The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in Gatlinburg.

Top 4 Scenic Drives in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg, TN is home to some of the most spectacular natural beauty in the world! Located on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our charming little city is the perfect place for a fun and relaxing getaway. One of our favorite ways to take in the area’s incredible scenery is with a drive through the national park. To help you make the most of your next vacation, Great Outdoor Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to the top four scenic drives in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.

1. 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 the drive 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.

2. Newfound Gap RoadBreathtaking 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 road offers superb mountain views. The 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).

(See Also: 5 Free Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains)

3. 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 Foothills Parkway West at sunset.4. Foothills Parkway West

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. In the next few years, the Foothills Parkway will expand 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.

When you stay with Great Outdoor Cabin Rentals, you will be near all of these scenic drives in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Our properties come with your choice of wonderful amenities, including mountain views, hot tubs, game tables, wireless internet, and swimming pool access. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 7 bedroom cabins, we are sure to have the perfect accommodations for your vacation. To start planning your escape, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!