For bird's-eye views of Cades Cove without a strenuous hike, turn right from the Cades Cove loop onto this gravel road across from the Missionary Baptist Church. Just know there's no turning back. Built in the 1920s, this 8-mile adventure takes a serpentine climb up and down Rich Mountain. After leaving the park, it ends in Tuckaleechee Cove to the north.
The road curves past modern mountain homes after leaving the park on the mountainside, when it also opens to two-way traffic.
Townsend is 12 miles from the start.