautiful foliage (especially in the fall), the trailheads for popular hikes, and a wet weather waterfall. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is closed during the winter months.
Newfound Gap Road
Breathtaking mountain views from Newfound Gap Road.Newfound Gap Road is another one of the most popular scenic drives in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Stretching from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC, this 31.6-mile Gatlinburg scenic drive offers superb mountain views. The Gatlinburg scenic drive along Newfound Gap Road has often been compared to a trip from Georgia to Maine in terms of the variety of forest ecosystems you will pass through. Some of the can’t-miss stops along Newfound Gap Road include Campbell Overlook, Clingmans Dome Road, and the Rockefeller Memorial (where FDR dedicated the national park in 1940).
Foothills Parkway West
The Foothills Parkway West at sunset.Foothills Parkway West is a 17-mile road between Chilhowee Lake and Walland that offers unparalleled mountain views. The Parkway features several pull-offs and a half-mile paved hike to Look Rock Tower. Recently, the Foothills Parkway has expanded an additional 16 miles to reach Wears Valley, which is just outside of Gatlinburg. The extended Foothills Parkway will provide a one-of-a-kind look at the highest part of the mountains in the eastern United States. This is the perfect Smoky Mountain scenic drive!
Cades Cove Loop Road
Cades Cove is the most-visited area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it’s easy to see why! This breathtaking valley is famous for its mountain views, historic homesteads, and excellent wildlife viewing. With its wide open spaces, Cades Cove provides the ideal environment for spotting black bear, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and other critters. The 11-mile one-way loop road passes by all of the 19th-century cabins and other points of interest in the valley. The Cades Cove Loop is one of the most popular Smoky Mountain scenic drives!