Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on March 24, 2020
Every now and then, it's nice to just get away and take a scenic drive. Even if you don't plan to stop the car and get out and explore, there are lots of places you can visit in the Great Smoky Mountains that are worth the trip based only on what you can see from behind the steering wheel or through the car window. This week, we will offer some suggestions for routes you can take and sights you can see, all of which go to show that a trip to the mountains doesn't always have to be a jam-packed vacation. Sometimes, all you have to do is just show up.
Rising 407 feet above street level in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, this tourist attraction is the dominating structure in the city's skyline. Its 360-degree observation tower offers panoramic views of Gatlinburg and the mountains surrounding it, plus the attraction has an onsite theater, escape-room adventures and an arcade. But this structure is so cool-looking on its own that just driving by and appreciating the way it towers over its surroundings is a satisfying travel moment in its own right.
In this case, we're not referring to a half-man, half-ape creature. Also, this particular missing link isn't really missing any more. We're referring to the 16-mile stretch of the Foothills Parkway connecting Wears Valley, TN, and Walland, TN. Most of the section had been in place for years, but in 2018, crews finally completed work on the last of seven support bridges on a 1.6-mile length of road that led to the road finally opening to the public. The new parkway segment offers stunning views, mainly to the south and overlooking Townsend, TN. There are numerous places to pull over and park so you can spend a little more time with the scenery. Those who want to see more can continue from Walland on an older, 33-mile section of the Foothills Parkway that runs all the way to Chilhowee. And on the opposite end of the corridor, there's a smaller section of completed parkway connecting Cosby to Interstate 40.
You'll find this 90-foot waterfall in Cherokee National Forest. We recommend Googling the easiest way to get to it. But the cool thing about it is that it's a waterfall you don't have to hike to. At all. Tellico River Road runs right by the impressive falls, and there are lots of places to park your car on the side of the road and walk just a few feet to the overlook point. For that matter, you don't even have to do that. You can see everything you need to see from inside the car, although we don't recommend stopping in the middle of the highway and holding up traffic.
This is probably one of the most popular destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to visit by car. A self-guided tour of the cove will reveal numerous historic structures, hikes and nature trails, abundant wildlife and some of the most beautiful meadow-and-mountain scenery in the area. Note that Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be closed to the public for two weeks, beginning March 24. When the park reopens, the 11-mile one-way loop road will be open to auto traffic, except on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10 a.m., May through September. That's the regular period when cars are not allowed on the road so that cyclists and runners can enjoy the route traffic-free.
I think most people take a simple drive down the Pigeon Forge Parkway for granted, but next time you cruise the main drag, think about all the cool things there are to see from your vehicle's vantage point. So many of the town's attractions are just fun to look at. There's the upside-down facade of WonderWorks, the scale replica of the Titanic ocean liner, the towering Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at The Island, the barn-like Comedy Barn Theatre, the larger-than-life King Kong clinging to the outside of the Hollywood Wax Museum and the unique toppled-building illusion at Beyond The Lens!, not to mention all the miniature golf courses and other interesting attractions, shops, theaters and restaurants. Our ziplines in the Smokies are located only a couple of miles from these sites, and we're proud to have them as our Pigeon Forge neighbors.