Real Tennessee Back Roads #4 + ADD NEW ROUTE
23 in Tennessee Tennessee150 Miles
By Backroad Rider
on February 1, 2008
- Trip Toolbox
From I-81 take Exit 30 which will put you on route 70. Take Route 70 North to Kyles Ford, 33 South to Sneedville, 63 North toward Shawanee/Harrogate area.
Watch closely for Indian Creek Road on your right (just prior to Shawanee/Harrogate). Turn left on 58 to Cumberland Gap, TN. Stop to tour the town. Go back to 58 to 25E and into KY. (Recommend you stop at the Cumberland Gap Visitor center).
Now time to head home by taking 25E South, watch for bypass around Tazwell. Go past 33 (north), cross a bridge (small sign for Clinch Mtn Winery). Turn right after the bridge (street name???).
Go about 5 miles to Blankenship Road and turn left(very sharp turn) to a stop sign at 131. Turn right on 131 thru Washburn. Turn left (y's to left before 131 crosses a RR Track)on Joppa Mountain Rd. Continue to a stop sign. Turn right on 11W thru Blaine. Turn left on Mine Rd to 11E. Turn left on 11E to 139. Turn Right on 139, cross 25W to Snyder Road and on to Exit 407.
The scenery varies: There is much open country of farm land, then rugged mountain terrain with passing views, and of course the great views at Cumberland Gap Overlook.
Cumberland Gap Overlook Parking Lot
The roads vary from Interstate, to nice wide two lane, to narrow two lane, and to some 1 1/2 lane. There are open cruising areas and plenty of twists and turns with a number of switchbacks and steep mountain grades.
Cumberland Gap Overlook - Looking back toward VA and NE TN on a February day
There are plenty of places to obtain gas or food at the beginning and end of the route and a couple places in between. But they are scattered - so start with full gas tank and stomach.
I recommend taking a bathroom break at Sneedville as there are no other stops until you get to Cumberland Gap area.
Special Notes: I-40 and I-81 save time for the best part of the ride. The fun starts at Hwy 70 and continues on 33, 63. Hwy 70, 33, and 63 are all nice MC Roads. Hwy 63 is steep, twisty, switchback, for 3 milse the rest of the route goes thru a beautiful valley and then a nice cruising curvy road from intersection 345/63. Also, an old country store (Martin Grocery)on 63 at a "T" Intersection just after Sneedville (drinks, cold sandwiches, friendly lady runs it - no bathroom). See Picture.
Cumberland Gap, TN is well worth a stop to tour the town, even hike the Gap Trail if you desire or a short part to an old smelter. Then thru the tunnel into KY and the Cumberland Gap Visitor center (movies and a beautiful switchback road to the Overlook where you see TN. VA, KY). See pictures.
A couple of highlights on the return home are a mountain road, Blankenship Rd (see picture)and Joppa Mountain Road with curves and switchbacks.
Alternate Route Return - stay on 25E to I-81 to I-40 or check TN Map .
A view from the Cumberland Gap Overlook on a nice summer day - looking into TN
- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .
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