Best Scenic Drives in North Carolina

This list represents the most popular scenic drives in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina scenic drives trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 Linville Falls Trail

    28 Reviews

    Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

    Linville Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Burke County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 3,182 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is ...
    •  0.9 miles

    Linville Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Burke County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 0.9 miles ...

  • #2 Mount Mitchell Trail

    12 Reviews

    Mount Mitchell State Park, NC

    Mount Mitchell Trail is a hiking trail in Yancey County, North Carolina. It is within Mount Mitchell State Park. It is 5.1 miles long and begins at 6,630 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail ...
    •  5.1 miles

    Mount Mitchell Trail is a hiking trail in Yancey County, North Carolina. It is within Mount Mitchell State Park. It is 5.1 ...

  • #3 Blue Ridge Parkway: Asheville to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    3 Reviews

    Asheville, NC

    A 75-mile paved section of one of the most famous routes in America, following the dramatic crest of the Pisgah and Great Balsam Mountains to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Blue Ridge ...
    •  75 miles
    •  Guide

    A 75-mile paved section of one of the most famous routes in America, following the dramatic crest of the Pisgah and Great ...

  • #4 Blue Ridge Parkway: Blowing Rock to Asheville

    1 Reviews

    Boone, NC

    A 90-mile paved segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the famous scenic drive that connects Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic ...
    •  90 miles
    •  Guide

    A 90-mile paved segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the famous scenic drive that connects Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains ...

  • #5 Deals Gap Motorcycle Ride

    1 Reviews

    Topton, NC

    Actually, there’s more than Deals Gap on this ride, but it is definitely the highlight. The 318 twists in the 11- mile section of road that pierces into Tennessee say it all. This piece of civil ...
    •  3 hours
    •  100.3 miles
    •  Guide

    Actually, there’s more than Deals Gap on this ride, but it is definitely the highlight. The 318 twists in the 11- mile section ...

  • #6 Heintooga-Round Bottom Road: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    2 Reviews

    Cherokee, NC

    A 35-mile paved and gravel road through a scenic but lightly visited part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you are tired of the crowds in some parts of Great Smoky Mountains National ...
    •  35 miles
    •  Guide

    A 35-mile paved and gravel road through a scenic but lightly visited part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you ...

  • #7 Mountain Waters Scenic Byway: Highlands to the Nantahala River Gorge

    2 Reviews

    Franklin, NC

    A 61-mile paved route that winds through some of the most spectacular country in the Nantahala National Forest, including multiple waterfalls, a roaring whitewater river, and tremendous mountaintop ...
    •  61 miles
    •  Guide

    A 61-mile paved route that winds through some of the most spectacular country in the Nantahala National Forest, including ...

  • #8 Smokin’ Dragon Motorcycle Ride

    0 Reviews

    Cherokee, NC

    Smokin’ Dragon takes its name from two of the finest riding destinations in the country—the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a stretch of US 129 known simply as “the Dragon.” US 441 cuts ...
    •  4 hours
    •  131 miles
    •  Guide

    Smokin’ Dragon takes its name from two of the finest riding destinations in the country—the Great Smoky Mountains National ...

  • #9 Uwharrie Mountains: Uwharrie National Forest

    1 Reviews

    Eldorado, NC

    A 34-mile paved and gravel route that winds through the ancient Uwharrie Mountains and the Uwharrie National Forest, past rivers, a lake, a covered bridge, and many hiking opportunities. This ...
    •  34 miles
    •  Guide

    A 34-mile paved and gravel route that winds through the ancient Uwharrie Mountains and the Uwharrie National Forest, past ...

  • #10 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest: Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest to Tennessee State Line

    1 Reviews

    Robbinsville, NC

    A 25-mile paved road through beautiful, undeveloped Nantahala National Forest, including old-growth trees at Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and tremendous views from the crest of the Unicoi Mountains. ...
    •  25 miles
    •  Guide

    A 25-mile paved road through beautiful, undeveloped Nantahala National Forest, including old-growth trees at Joyce Kilmer ...

  • #11 Newfound Gap & Clingmans Dome: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    2 Reviews

    Bryson City, NC

    A 24-mile paved road that climbs from the base of the Great Smoky Mountains to the highest peak, past historic sites, rushing mountain streams, numerous overlooks, and lush forest. When combined, ...
    •  24 miles
    •  Guide

    A 24-mile paved road that climbs from the base of the Great Smoky Mountains to the highest peak, past historic sites, rushing ...

  • #12 Blue Ridge Parkway: Virginia State Line to Blowing Rock

    1 Reviews

    Blowing Rock, NC

    A 75-mile section of the paved recreational Blue Ridge Parkway, which follows the scenic crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Virginia state line to Blowing Rock. This drive follows the ...
    •  75 miles
    •  Guide

    A 75-mile section of the paved recreational Blue Ridge Parkway, which follows the scenic crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains ...

  • #13 Reed Gold Mine: Morrow Mountain State Park to Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site

    0 Reviews

    Locust, NC

    A 32-mile paved drive from the wooded hills of Morrow Mountain State Park to the exhibits and musty tunnels of Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site. This drive is both very scenic and historic. ...
    •  32 miles
    •  Guide

    A 32-mile paved drive from the wooded hills of Morrow Mountain State Park to the exhibits and musty tunnels of Reed Gold ...

  • #14 Whitewater Falls: Highlands to Rosman

    1 Reviews

    Cashiers, NC

    A 41-mile paved route through the resort towns of Highlands, Cashiers, and Lake Toxaway via Whitewater Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. From the town of Highlands, ...
    •  41 miles
    •  Guide

    A 41-mile paved route through the resort towns of Highlands, Cashiers, and Lake Toxaway via Whitewater Falls, one of the ...

  • #15 Crowders Mountain: Kings Mountain National Military Park, SC to Crowders Mountain

    0 Reviews

    Gastonia, NC

    A short, paved 10-mile route chock-full of interesting sights, including a Revolutionary War battlefield, two state parks, a living history farm just over the border in South Carolina, and prominent ...
    •  10 miles
    •  Guide

    A short, paved 10-mile route chock-full of interesting sights, including a Revolutionary War battlefield, two state parks, ...

  • #16 Forest Heritage Scenic Drive: Pisgah National Forest near Brevard

    1 Reviews

    Brevard, NC

    A 65-mile paved road through the heart of the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, past waterfalls, historic sites, mountain overlooks, and miles of lush, undeveloped forest. ...
    •  65 miles
    •  Guide

    A 65-mile paved road through the heart of the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, past waterfalls, historic ...

  • #17 Bentonville Battleground: Cliffs of the Neuse State Park to Bentonville Battleground

    0 Reviews

    Goldsboro, NC

    A 33-mile paved route from a state park with cliffs (surprising for the coastal plain) to Bentonville Battleground, the site of the last major Confederate offensive of the Civil War. This drive ...
    •  33 miles
    •  Guide

    A 33-mile paved route from a state park with cliffs (surprising for the coastal plain) to Bentonville Battleground, the site ...

  • #18 Elk Falls: Vilas to Elk Falls

    0 Reviews

    Banner Elk, NC

    A 25-mile mostly paved road through rugged mountains, past a historic general store to a large, accessible waterfall. This drive follows a winding route through the mountains west of Boone, past ...
    •  25 miles
    •  Guide

    A 25-mile mostly paved road through rugged mountains, past a historic general store to a large, accessible waterfall. This ...

  • #19 Spivey Gap: US 19 / US 19E Junction to Earnestville, TN

    1 Reviews

    Higgins, NC

    A 29-mile paved road that climbs up and over a remote, rugged mountain area into Tennessee. This drive winds through the rugged Bald Mountains, over a divide, and into Tennessee. It follows a ...
    •  29 miles
    •  Guide

    A 29-mile paved road that climbs up and over a remote, rugged mountain area into Tennessee. This drive winds through the ...

  • #20 Hanging Rock: Pilot Mountain to Hanging Rock

    0 Reviews

    Mount Airy, NC

    A 24-mile paved road between two prominent remnants of the ancient Sauratown Mountains, often called “the mountains away from the mountains” because of their isolation from the Blue Ridge. This ...
    •  24 miles
    •  Guide

    A 24-mile paved road between two prominent remnants of the ancient Sauratown Mountains, often called “the mountains away ...