Cherohala Skyway

This Beautiful mountain highway, named after the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina; opened on October 12th., 1996 after being in the planning and construction stages for more than 38 years.

During the 38 years of planning, the only access to Robbinsville was via a crooked gravel Forest Service road, which took over two hours to travel. Now you can literally drive into the clouds above Tellico Plains and Robbinsville. Wagon trains have traveled to Robbinsville for nearly all of the 38 years, to stress the need for a good road.

There are few places east of the Rockies which boast "mile-high" overlooks. The Cherohala Skyway is such a place. Conceived in 1958, the "Skyway" is one of twenty highways deserving of the distinction, National Scenic Byway, the Cherohala Skyway lives up to this high expectation
Cherohala Skyway Fall colors
Cherohala Skyway north face
On the North Carolina side of the skyway is one of the jewels of the Appalachians: Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, where giant trees are touchable, not just a page out of an American folk tale. In between are scenic vistas, picnic areas, campgrounds, and Citico Creek Wilderness Area, a back-country favorite of Backpacker Magazine.
Travelers on the Tennessee side of the highway are treated to the magnificent splendor of the Cherokee National Forest, including Bald River Falls and the Tellico River, where it is not uncommon to see a daring kayaker or leisurly fly fisherman making the most of these grand river resources.
Bald River Falls on the Cherohala Skyway
Little Falls on the Cherohala Skyway
A short hike to Falls Branch Falls and the fragrance of Rhododendron blossoms is an experience to treasure for a lifetime. Nearby at Indian Boundary Lake, campers, swimmers and bicyclists redefine the term, "outdoor enthusiast."
Maximum elevation along the 52 mile stretch of road is above 5,400 at its highest. On either side of the State line you will be travelling by the whitewater rapids of mountain streams. Tellico River, North River and Citico Creek on the Tennessee side; and Santeetlah Creek on the North Carolina side.
Cherohala Skyway photography dream
Cherohala Skyway pulloff view
About 22 miles East of Tellico Plains, you will travel across a 700 foot bridge at the 4,000 foot elevation. It is one of the highest major bridges in the Southeast. You will not see a service station or restaurant on the Skyway, but they are available nearby.
One trip to the Cherohala is only the beginning. Season after season the Cherohala Skyway is becoming the most talked-about scenic drive in the East.
Cherohala Skyway mist

Click on the pictures to download a large version of each. Please be warned that each picture is approximately 80K and may take awhile to download.

Pictures are courtesy of John Rhodenizer Photography
P. O. Box 4272
Columbus, GA  31904
(706) 320-0590

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