Cades Cove
Looking to put the top down, feel the wind through your hair and see the sights? Though our area is well known for its hiking destinations, did you know it's also a fantastic destination for auto and motorcycle enthusiasts? From our rolling country hills to our curvy mountain roads, our area boasts some awesome rides with spectacular views and thrilling curves. Here are some of my favorite drives in our area. Leave a comment if you have a favorite stretch of road to take in some Appalachian beauty. For more suggestions, click here and here.

Northeast Tennessee
  • Unaka Mountain Road
    Cades Cove Loop Road - one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smoky National Park - a trip back in time
  • The Snake - Beloved by bikers, this ride has enough twists and turns to leave you spinning. Enjoy views of Watauga Lake on your way to Mountain City, then it's off to the Snake -- you'll quickly see why it's called that! Once in Shady Valley, turn right and head towards the World's Shortest Tunnel, then back to Shady Valley where you'll turn right and head towards Bristol, TN where you'll drive to the top of South Holston Dam. And then back to Shady Valley, for another right turn and more curves, on your way back to Johnson City. See my blog entry for The Snake here. (145 miles roundtrip with all the curvy roads I'm suggesting!)
  • Tennessee Heritage - Take a ride through Tennessee's oldest town, Jonesborough, on your way to President Andrew Johnson's home (and museum) in Greeneville, TN.  On the way back, enjoy the rolling countryside and mountain views. 
  • The Roan - Feel the dramatic change in temperature as you take a ride up and over Carver's Gap in the Roan Highlands. This route has you circling back to Johnson City via Bakersville, NC and Limestone Cove. 
  • Unaka Mountain Auto Tour - high clearance SUV or truck recommended for this rugged twelve mile drive up and over Unaka Mountain
  • Rural Mountain Tour - Towering pines outside of Erwin, TN will inspire you as you begin your climb to Indian Grave Gap on the TN/NC border.  Once in NC, you wind your way down to the Nolichucky River - a favorite of summer rafters.  Then it's back to Tennessee over Spivey Mountain Gap - a very curvy mountain drive.
  • Clark's Creek Road - a short gravel drive into the deep woods in rural Unicoi County -- a gateway to numerous trails and waterfalls.  On the way there, you'll pass through beautiful rolling farmland.

Western North Carolina
Blue Ridge Parkway

Southwest Virginia
Whitetop Road near Elk Garden Gap