6 Scenic Smoky Mountain Fall Drives Near Wears Valley

little river road light fall colors
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The fall is a pretty popular time in the Smoky Mountains. We’ve talked about fall Smoky Mountain hiking trails that have incredible views of the Smoky Mountains fall foliage. For people who want to experience the beauty of fall in the Smoky Mountains from the comfort of their car, check out these 6 Smoky Mountain fall drives near Wears Valley.

1. Wears Valley Road

Wears Valley Road stretches all the way from the heart of Pigeon Forge to Townsend, TN. Running along the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this 15-mile roadway is where visitors and families can find all the quaint shops, restaurants with delicious food, and fun things to do. You never know what new shop or business you will find along Wears Valley Road. Not to mention, the rolling fields of lush farmland and mountain views create the perfect backdrop for any family photo or vacation souvenir.

2. Lyon Springs Road

Located less than 5 miles away from the heart of Wears Valley, Lyon Springs Road takes guests directly into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This road begins on Wears Valley Road before guests turn onto Lyon Springs Road at the Smoky Mountain Store. After turning onto this road, guests will pass a breathtakingly beautiful private ranch and rolling views of scenic mountainsides blanketed by the fall colors. Lyon Spring Road fittingly ends at Metcalf Bottoms, one of the best picnic areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Because of this, you and your family will probably want to pack a snack or a light lunch to enjoy before continuing your journey into the national park.

3. Foothills Parkway West

missing link section of foothills parkwayIt is hard to beat the incredible view of the Smoky Mountains that can be seen from the Foothills Parkway. The western portion of the parkway has been a long-time favorite Smoky Mountain fall drive near Wears Valley for both motorists and motorcycle riders. During the drive, visitors will come across several pull-offs, including a short half-mile paved hiking trail that leads to Look Rock Tower. There is also a picnic area and campground found along the parkway. For motorcyclists looking to add to the adventure on this scenic drive, you will find the entrance to the iconic Tale of the Dragon roadway at the end of the Foothills Parkway. Boasting over 100 tight turns, this road is one of the most notorious roads in East Tennessee.

4. Little River Road

If you decide to continue on Lyon Springs Road into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will eventually run into the Little River Road. This road is also best known for being the roadway that connects downtown Gatlinburg to Townsend, TN. True to its name, Little River Road offers travelers gorgeous views of the river, as well as various waterfalls, beautiful foliage and the occasional wildlife. During the warmer months, guests should not be surprised to see kayakers, river tubing and fly fisherman enjoying the peaceful river next to the road.

5. Cades Cove Loop Road

One of the most popular Smoky Mountain fall drives near Wears Valley is Cades Cove. This scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains is a picturesque 11-mile loop road that takes guests around several historic homesites, churches, buildings and open fields. There are several places where you can get out and explore, and you might see all kinds of wildlife along this drive. Cades Cove truly is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the fall. Click here to learn more about the Cades Cove Loop Road.

6. Upper Tremont Road

Upper Tremont Road is great for families and guests looking to enjoy a peaceful and serene driving experience. Visitors will find several fun hiking trails, scenic views, waterfalls, and the peaceful Middle Prong of the Little River that runs along the roadway. The Tremont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was once a prominent logging community. However, when the national park was established, families and loggers who called the area home packed up and headed into town.

If you would like to learn more about the many scenic Smoky Mountain fall driving trails near Wears Valley and the rest of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, be sure to visit the Smoky Mountains information page on our website. There you will find tons of information on driving trails, hiking routes, campgrounds, fishing information, where to see the most wildlife, and much, much, more!


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