Road trip! Enjoy scenic mountain drives, country lanes and spectacular scenery on a drive in our region.

When you live in a place as beautiful as this, one of the most pleasant ways to spend an afternoon is driving through the beautiful countryside.

Though many of us aren’t thinking of taking “driving tours” when traveling through an area, we usually must get from point ‘a’ to ‘b.’ Isn’t it better to see lovely scenery and historic sites than miles and miles of interstate? For many the answer is still a resounding, “Yes!” Here we offer an alternative to billboards and exit signs.

For those who enjoy the open (or not so open) road, try these scenic routes!

Cherohala Skyway

This beautiful 48-mile tour crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests, thus the name “Chero-hala.” Drive above the clouds at 5,400-foot elevations and get a glimpse into the unspoiled environment along the Tellico River where Cherokee tribes and early pioneers traveled and settled in the Appalachian Mountains.

The Skyway is well known in motorcycling circles for its long, sweeping corners, but everyone can enjoy its mile-high vistas and brilliant seasonal foliage. See the 100-foot Bald River Falls from your car, or venture out for hiking opportunities and picnic spots that await you in these magnificent and seldom-seen portions of Tennessee.

Ocoee Scenic Byway

A 26-mile route past a lake and through the rock bluffs of the Ocoee River Gorge, with a side trip up Chilhowee Mountain. Ocoee Scenic Byway was the first designated national forest scenic byway in the nation. U.S. Highway 64, two-lane and paved, winds through the Ocoee River Gorge, and the byway includes a spur trip up Chilhowee Mountain on Forest Road 77 to Chilhowee Recreation Area. Vistas from several turnouts are exceptional. Traffic on U.S. Highway 64 can be heavy, particularly in the summer. Elevations range from 838 feet at Lake Ocoee to 2,200 feet at Chilhowee Recreation Area. Special attractions: White-water rafting, excellent fishing, lakes and hiking trails. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.

Passport to Cherokee History

Travel back in time with this brochure exploring historic sites in the quaint southern towns of Charleston, Calhoun and Cleveland, Tennessee. The south side of the Hiwassee River, present-day Charleston, was once the location of the federal Cherokee Indian Agency (1820-1833), which provided protection for the Cherokee people. In prior years, this agency had been responsible for issuing passports for visitors to enter the Cherokee Nation. This brochure explores many of the significant Cherokee historical sites in Bradley County, such as the last eastern home place of Chief John Ross, the original home of his brother Lewis Ross, the non-extant location of Fort Cass and Rattlesnake Springs which were the infamous holding camps for the Cherokee during the first stage of the Trail of Tears. This brochure is available at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce and the Hiwassee River Heritage Center. It is also available to view and download on this website under the Request a Guide tab. 

Fishing In the Ocoee Region