5 Things You’ll Enjoy When You Drive the Foothills Parkway
A popular pastime in the Smoky Mountains is taking a scenic drive! There’s nothing more relaxing than hopping in your car with friends and family and cruising through the mountains as you enjoy the scenery and spend time outdoors! A great scenic drive you should go on is Foothills Parkway, a scenic road that has been under construction for more than 75 years and still has yet to be completed! Here are 5 things you’ll enjoy when you drive the Foothills Parkway:
1. Choosing Which Section to Drive
When Congress first approved the construction of Foothills Parkway, it was decided that the road was going to be completed in 8 sections. There are still 3 sections left until the road is complete, but you can drive the East part of the Parkway that runs from US321 to Cosby or the West part of the Parkway that goes from Wears Valley to Chilhowee. You can choose which section of the road you want to explore, but both provide incredible views and overlooks where you can get out and stretch your legs!
2. Incredible Views Along the Way
As you’re driving along the Foothills Parkway, you’ll experience incredible mountain views. If you drive along the East section, you’ll see Inadu Knob, Mount Cammerer, Stone Mountain, and English Mountain. On the west section, there are mountain views all along the drive. Some notable ones include Gregory Bald, Chilhowee Mountain, and the Great Smoky Mountains overlook. No matter where you’re at on the road, you’ll be able to look out at breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
3. Stopping at Look Rock
Look Rock is one of the only areas along the Parkway where you can get out and walk around, and it also has the only public restrooms along the West section of the road. Standing at 2,640 feet, this is the tallest section of the road. You can walk down a flight of stone steps to get to the overlook with incredible views of the mountains in the distance. There’s a short hiking trail to the observation tower where you can look out at the Smokies. Plus, you can pack a picnic lunch and eat in the picnic area of Look Rock!
4. Getting Out at Overlooks
At just about every overlook, you can park and get out of your car to get a better view! Visitors are allowed to stop at any of these sections, or you can keep driving if you don’t want to get out of the car. These are great places to stop and stretch your legs if you’ve been driving for awhile, or you can take pictures in front of the views to remember your scenic drive along the Foothills Parkway!
5. Driving Any Time of the Year
A huge perk of taking a drive along this parkway is being able to drive it any time of the year! In the spring, you’ll start to see trees, bushes, and other plants bud and bloom. During the summer, everything is luscious and green, making for incredible photo opportunities! Of course, in the fall, you’ll get to see the colorful leaves trickling down from higher elevations in bright reds, oranges, and yellows. Although the leaves fall off in winter, you might just get to see snow capped mountains along your drive!
Once you take a drive along the Foothills Parkway, you’ll want to visit again on your next trip to the Smokies! Scenic drives aren’t the only fun thing you can experience when you stay with us! Check out these Pigeon Forge attractions you won’t want to miss while you’re in town!