Unaka Mountain Road
- The Snake - Beloved by bikers, this ride has enough twists and turns to leave you spinning. Enjoy views of Watauga Lake on your way to Mountain City, then it's off to the Snake -- you'll quickly see why it's called that! Once in Shady Valley, turn right and head towards the World's Shortest Tunnel, then back to Shady Valley where you'll turn right and head towards Bristol, TN where you'll drive to the top of South Holston Dam. And then back to Shady Valley, for another right turn and more curves, on your way back to Johnson City. See my blog entry for The Snake here. (145 miles roundtrip with all the curvy roads I'm suggesting!)
- Tennessee Heritage - Take a ride through Tennessee's oldest town, Jonesborough, on your way to President Andrew Johnson's home (and museum) in Greeneville, TN. On the way back, enjoy the rolling countryside and mountain views.
- The Roan - Feel the dramatic change in temperature as you take a ride up and over Carver's Gap in the Roan Highlands. This route has you circling back to Johnson City via Bakersville, NC and Limestone Cove.
- Unaka Mountain Auto Tour - high clearance SUV or truck recommended for this rugged twelve mile drive up and over Unaka Mountain
- Rural Mountain Tour - Towering pines outside of Erwin, TN will inspire you as you begin your climb to Indian Grave Gap on the TN/NC border. Once in NC, you wind your way down to the Nolichucky River - a favorite of summer rafters. Then it's back to Tennessee over Spivey Mountain Gap - a very curvy mountain drive.
- Clark's Creek Road - a short gravel drive into the deep woods in rural Unicoi County -- a gateway to numerous trails and waterfalls. On the way there, you'll pass through beautiful rolling farmland.
Western North Carolina
|Blue Ridge Parkway|
- Blue Ridge Parkway: From Asheville to Graveyard Fields - Start out at the Blue Ridge Parkway Museum in Asheville, and enjoy the scenic views (including one of Looking Glass Rock) and numerous tunnels along this thirty-five mile section of the parkway. More info here.
- Blue Ridge Parkway: From Asheville to Mount Mitchell to Crabtree Falls - start with the Folk Art Center, and then enjoy Mountain Mitchell and Craggy Gardens on your way to Crabtree Falls. More info here. (approx. 45 miles one way)
- Blue Ridge Parkway: From Grandfather Mountain to Blowing Rock - one of the best loved and most spectacular sections of the parkway. Click here for a map showing the route from Johnson City, TN to Blowing Rock, NC via the Parkway and then taking Route 221 from Blowing Rock back to Grandfather Mountain. More here.
- The Carolina Corkscrew (aka The Rattler)- Hot Springs/Marshall, NC - Talk about curves! This will throw you for a loop (j/k), beautiful country roads, loads of curves, great views, and two quaint old towns in Western North Carolina.
|Whitetop Road near Elk Garden Gap|
- Route 58 from Abingdon to Elk Garden Gap - From rolling pastoral scenes to curvy mountain roads, this one has it all! More here. (61.5 miles roundtrip)
- The Wild Pony Express - Johnson City, TN to Grayson Highlands, VA via "The Snake" - Along the way you'll pass by The Blue Hole (only 1 mile off of Rt 91), ride "The Snake" to Backbone Rock, before entering Damascus, VA and then winding up Mount Rogers - from there, more twists and turns await, leading you to Grayson Highlands State Park, where you can hike with the wild ponies. (74 miles one way)