Foothills Parkway

Foothills ParkwayThe Foothills Parkway has been under construction since 1944, but has been stalled numerous times by funding, making it the oldest unfinished highway project in Tennessee. When completed, the 71 mile parkway will hopefully connect U.S. Route 129 in the west with I-40 in the east. Currently, there are two unfinished ends to this parkway which are open to non-motorized traffic. People can ride their bikes or their horses in from Wears Valley down a four mile stretch until it dead ends at the Missing Link of the parkway, or in from the Walland side and travel nine miles until it deads end as well. There is a rugged 1.25 miles in between the two roads and it is closed to bikes and horses, and not suggested for hikers.

The longest stretch of drivable road on the parkway is 16.5 mile leg that travels along the western side of Chilhowee Mountain in Blount County and connects US-129 with US Route 321 in Cosby. There are two other sections of drivable road on the parkway. The Gatlinburg Bypass that runs along the eastern side of Cove Mountain between Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one stretch of the drivable nature trail. Another is a 6-mile stretch over Green Mountain in Cocke County, connecting US-321 with I-40 in the Pigeon River Valley. All of these stretches of road provide excellent views of the Great Smoky Mountains and are enjoyable scenic drives.