Over 11 million people visit the Great Smoky Mountains each year to enjoy the area’s breathtaking natural beauty. Driving through the national park and the surrounding towns is one of our favorite ways to take in all of the majestic scenery. To help you make the most of your next vacation, Moose Hollow Lodge has put together a guide to the five best scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains.
1. Wears Valley Road
Located minutes away from Moose Hollow Lodge, Wears Valley Road offers beautiful mountain views and a relaxing country atmosphere. This 15-mile road connects Pigeon Forge, TN with Townsend, TN and is lined with a number of fun shops, attractions, and restaurants that are definitely worth a stop. Some of the most popular destinations along Wears Valley Road include the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, Goats on the Roof, Friendly Falls, Wears Valley Zipline Adventures, and Elvira’s Cafe.
2. Cades Cove Loop Road
Cades Cove Loop Road is another one of the best scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. Drawing 2 million annual visitors, Cades Cove is the most frequented section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This gorgeous valley is famous for its mountain views, historic cabins, and superb wildlife viewing. The 11-mile one-way loop road that circles the valley stops at all of the cove’s major landmarks. When you visit Cades Cove, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and black bears!
3. Newfound Gap Road
Newfound Gap Road stretches from Gatlinburg, TN all the way to Cherokee, NC. This 31-mile road includes stunning views of the Smokies and an incredible variety of forest ecosystems. Driving the length of Newfound Gap Road has often been compared to traveling from Georgia to Maine, in terms of all the different types of trees you’ll see. Highlights of a trip along Newfound Gap Road include Campbell Overlook, the Rockefeller Memorial, and Clingmans Dome Road.
4. Upper Tremont Road
Located near the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, Upper Tremont Road is considered a hidden gem in East Tennessee. This gravel road follows the Middle Prong of the Little River and is lined with lovely wildflowers. Once you reach Upper Tremont Road’s loop parking area, there are many opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying nature.
5. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 5.5-mile one-way loop road that is perfect for vacationers who are looking for a short (but beautiful) drive. Running along the Roaring Fork mountain stream, this popular road is known for its wooded views, historic homesteads, and wildlife viewing. Visitors will also find the trailheads for some of the park’s most beloved hikes near Roaring Fork, including Rainbow Falls and Grotto Falls. Please note that the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is closed during the winter months.
When you stay at Moose Hollow Lodge, you will be near all of the best scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. Our 9 bedroom luxury log cabin can sleep up to 56 guests, making it the perfect destination for a wedding, family reunion, church retreat, business trip, or any type of large group gathering. With a 22 seat movie theater, an awesome arcade/game room, a fully furnished kitchen, a heated indoor swimming pool, and an onsite chapel/conference center, our cabin has everything you need for an unforgettable getaway. To learn more about all of our incredible amenities, take a virtual tour of Moose Hollow Lodge.