Scenic Drives to The Chalet Inn B&B and Boutique Hotel

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Scenic Routes

Picturesque Drives Thru The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along the Blue Ridge Parkway or The Cherohala Skyway To The Chalet Inn

Where the Blue Ridge Mountains Meet the Great Smokies

The Chalet Inn
285 Lone Oak Drive
Dillsboro, NC 28725
800-789-8024 toll free
828-586-0251 local

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Take Exit 40 off I-26 (NC 280 & Airport Exit) in the direction of the Airport (West).

Continue West on NC 280. At the stoplight where NC 280 meets US 276 North (on your right) and US 64 East (on your left) & West (straight ahead) turn right (North) on US 276.

Continue North on US 276 for 5.9 miles. Park on right, view Looking Glass Falls from roadside or descend a stone staircase to the 50 ft Falls.

Continue North on US 276 for 1 mile and park on right just before the concrete bridge with the wood bridge on the right. Cross the wood foot bridge next to the concrete bridge, and it is an easy and beautiful 0.7 miles to Moore's Cove Twin Falls.

Continue North on US 276 for another 1.1 miles and turn left into Sliding Rock parking lot (admission Fee, lifeguard often on duty). Exit parking lot to the left (North) and continue on US 276 for 7.5 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Enter the Blue Ridge Parkway, go in the direction of the The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

At Milepost 417 turn left into the parking lot for the best view of Looking Glass Rock.

Exit the parking lot and continue until 0.8 miles past Milepost 418, turn right into Graveyard Fields parking lot. Go to first stairway by mapboard and descend stairway. It is an easy 0.3 mile trail (Trail is paved at start.) to nice view of a waterfall.

Exit the parking lot and continue until 0.4 miles past Milepost 422, turn left into Devils Courthouse parking overlook. Take sidewalk to the East (back in the direction you just came) along Parkway, and turn right into woods just before tunnel. Trail (paved at start, 0.8 mi, round trip) is steep - but well worth the hike - to top of a rock promontory with a spectacular panoramic view.

Exit Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam/US 74. Go West on US.74 passing two exits for Sylva.

Continue on US 74/441 North towards Cherokee & Bryson City for 3 miles after Exit 81 (do not take exit) (US 23/441 South), and you will see an Exxon and a Super Track Gas Station on your right and an old steel girder bridge on your left. Turn left and go across the new bridge (Barkers Creek Road).

After 0.2 miles on Barkers Creek, take the "Y" to the right (Thomas Valley Road).

Go 1.1 miles on Thomas Valley Road, turn left on Nations Creek Road.

Go 0.3 miles on Nations Creek Road (You cannot see the Inn from Nations Creek Road) and turn right onto Lone Oak Drive passing in front of a miniature Chalet. After going 200 feet and crossing over the creek, take the paved right fork 300 yards up the mountain to The Chalet Inn.

Take US 441 (South) into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

The Sugarlands Visitor Center just inside the Park, on the Tenneesee side, is a pleasant stop to view the displays of mounted wildlife and preserved wildflowers.

Continue on US 441 (South) watching your odometer. After 4.6 miles turn into The Chimneys Picnic Area: even if you aren't going to have a picnic it's worth while to drive through and look at the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River which runs along side the picnic area. Shortly after entering the picnic area on the right is the start of a mile long self-guided tour (written guide available at the trail head) thru one of the very few stands of mature cove hardwoods left in the US.

Continuing on US 441 (South) for another 8.6 miles (13.2 miles after Sugarlands Visitor Center) is Newfound Gap (where FDR dedicated The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 1940) which offers spectacular vistas in opposing directions and an opportunity to say: "I hiked The Appalachian Trail" (The Appalachian Trail is at the NE corner of the parking lot, and there is a sign there so you can get photographic proof of your claim!).

Continue on for 0.2 miles turning right to take a 20 minute driving detour and a 15 minute cardiovascular exercise for a 360 view from the top of the Observation Tower on the top of Clingman's Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies ( http://www.mountainparadisefound.com/Scenicclingmans.html ).

Return to US 441 South turn right and start your descent to Cherokee. There are numerous overlooks - some with quiet walkways that don't go anywhere in particular, they just let you enjoy the beauty - along the way.

Near the bottom of the mountain (28.7 miles from where you started) turn right into the parking lot for Mingus Mill. The mill still works, and the historical society grinds corn from early Spring through Fall. If you miss them it is still worth a visit not only for the mill, but for a pleasant walk along the stream.

Returning to US 441 South, it's only a half mile to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, an important stop mostly because adjacent to the Visitor Center is the Mountain Farm Museum, a self-guided open-air museum of original pioneer farm buildings.

Leave the park an contiue through Cherokee, when US 441 seems to dead-end at a stoplight in front of a stone church with a KFC on your right, turn right. At the next stoplight turn left: you are still on US 441 (South).

When US 441 joins US 74 continue on US 74 (East) / 441 (South) towards Sylva & Dillsboro for 4.5 miles, and you will see a Super Track Gas Station and an Exxon on your left and a new bridge and an old steel girder bridge on your right. Turn right and go across the new bridge (Barkers Creek Road).

After 0.2 miles on Barkers Creek, take the "Y" to the right (Thomas Valley Road).

Go 1.1 miles on Thomas Valley Road, turn left on Nations Creek Road.

Go 0.3 miles on Nations Creek Road (You cannot see the Inn from Nations Creek Road) and turn right onto Lone Oak Drive passing in front of a miniature Chalet. After going 200 feet and crossing over the creek, take the paved right fork 300 yards up the mountain to The Chalet Inn.

Take US 129 (South) to Maryville, TN, then US 321 (North) (which joins TN 73) through Townsend, TN. Shortly after the Townsend Visitor Center take the road to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Shortly after entering the Park you'll come to a "Y." You have two choices:

If it's before noon, take the "Y." to the right and at the stop sign turn right and go along Laurel creek Road to Cades Cove. Cades Cove, a large cove, was acquired from the Cherokee by the State of Tennesse, sold to speculators who in turn sold land to settlers who started arriving in 1820. At its peak, Cades Cove was home to 137 households and 685 persons. Many of the settlement's buildings remain. After completing the Cades Cove loop return in the direction you came and continue straight passing the "Y" (You are now on Little River Road, one of America's most beautiful.). Continue until you can turn left into The Sugarlands Visitor Center, a pleasant stop to view the displays of mounted wildlife and preserved wildflowers. Exiting the Visitor center turn left on Little River Road and in a few hundred yards turn right at the Stop sign onto US 441 (South).

If it's after noon, take the "Y." to the left and at the stop sign turn left onto Little River Road (one of America's most beautiful), continue until you can turn left into The Sugarlands Visitor Center, a pleasant stop to view the displays of mounted wildlife and preserved wildflowers. Exiting the Visitor center turn left on Little River Road and in a few hundred yards turn right at the Stop sign onto US 441 (South).

Continue on US 441 (South) watching your odometer. After 4.6 miles turn into The Chimneys Picnic Area: even if you aren't going to have a picnic it's worth while to drive through and look at the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River which runs along side the picnic area. Shortly after entering the picnic area on the right is the start of a mile long self-guided tour (written guide available at the trail head) thru one of the very few stands of mature cove hardwoods left in the US.

Continuing on US 441 (South) for another 8.6 miles (13.2 miles after Sugarlands Visitor Center) is Newfound Gap (where FDR dedicated The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 1940) which offers spectacular vistas in opposing directions and an opportunity to say: "I hiked The Appalachian Trail" (The Appalachian Trail is at the NE corner of the parking lot, and there is a sign there so you can get photographic proof of your claim!).

Continue on for 0.2 miles turning right to take a 20 minute driving detour and a 15 minute cardiovascular exercise for a 360 view from the top of the Observation Tower on the top of Clingman's Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies ( http://www.mountainparadisefound.com/Scenicclingmans.html ).

Return to US 441 South turn right and start your descent to Cherokee. There are numerous overlooks - some with quiet walkways that don't go anywhere in particular, they just let you enjoy the beauty - along the way.

Near the bottom of the mountain (28.7 miles from where you started) turn right into the parking lot for Mingus Mill. The mill still works, and the historical society grinds corn from early Spring through Fall. If you miss them it is still worth a visit not only for the mill, but for a pleasant walk along the stream.

Returning to US 441 South, it's only a half mile to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, an important stop mostly because adjacent to the Visitor Center is the Mountain Farm Museum, a self-guided open-air museum of original pioneer farm buildings.

Leave the park an contiue through Cherokee, when US 441 seems to dead-end at a stoplight in front of a stone church with a KFC on your right, turn right. At the next stoplight turn left: you are still on US 441 (South).

When US 441 joins US 74 continue on US 74 (East) / 441 (South) towards Sylva & Dillsboro for 4.5 miles, and you will see a Super Track Gas Station and an Exxon on your left and a new bridge and an old steel girder bridge on your right. Turn right and go across the new bridge (Barkers Creek Road).

After 0.2 miles on Barkers Creek, take the "Y" to the right (Thomas Valley Road).

Go 1.1 miles on Thomas Valley Road, turn left on Nations Creek Road.

Go 0.3 miles on Nations Creek Road (You cannot see the Inn from Nations Creek Road) and turn right onto Lone Oak Drive passing in front of a miniature Chalet. After going 200 feet and crossing over the creek, take the paved right fork 300 yards up the mountain to The Chalet Inn.

Take US 64 East, to Ducktown, TN and turn North on TN 68 which takes you through the National Forest to Tellico Plains, TN. In Tellico Plains take TN 165, The Cherohala Skyway, East. (The Cherohala Skyway continues in North Carolina but the route number is NC 143.)

Eventually you will see a sign for and a turn to the left for Joyce Kilmer Memorial Park. Joyce Kilmer is one of the few remaining virgin forests in the Eastern US with trees over 20 feet around at the base and well over a 100 feet tall. There is an easy 2 mile "figure 8" loop hike that takes you by the largest trees. An especially nice hike for wildflowers in the Spring.

Return to NC 143 and turn left. In 10 miles at the Stop Sign turn right (South) on US 129.

At the Stoplight in Robbinsville turn left on NC 143.

When NC 143 deadends at NC 28 turn right.

When NC 28 meets US 19/74 turn left and continue on US 19/74 passing Bryson City and Whittier.

When US 441 joins US 74 continue on US 74 (East) / 441 (South) towards Sylva & Dillsboro for 4.5 miles, and you will see a Super Track Gas Station and an Exxon on your left and a new bridge and an old steel girder bridge on your right. Turn right and go across the new bridge (Barkers Creek Road).

After 0.2 miles on Barkers Creek, take the "Y" to the right (Thomas Valley Road).

Go 1.1 miles on Thomas Valley Road, turn left on Nations Creek Road.

Go 0.3 miles on Nations Creek Road (You cannot see the Inn from Nations Creek Road) and turn right onto Lone Oak Drive passing in front of a miniature Chalet. After going 200 feet and crossing over the creek, take the paved right fork 300 yards to The Chalet Inn.

Take US 25 North to I-26 to Hendersonville (Exit 49). Note: Hendersonville's downtown is a nice stop for lunch or antiquing.

Take US 64 West out of Hendersonville. At the stoplight where US 64 meets US 276 North and NC 280 continue straight (North) on US 276 (US 64 goes left and NC 280 goes right).

Continue North on US 276 for 5.9 miles. Park on right, view Looking Glass Falls from roadside or descend a stone staircase to the 50 ft Falls.

Continue North on US 276 for 1 mile and park on right just before the concrete bridge with the wood bridge on the right. Cross the wood foot bridge next to the concrete bridge, and it is an easy and beautiful 0.7 miles to Moore's Cove Twin Falls.

Continue North on US 276 for another 1.1 miles and turn left into Sliding Rock parking lot (admission Fee, lifeguard often on duty). Exit parking lot to the left (North) and continue on US 276 for 7.5 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Enter the Blue Ridge Parkway, go in the direction of the The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

At Milepost 417 turn left into the parking lot for the best view of Looking Glass Rock.

Exit the parking lot and continue until 0.8 miles past Milepost 418, turn right into Graveyard Fields parking lot. Go to first stairway by mapboard and descend stairway. It is an easy 0.3 mile trail (Trail is paved at start.) to nice view of a waterfall.

Exit the parking lot and continue until 0.4 miles past Milepost 422, turn left into Devils Courthouse parking overlook. Take sidewalk to the East (back in the direction you just came) along Parkway, and turn right into woods just before tunnel. Trail (paved at start, 0.8 mi, round trip) is steep - but well worth the hike - to top of a rock promontory with a spectacular panoramic view.

Exit Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam/US 74. Go West on US.74 passing two exits for Sylva.

Continue on US 74/441 North towards Cherokee & Bryson City for 3 miles after Exit 81 (do not take exit) (US 23/441 South), and you will see an Exxon and a Super Track Gas Station on your right and an old steel girder bridge on your left. Turn left and go across the new bridge (Barkers Creek Road).

After 0.2 miles on Barkers Creek, take the "Y" to the right (Thomas Valley Road).

Go 1.1 miles on Thomas Valley Road, turn left on Nations Creek Road.

Go 0.3 miles on Nations Creek Road (You cannot see the Inn from Nations Creek Road) and turn right onto Lone Oak Drive passing in front of a miniature Chalet. After going 200 feet and crossing over the creek, take the paved right fork 300 yards up the mountain to The Chalet Inn.

 

A WARNING about internet mapping services and GPS's.
Some internet mapping sites have us plotted in the wrong location. Also recommend you do not rely solely on GPS's: they are great in large metropolitan ares, but many do not have the latest updates on rural roads and addressing. Our correct GPS location is 035 degrees 23' 23.21"N & 083 degrees 18' 55.62"W. We are not in any town! Please read and use the above directions.

Download a printable PDF map of the last four miles.

Have a safe trip. We're looking forward to meeting you.

 

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