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  • Writer's pictureJenny Lynn Keller

The Wild Side

This fall season consider a ride on the wild side—wild as in nature. If you’re planning to be near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, travel the reopened 8-mile historic Parsons Branch Road to see wild mountain beauty and tremendous leaf color. In the early 1800s, the county asked local resident Russell Gregory to construct a road for area farmers to take their goods from Cades Cove to the Little Tennessee River. With the use of axes and two-man crosscut saws, a wagon trail was completed in 1838 through virgin forest averaging trees five feet in width. While travelers back then dealt with constant mud and a dozen-plus creek crossings, today’s tourists enjoy a gravel road with concreted fords. If you take the trip, be aware the road is one way out of Cades Cove and terminates into Highway 129 (aka The Dragon, curviest road in the southeast).

If you’ve visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, what’s one of your favorite areas?


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