Great Smoky Mtns. National Park Sights

Foothills Parkway

  • Foothills Pkwy. Map It
  • Gatlinburg
  • Scenic Drive/Tour

Published 07/23/2015

Fodor's Review

Foothills Parkway is a long-planned 71-mi scenic parkway that parallels the northern and western edges of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Construction began in 1960, but due to funding problems to date only three sections of the parkway have been completed and opened to the public, a 17.5-mi western section from U.S. 321 near Townsend to U.S. 129 at Chilhowee Lake, a 6-mi portion from Cosby (at TN 32) to Interstate 40, plus the Gatlinburg Bypass between Pigeon Forge and the park, which also is considered part of the Parkway. Another 9.5-mi section, as yet unpaved, is open for bikers and pedestrians—it is an excellent place for biking. The entire unfinished section between Walland and Wears Valley is closed to all public use until 2015 due to construction. The 17.5-mi western section is particularly scenic, with stunning views of the western edge of the park. Known as the "Tail of the Dragon" for its 318 curves in 11 mi, U.S. 129 is popular with motorcycle and sports-car enthusiasts. It connects with the end of the Foothills Parkway at Chilhowee.

Sight Information


Foothills Pkwy., Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 37882, United States

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Published 07/23/2015


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