After a very long time and an incredible amount of anticipation, the Foothills Parkway of the Smoky Mountains and its sections connecting through Wears and Townsend are now complete and available for the public to enjoy.
The Wears Valley section of the Foothills Parkway is roadway going through a majorly atmospheric section of the Smoky Mountains that is popular enough, but not quite as popular as something like Newfound Gap between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC, which means those who would prefer a drive through the highlands of the Smokies with a lesser chance of crawling through traffic should definitely consider going out to Wears Valley to take a drive on it. The roadway looks very much like the Newfound road to Cherokee and has plenty of stopping spots high above Wears Valley road where you can stop and take all the photos you want!
A Short Driving Tour of Foothills Parkway – Pigeon Forge to Wears Valley
What Is The Foothills Parkway?
“The Foothills Parkway is a national parkway which traverses the foothills of the northern Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States. The 72.1-mile (114 km) parkway will connect U.S. Route 129 (U.S. 129) along the Little Tennessee River in the west with Interstate 40 (I-40) along the Pigeon River in the east.
Portions pass through parts of Blount, Sevier, and Cocke counties. Large sections cross a series of high ridges running roughly parallel to the Tennessee boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and offer unobstructed views of the Great Smokies to the south and the Tennessee Valley to the north. The Gatlinburg Bypass, which traverses the eastern flank of Cove Mountain between the north end of Gatlinburg and the national park, connecting to the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway at each end, is also considered part of the parkway. The Great Smoky Mountains Parkway (U.S. 441) from Gatlinburg north to Pigeon Forge is also National Park Service land, connecting the bypass to the right of way for future sections (8D and 8C) of the Foothills Parkway at the southern city limit of Pigeon Forge.
The parkways are managed by the National Park Service as part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Unlike other national parkways, they are not a separate unit of the national park system. As with other NPS roads, construction (including repaving) is handled by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) through the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) partnership.”
See the full wikipedia article on the Foothills Parkway at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foothills_Parkway.