White Lightning Trail in Tennessee
The White Lightning Trail takes you on a journey of living lore. Bootleggers, moonshine and fast cars combine with the breathtaking scenery of the Cumberland Gap.
Begin at Volunteer Park in Knoxville, where you can board a historic paddlewheel to re-live the age of steam. Then head north on 33 to Maynardville, home country stars Roy Acuff and Carl Smith.
Take 170 by Big Ridge State Park to Norris and nearby Andersonville for a pontoon or houseboat adventure. Back on I-75, head north to Caryville’s Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail and Cove Lake State Park. Loop northeast on Route 63, passing through LaFollette and Speedwell to Harrogate. Learn about our nation’s 16th president at Lincoln Memorial University’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum.
You can further explore Tennessee’s role in westward settlement at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, which straddles three states and preserves the V-shaped gap through which settlers travelled in the 18th and 19th centuries. Head south on Route 25E – the East Tennessee Crossing recently named a National Scenic Byway – to reach Clinch Mountain Winery in Thorn Hill for a souvenir bottle. Continue south for a tour of historic Morristown. In Newport, you’ll see the distant blue peaks of the Smokies, browse local arts and crafts and experience high-speed thrills at the Newport Speedway.
Continue south on 321 along the eastern edge of the Smoky Mountains to the Folklife Center of the Smokies in Cosby, an often-overlooked access point to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be sure to explore the folk heritage of Gatlinburg at Arrowmont Gallery, which preserve mountain handicrafts. Get more arts and crafts in local shops as you pass through Pittman Center on your way to entertainment-haven Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, hometown of Dolly Parton. From Sevierville, it’s an easy loop back to Knoxville on 441.