Top 6 Gatlinburg Scenic Drives You Won’t Want to Miss
Are you looking to enjoy the breathtaking views around Gatlinburg TN, but don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your car? You’re in luck! Gatlinburg is full of scenic drives for everyone to enjoy. Gather your friends and family, pack some snacks, and hit the road. Here are 6 Gatlinburg scenic drives you won’t want to miss when visiting the area.
1. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is conveniently located minutes from downtown Gatlinburg. This narrow, winding trail offers a spectacular view of mountain streams, forests, log cabins, and a historic mill! The drive is especially pretty in the fall since the leaves change color. The trailheads to Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls can be found not far from this trail.
2. Newfound Gap Road
Newfound Gap Road, one of the most popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountain area, stretches from Gatlinburg TN to Cherokee NC. You’ll be able to see many different types of trees and beautiful mountain views during your drive. There are even pull-offs along the road, so visitors can stop and take pictures to capture the scenery.
3. Cades Cove Loop Road
Cades Cove Loop Road is another popular road to travel in the Smoky Mountains. The scenic drive is perfect for those hoping to catch a glimpse of wildlife. It provides the opportunity for visitors to spot black bears, coyotes, deer, turkeys, and even raccoons! This 11-mile road also offers views of historic cabins and the mountains. It is one of the most-visited areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
4. Rich Mountain Road
If you’re looking for a more rustic drive through the Smoky Mountains, try Rich Mountain Road. Rich Mountain Road is completely made of gravel and will lead you to Cades Cove. It is guaranteed to bring you closer to nature and is known for its incredible overlook about halfway down the road. Fun fact: For about 100 years, this used to be the only way to reach Cades Cove.
5. Little River Road
Little River Road runs from Gatlinburg through Townsend, ending in Cades Cove. The 18-mile drive provides visitors with overlooks to stop and take pictures of the beautiful scenery, trailheads, picnic areas, and views of various waterfalls. When making the drive, you’ll see wildflowers and find opportunities to stop and stretch your legs by going hiking, fishing, or swimming.
6. Wears Valley Road
Wears Valley Road stretches about 15 miles, from Pigeon Forge to Townsend. Because it’s a high mountain valley separated from the city, this scenic drive lets you take a breather and relax from the stress of everyday life and appreciate the nature around you. It’s nicknamed the “Jewel of the Smokies.” When driving down Wears Valley Road, catch glimpses of gorgeous foliage or make a pit stop at a craft shop along the way.
These are just a few of the many Gatlinburg scenic drives. You won’t want to waste any time before embarking on a memorable road trip to experience the Smoky Mountains from the comfort of your car. Wondering what else there is to do while you’re in town? Look through these other things to do while you’re in Gatlinburg!