Located at the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the city of Gatlinburg, TN is minutes away from some of the most spectacular natural beauty in the world! While the national park is home to over 800 miles of gorgeous trails, you don’t need to go for a hike to soak up the incredible scenery in the Smokies. Taking a drive in the mountains is one of our favorite ways to take in the majesty of East Tennessee. To help you make the most of your next vacation, Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to the top four scenic drives near Gatlinburg.
1. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
If you’re in search of a scenic drive that is short, sweet, and super convenient to downtown Gatlinburg, you can’t beat the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail! Located off of Historic Nature Trail, this 5.5-mile one-way loop road runs beside a lovely mountain stream. Auto tourists on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will see historic log cabins and homesteads, old-growth forest, mountain views, and a wet weather waterfall (a.k.a. the “Place of a Thousand Drips”).
2. Little River Road
Little River Road is another one of the wonderful scenic drives near Gatlinburg. This popular road takes auto tourists from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Cades Cove section of the national park (more about Cades Cove below). Running beside the Little River, the road passes by The Sinks waterfall and highly trafficked areas in the Smokies, such as Tremont, Metcalf Bottoms, and Elkmont. The 25 miles that comprise Littler River Road are actually made up of three smaller roads: Fighting Creek Gap Road, Little River Gorge Road, and Laurel Creek Road.
3. Cades Cove Loop Road
Cades Cove attracts over 2 million visitors each year, and it’s easy to see why! This breathtaking valley is home to the park’s largest collection of historic buildings and boasts gorgeous scenery straight out of a painting. The cove is also famous for its vibrant wildlife, which includes black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and pileated woodpeckers. The 11-mile, one-way loop road in Cades Cove passes by all of the valley’s major landmarks. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for critters!
4. Newfound Gap Road
Newfound Gap Road cuts through the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, connecting Gatlinburg, TN with Cherokee, NC. Running for 31.63 miles, Newfound Gap Road passes through a variety of forest ecosystems. In fact, the changes in flora along the road has been compared to the biodiversity one would find driving from Georgia to Maine! Auto tourists will love Newfound Gap Road’s stunning mountain views and picturesque overlooks. You’ll definitely want to stop at the Rockefeller Monument, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1940.
When you stay with Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals, you will have the perfect home base for taking all of these scenic drives near Gatlinburg. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 6 bedroom cabins, we are guaranteed to have the ideal accommodations for your getaway. To start planning your escape, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!