Drive across the park on Newfound Gap Road, also known as U.S. Hwy.441. The road is 29 miles long and goes from Sugarlands in Tennessee to Oconaluftee in North Carolina. The road gains altitude toward the center when it crosses Newfound Gap. There is a wonderful overlook at the Gap which is also the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina.
Nantahala Village is one mile from the intersection of Hwy 28 North that becomes Hellbender 28, a 22-mile stretch that leads to Deals Gap (U.S. Highway 129) – the beginning of the renowned Tail of the Dragon. U.S. Highway 129, connecting Western North Carolina with East Tennessee, is world-famous among motorcyclists and sports car drivers, for its eleven-mile section with 318 continuous curves.
The spectacular 51-mile skyway connects Hwy. 143 in Robbinsville, NC to Hwy.165 in Tellico Plains, TN, traveling through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests. Enjoy the view from 15 scenic overlooks or picnic areas. The highest point is the Santeetlah Overlook at 5,390 feet, which rivals the Blue Ridge Parkway elevations. A popular hiking area is Hooper Bald; and a beautiful waterfall may be found close to the end in Tennessee – Bald River Falls – just a short drive off the main road.
The Blue Ridge Parkway spans 250 miles in North Carolina, winding its way among mountain towns, national forests and historic sites, all the while treating its visitors to breathtaking views along hundreds of roadside vistas and hiking and biking trails. A nice short segment to drive would be the 26 miles from Cherokee to the Balsam Mountain exit at milepost 443, just west of Waynesville on US 74. Along the way, you'll pass Waterrock Knob where there is a visitor information center, comfort station and a spectacular view. Take the one-mile hike to the summit for an even better view, especially at sunset.