Cherohala Skyway, Big Junction: Unicoi & Blue Ridge Mountains, Cherokee NF, Tennessee, USA.
Atop the Unicoi Mountains in Tennessee, USA, the Cherohala Skyway reveals far-reaching views at Big Junction (5240 feet elevation) here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a subset of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Vibrant fall foliage colors start appearing in mid October at the highest elevations of Cherohala Skyway. Long in planning since 1958, the Cherohala Skyway opened to automobile traffic in 1996 – a new National Scenic Byway. The Skyway climbs over 4000 feet, starting at elevation 900 feet along Tellico River and reaching 5400 feet on the slopes of Haw Knob in North Carolina. The 43-mile paved road of the Cherohala Skyway follows Tennessee State Route 165 (SR-165 or TN 165) for 25 miles from Tellico Plains to the state line at Stratton Gap, then continues on North Carolina Highway 143 (NC 143) for 18 miles to Robbinsville. Cherohala combines the names of the two National Forests traversed: "Chero" from Cherokee and "hala" from Nantahala NF. The Skyway accesses various protected and recreational areas including Citico Creek Wilderness, Bald River Gorge Wilderness, and Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download