Road Trip | Cherohala Skyway - Tennessee & North Carolina

Hit the Road | Cherohala Skyway


This fantastic road trip travels through some amazing regions of Tennessee and North Carolina. The byway extends for over 40 miles, crosses the Great Smoky Mountains and allows travelers to enjoy some of the countries most beautiful scenery. Although this road trip is relatively short, travelers can enjoy a nice long, relaxing road trip if they desire.


The Cherohala Skyway starts in Tellico Plains in Tennessee and culminates in Robbinsville, North Carolina. Drivers will travel along the high peaks in the Unicoi Mountains. The peaks of these mountains are as high as a mile, and at these elevations travelers can see some amazing views.

Drivers can start their Cherohala Skyway adventure in Tellico Plains. This town is home to the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is a wonderful place for travelers to start their trip because they will find maps and information on destinations. After leaving Tellico Plains, travelers can stop at Oosterneck Creek. This spot provides a fantastic scenic overlook for those travelers that want to enjoy the drive. For those visitors that also want to take advantage of all the recreational opportunities available, visitors can spend time enjoying the river, including river rafting, fishing and more.

Continuing along the route travelers can next stop at the Turkey Creek Overlook. At this point travelers can enjoy views of the Tennessee River Valley and the Appalachians. As travelers continue along the Cherohala Skyway, travelers can also enjoy views from many more points, including Lake View, where visitors can see Tellico Lake. There also plenty of fantastic trailheads along this Skyway, where visitors can take a break from the drive to enjoy some lovely hiking opportunities. Trailheads include the Eagle Gap Trailhead, Grassy Gap Trailhead, as well as the West and East Rattlesnake Rock Trailheads.

Visitors driving through Tennessee can also spend time exploring some nearby destinations. Although not on the actual byway, these are wonderful options for exploring the region. West of Tellico Plains travelers can explore the amazing Lost Sea at Craigshead Caverns. Visitors can also explore Bald River Falls, which is a wonderful waterfall throughout the year. Fort Loudoun State Park in Tennessee is another fantastic destination. Here visitors can learn about the French and Indian War, at a located British Fort, located on an island in Lake Tellico.

Before crossing out of Tennessee, travelers can stop at Brushy Ridge, which overlooks a few different ridges, perfect for a nice scenic driving break. Next travelers drive into North Carolina, where the beautiful destinations continue. Travelers first stop in North Carolina should be Unicoi Crest, which is the first overlook in the state.

Travelers should be sure to stop at some of the trailheads found along the Skyway in North Carolina. The first of the trailheads is Mud Gap Trailhead, visitors can next spend time hiking at HooperBald, which offers visitors views of historic Spanish carvings, as well as  a variety of species of boar.

Visitors can enjoy many more scenic overlooks in North Carolina. Haw Knob slopes is one of these beautiful overlooks. Travelers can also stop at Huckleberry Knob, which is located at 5,300 feet. Another of these stunning overlooks is Obadiah Gap, which affords views of the Santeetlah Creek.

After enjoying the many scenic overlooks of this byway travelers can also find many fantastic destinations. The Junaluska Memorial and Museum, which gives visitors a look into the history of the region, particularly the Cherokee Heritage. The museum honors the Cherokee Warrior Junaluska as well. Travelers culminate in Robbinsville, North Carolina. From the scenic town of Robbinsville travelers can also explore the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, which honors the famous poet Joyce Kilmer, and provides a fantastic recreational destination.