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Back Roads

Powhatan Point, Ohio
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63 posts
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Back Roads

Can anyone suggest back roads to travel on and enjoy this fall. We've been on Cade's Cove, Parson's Branch and Roaring Fork.Thank you.

Chattanooga...
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864 posts
27 reviews
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1. Re: Back Roads

Have you gone into Tremont and kept to the left past the Institute and driven the dirt road on up to the Middle Prong trailhead? It's a pretty drive into the heart of the mountains.

Townsend, Tennessee
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for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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2. Re: Back Roads

Exit 432 (432A from the north) off of I-40 and head west leads to 416 or 449 near Sevierville. Take 416 (Pittman Center) south through the Arts and Crafts Community and pick up 321 into Gatlinburg. The foothill Parkway between Walland and 129 . Cherohala Skyway between Robbinsville NC and Tellico Plains, TN. Or the Rich Mountain exit out of Cades Cove - a one way all gravel drive over into Townsend.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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3. Re: Back Roads

The Cherohala Skyway in autumn when the leaves are at their peak color is simply an awesome drive.

Sadly, many of the road in the Smokies park on the NC side which would be good are going to be closed all year this year due to the budget cuts.

However, especially if you'll be there in October, go to Cataloochee and see not only the beautiful fall foliage along the way, but see the elk during the rut. There's something very special in the bugle of a bull elk and they can be easily seen in the fields of Cataloochee valley in autumn.

moss point
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194 posts
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4. Re: Back Roads

i will be arriving in late May- what are the chances of seeing the elk then. And are the roads closed to cataloochee? can you advise which roads are closed. I am trying to plan my trip as we speak.

thanks so much

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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5. Re: Back Roads

In May, if you want to see the elk in Cataloochee, you'd basically need to be there right at dawn or just before dusk when they come out into the fields to graze, which makes for a harrowing drive in and out of that valley in the dark either way. The road is challenging due to it's narrowness and a good portion being unpaved.

An alternative may be to visit the Oconaluftee area near Cherokee, where there is also a small elk herd in the area. They were very recently seen grazing in the fields near the visitor center there, which would be a much easier drive to see in the evening.

The roads that will remain closed all season this year are Balsam Mountain Rd and Heintooga Ridge Rd due to the budget cuts.

6. Re: Back Roads

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