Scenic Drives in East Tennessee

Scenic drives along the back roads of East Tennessee are a favorite past-time any time of the year, but it’s particularly beautiful in the fall. Back roads surrounded by mountain views with a full array of fall colors, twists, and turns that only East Tennessee roads can deliver and the quiet solitude that we all crave is what awaits you on these recommended scenic drives.

The Devil’s Triangle takes you through the mountains of the Cumberland Plateau and offers plenty of East Tennessee beauty along the way. This 44-mile loop has sweeping curves and tight twists, including three of the tightest switchbacks you’ll probably ever encounter. Along the way, you can discover the mining history of Coal Creek and see the Buffalo Mountain Windmill Farm located at Windrock Park. One popular stop along the way is the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. Brushy Mountain housed James Earl Ray, the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, until his death in

1998. The prison is also the only prison to have a natural wall, the side of the mountain, as one of the prison walls. Today you can take a tour of the prison, grab a bite to eat at the Warden’s Table, sample some spirits at the distillery, and maybe even catch an outdoor concert or event.

Click here for a map of the Devil’s Triangle.

The Southern Settlement Trail highlights the Cumberland Gap, a narrow pass through the long ridge of the Cumberland Mountains. The Cumberland Gap was the first gateway to the west. Many buffalo, Native Americans, long-hunters, pioneers, and civil war soldiers traveled this route through the mountains to get from the north to the south. This scenic drive will take you by the Museum of Appalachia where the story of the early pioneers comes to life throughout the grounds of the museum. Other highlights include Norris Dam State Park, McCloud Mountain, the Elk Viewing Tour, Cumberland Gap National Park, Abraham Lincoln Museum, and Big Ridge State Park. Don’t forget to stop in the Appalachian Arts Craft Center for a handcrafted keepsake.

Click here for a map of the Southern Settlement Trail.

As always, drive safely and keep those hands off your phone - it's Tennessee law! We can't wait for your visit to Anderson County, Tennessee!