The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile highway that connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, to Robbinsville, North Carolina and is one of the best motorcycle roads in the state! The Cherohala Skyway was opened and the highway was dedicated in 1996 as a National Scenic Byway. The road cost over 100 million dollars to construct as it crosses through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina.
The name “Cherohala” comes from the names of the two National Forests: “Chero” from the Cherokee and “hala” from the Nantahala. The Cherohala Skyway is a paved 2-laned road maintained by the Tennessee and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The Cherohala Skyway has elevations that range from 900 feet above sea level at the Tellico River in Tennessee to over 5400 feet above sea level at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line at Haw Knob.
On the Tennessee side of the Cherohala Skyway in Tellico Plains is a brand new visitor center and non-profit gift shop with free maps, Skyway driving conditions, local area souvenirs, gifts, picnic tables, clean restrooms and friendly staff to answer any questions or give local information.
The Cherohala Skyway off many outdoor activities such a hiking, dual sport motor touring, motor cycle sport riding, kayaking, canoeing, camping and bird watching.
How Long Does it Take?
The Cherohala Skyway was designed as a scenic highway with stopping at overlooks to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The highway takes by car or motorcycle about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to travel the 40+ miles of the Skyway.
Bald River Falls Waterfall Attraction
On the Tennessee side there is a must see natural waterfall attraction called Bald River Falls. Drive 4.5 miles to the turn right onto the Forest Service Road 210, where you will travel alongside the river, to Bald River Falls. The Bald River Falls turn off is clearly marked on the right hand side of the Skyway. You can view Bald River Falls without leaving your vehicle. There is a small area to park and take pictures.