Saturday Dragon - Gatlinburg Loop
This drive will take us from the Ridges Resort west towards Murphy, NC then heading north on 141 and 74 towards Robbinsville, NC. Approximately 10 miles before Robbinsville we will jump onto US 129 north which will take us all the way to the Deals Gap. We will make a quick break there to stretch our legs and to use the restrooms before we enter the famous “Tail of the Dragon”. On this 11-mile stretch of road we will go through 317 turns so brace yourself for some work with the steering wheel.
Shortly after we will leave 129 heading north on Foothills Parkway, a fun 12-mile road with long sweepers. On the way, uphill we will take a quick stop for some scenic views before continuing towards Walland, TN. Once we clear Foothills Parkway we will head east onto Townsend, TN where will have lunch at the Black Bear Café before hitting the road again. After lunch, we will continue west for about 10 miles on a scenic windy road alongside a beautiful creek and rock walls. We then head southeast on 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains, on top of the hill at Newfound Gap we will stop to take a group photo and to use the restroom, don’t forget to enjoy the amazing views of the smoky mountains.
Once we leave 441 we will continue south on 74 and 23 towards Franklin, NC. Time for a quick restroom break and to fill up those big V8’s otherwise we will stop for gas when we get back to Hiawassee which is another hour north of Franklin.
This drive is approximately 230 miles and about 7.5 hours including stops. While this drive is spirited and recommended for more experienced drivers, it also provides many scenic views and the majority of the 230 miles will be spent on curvy roads so be prepared for a long day of fun driving.