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3 Surprising Facts About the Cherohala Skyway in Tennessee

Not far from our Tennessee Bed and Breakfast, a world of opportunities and new experiences exist on and around one of America’s most fascinating routes, the Cherohala Skyway. I was fortunate to discover it several years ago with a friend, and I will never forget my first glimpse of fall foliage from a height that placed us above endless groups of mountains clothed in color.


I have learned three surprising things thus far on my trips across the beautiful Tennessee Cherohala Skyway:

1. It is entirely possible to ride a motorcycle through an actual cloud (not your run-of-the-mill fog, but a real in-the-sky cloud)

2. It is possible, on a dry sunny day, to round a corner and suddenly find oneself in a land of snow; and

3. It is conceivable on a stifling hot day to achieve relief by simply driving a mile into the sky (it’s sweater-weather up there!).

Even before these experiences, I was taken with the awe-inspiring beauty of this 40 mile drive, but these unexpected incidents placed this winding road at the top of my “To Do Again and Again” list.

The Cherohala Skyway in Tennessee crosses through two national forests and connects Tellico Plains in southeast Tennessee to Robinsville, NC. It took 30 years to build, and was designed to display all of the area’s natural beauty via a roadway that takes travelers from a height of 950 feet at the Tellico River, to a height of over a mile (5, 390 feet at the Santeetlah overlook). From its highest point, it begins a gradual descent, offering more spectacular views along the way. Picnic tables, hiking trials, overlooks, and wheel chair accessible facilities can be found in various locations, making it possible to enjoy a leisurely, as well as scenic trip. Whitestone offers brochures that detail the many trial heads and enjoyable stops along the way.


Many people think of Whitestone Country Inn only as a destination in itself. The beautiful rooms overlooking Watts Bar Lake, the great dining, the many available activities, and the pampering of guests seem more than enough to enjoy. But Whitestone can also serve as the hub of a wheel, with spokes that lead to the amazing variety of gifts East Tennessee offers its residents and its guests. Consider a stay at the “hub of the wheel”. Sleep well, enjoy a bountiful Whitestone breakfast, grab a brochure for the Cherohala Skyway Tennessee Day Trip or another East Tennessee attraction, and spend the day exploring. Come back for one of Whitestone’s delicious dinners. Then sleep, eat, repeat… so many adventures so close to so much relaxation. Who knew?

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Want to experience East Tennessee to the fullest?

Grab your copy of our 25 Things to Do in East Tennessee, where you’ll get great info on events, drives, trails, and more. Request your copy here.


by Valerie Bryant Bennett


Photos by Gorilla Girl on Flickr and Dzmitry on Flickr. Photo of Whitestone courtesy of Your Reflections.