Jackson County North Carolina
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Scenic Driving Tours in Jackson County North Carolina

With all the picturesque mountain vistas, valleys, and scenic waterways that lie within this land of natural wonders, some of the most ideal locations are easily accessible by paved roadways, while other more hidden gems are often located on or near forestry roads. Some scenic sites are only accessible by hiking certain trails. Yet many of these beautiful mountain vistas and wonders are located along designated scenic byways. Several of these renowned byways cut across Jackson County in the northern as well as southern regions.

The scenic byways in the northern reaches of Jackson County include the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountain Expressway, the Nantahala Byway, and neighboring Newfound Gap Road across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Scenic byways in the southern reaches of the county include the Waterfall Byway, the Southern Highroads Trail, and along the southeastern edge of the county, the Whitewater Byway.

Another route in Jackson County not officially designated as a byway is Hwy 107, which nearly traverses the entire length of the county from north to south. Several stretches along this roadway offer grand sites, from the upper mountain curves along the river to a cathedral-like setting from the valley floor, and upward to the rising Plott-Balsam Mountains in the north.

Scenic byways usually have a designated beginning and end, with a point of entry from either direction. Either way one chooses, the return trip along any mountain byway offers a scenic back view from a different perspective. Other scenic byways are loops with optional access points.

The 469 mile-long Blue Ridge Parkway is an exception to those rules. This byway does have end points, yet due to its enormous length, the Blue Ridge Parkway has dozens of access points for either north or south bound touring.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and The Newfound Gap Road

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