The many available driving trails are a fun and leisurely way to experience Tennessee. They are an unhurried stress-free introduction to scenic views and endless recreational possibilities. The following top five are re-presented from the top ten scenic drives found at: https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/top-10-scenic-drives-in-tennessee
No. 5 – The Snake
A favorite among motorcycles, drawing riders from across the country, this exciting trail dubbed “The Snake” has 489 curves through three high mountains with lots of steep drop-offs. Passing over Holstein Lake, there is ample opportunity to stop and hit the water for a quick swim to cool off in the summer, and the scenery in the Cherokee National Forest is first-rate. Be sure to stop at Shady Valley Country Store about halfway to browse the homespun wares and stretch your legs.
Starting Location: Mountain City, TN
Ending Location: Bristol, TN
Length: 33 miles Picture: David Ellis – Flickr
No. 4 – Jack Trail
Check out attractions like the Grand Ole Opry before setting off from Nashville and prepare to make multiple stops to explore on this route through middle Tennessee. In Smyrna, visit the historic Sam Davis Home to learn about the “Boy Hero of the Confederacy” and, in Wartrace, see where the first Tennessee Walking Horse is buried beside the Walking Horse Hotel. Finally, at the end of the route, quench your thirst with a sample after a tour of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
Starting Location: Nashville, TN
Ending Location: Lynchburg, TN
Length: 87 miles Picture: Tyler Neu – Flickr
No. 3 – Cades Cove Loop
Although this trip is relatively short, the ride through the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains has particularly striking views. There are lots of historic sites on the way to stop and explore, such as the John Oliver Cabin and the Primitive Baptist Church, which provide peeks into what life was like in the region long ago. Athletic types won’t want to miss the five-mile, round-trip hike to Abram Falls, which has unsurpassed photo opportunities.
Starting Location: Townsend, TN
Ending Location: Townsend, TN
Length: 11 miles Picture: John Malone – Flickr
No. 2 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Beginning in the picturesque valley of Miller’s Cove in Walland with an array of historic buildings to explore and extending through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there is no shortage of recreational opportunities along the way. Consider a stop at the Sugarlands Visitors Center in Gatlinburg while browsing the specialty shops downtown in order to learn more about the region. Chimney Tops Picnic Area is a good place to relax and recharge with lots of nearby hiking trails.
Starting Location: Walland, TN
Ending Location: Gatlinburg, TN
Length: 49 miles Picture: Eoin McNamee – Flickr
No. 1 – Cherohala Skyway
Full of mountain views, hidden lakes and streams, and lots of twists and turns to keep travelers on their toes, this drive along the Cherohala Skyway is one to remember. Stop at the Cherohala Skyway Visitors Center at the beginning of the route to learn more about the history and geography of the region. Indian Boundary Lake is a good place to stop for water recreation, such as fishing or swimming, and kayaking is an option on the Ocoee River.
Starting Location: Tellico Plains, TN
Ending Location: Tellico Plains, TN
Length: 23 miles Picture: Jim Liestman – Flickr
Since Tennessee winter weather is so unpredictable, a driving trail offers an alternative way to escape in relative worry-free comfort. Load up the car with family and friends and take a mini-adventure trekking one of Tennessee’s many driving trails.