Caryville Main Street

Support area craftsmen at Main Street Artist Village then grab a bite to eat at local icon Scotty's Hamburger, once featured in the Washington Post for its "little square burgers and Liar's Bench." Find new biker boots at Owens Shoe Store and notice the brightly painted "Honeybee" patch - it's a stop on the Appalachain Quilt Trail (learn more at point 44).

Special Tags:

  • Motorcoach

203 Main St. 37714

Retrace route on Waddell Ln., turn L onto TN-116/John McGhee Blvd. Turn L to stay on TN-116/John McGhee Blvd. Turn L onto TN-63/W. Central Ave./Royal Blue Rd. Turn L onto Main St. (across from I-75 exit ramp) to pt. 41.


Moonshine Exhibition at Hampton Inn

Stop in and find unexpected history in this modern chain hotel. The exhibit is just inside, to the right and down the hall from the lobby.

Special Tags:

  • Lodging

4459 Veterans Memorial Hwy Caryville, TN 37714


Retrace route on Main St., turn R onto Old TN-63/Royal Blue Rd. Cross over I-75, road becomes TN-63/US-25W/Veterans Memorial Hwy. Turn R onto Dogwood Rd. to pt. 42.

More About: Moonshine & NASCAR

The sport of stock car racing has roots in the illegal transport of moonshine. To outrun tax collectors, moonshine runners (also known as “bootleggers”) altered their cars from the original factory design so they could reach much higher speeds. They’d remove the rear and passenger seats to make more room for moonshine, use heavy duty suspension on the back of the car to handle the extra weight, and add a steel plate in front of the radiator. For sport, bootleggers challenged each other to races, converting fields and pastures to makeshift tracks and racing their turbo-charged cars at risky speeds. Known as “stock car racing,” the new sport quickly gained a strong following, and found notorious bootleggers like Junior Johnson (pictured) and Lee Petty trading their moonshine stills for legitimate and lucrative racing careers. As the sport continued to develop the need for a governing body to create rules and regulations became apparent, and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was founded in Daytona in 1948 by mechanic and auto racer Bill France. Today, NASCAR offers approximately 1,500 races annually and continues to be America’s fastest-growing sport.


Cove Lake State Park

Take in stunning viewes at the foot of the Cumberland Plateau. You'll find picnic shelters, a 50-meter pool, a climate controlled pavilion, RV and tent camping sites, playgrounds, a fishing pier, boat rentals, Native American mounds and more. Catch dinner at local favorite Rickard Ridge BBQ located on site. You'll also find the trail headquarters for the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park - this is a great place to experience part of it. The Louie Bluie Festival happens every October, honoring Campbell County native "Louie Bluie Armstrong," one of the nation's finest string band musicians.

Special Tags:

  • African American
  • Picture Spot

220 Park Rd. Caryville, TN 37714


Head N on W. Central Ave./Veterans Memorial Hwy/US-25W. Turn L onto Cove Lake Ln. to pt. 43.

More About: Free Soil Farm

The area covered by Cove Lake was once the Free Soil Farm. Before the Civil War, escaped slaves could come here and earn wages used to buy their passage to a free state or country.


Campbell County Chamber Tourism Center

Continue N on W. Central Ave./Veterans Memorial Hwy/US-25W/TN-63/9 for 1.7 miles. Turn R onto Sharp & Perkins Rd. Turn R onto Main St. to pt. 59.

Special Tags:

  • Information

1016 Main St. Jacksboro, TN 37757


Return to W. Central Ave./Veterans Memorial Hwy/US-25W/TN-63/9, turn L. Continue N for 1.7 miles. Turn R onto Sharp & Perkins Rd. Turn R onto Main St. to pt. 44.


Campbell County Historical Society Museum & LaFollette Townwalk

Founded inthe 1890s, LaFollette boasts beauty and history. At the museum, learn coal mining heritage, then get out and explore. Be sure to notice Glen Oaks (private property), the 1895 Victorian home designed by architect George Barber for Harvey LaFollette. Grab a bite to eat at Big Creek Market & Deli and hav ea picnic in L.J. Seargeant Park. If you've planned for more strenuous adventure, look for the Cumberland Trail Tank Springs Trailhead (part of Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park) on Tennessee Avenue. LaFollette sits near Big Creek Gap, known as the "Keystone of the Confederacy." One of the only natural openings through the Cumberland Mountains, it was prime terrain during the Civil War and changed hands several times. Fortifications and trench work remain in the area.

570 Main St. Jacksboro, TN 37766


Drive NE on Main St., turn R to merge with US-25W/TN-63. Continue NE for approx. 4.5 miles to pt. 45.


McCloud Mountain Restaurant, Lodge & Skywalk

Dine atop the Cumberland Mountains in a 2,700-foot-high room with magnificent views of Norris Lake, the Great Smoky Mountains and scenic Powell Valley. Reservations required for access to site.

Special Tags:

  • Lodging

1220 McClouds Trail 37729


To go off trail from pt. 45 (int. of Central Ave. & Indiana Ave.), go NW on TN-9W/US-25W/N. Indiana Ave. for 4.8 miles to pt. 46 gates at Duff Rd.


Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower

The tower is located at Sundquist Wildlife Management Area (WMA), 70,000 acres of a diverse array of habitats and wildlife. The WMA is also home to Tennessee's Elk Reintroduction Program, and is the first and only public viewing area for elk in the state.

Along with deer, bear, and other wild game, Tennessee’s early settlers hunted elk regularly for food, decreasing the once-abundant elk population as they moved westward. In 2000 the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) reintroduced 50 elk into the rugged and beautiful mountains of East Tennessee after more than 150 years of absence. As the population grew, Tennessee conducted its first managed elk hunt in 2009. Current herd numbers are estimated around 400 statewide, thanks to the TWRA.

Best viewing times: early a.m./dusk.

Special Tags:

  • Off the Trail

LaFollette, TN

Exit Duff Rd. R onto US-25W/Indiana Ave. Go approx. 2 miles to top of mountain. Turn L at red gate. Proceed on gravel road approx. 3.1 miles to fork in road. Take R fork 1.4 miles to parking area of pt. 47.

More About: Four-Star Highway

This portion of TN-63 is named for Carl W. Stiner, a U.S. Army four-star general and LaFollette native. Stiner co-authored the book Shadow Warriors with Tom Clancy.


Pro Anglers Shop

Stop here for great food, fuel and bass tackle.

6275 General Carl W. Stiner Hwy LaFollette, TN 37766


To stay on main trail from pt. 45 (int. of Central Ave. & Indiana Ave.), go NE on TN-63/E. Central Ave. for 10.4 miles to pt. 48.


Historic Speedwell Academy

This restored 1827 building retains much of its original aesthetics. Its bricks, made of the reddest clay gathered from a nearby creek, were packed in handmade molds and fired in the nearby kilns. Look closely and you'll see paw prints where dogs ran through the molds prior to the bricks being fired. Around the turn of the 20th century, the Male Academy became a school for both boys and girls and was renamed "Speedwell Academy." The Civil War site was used as both a hospital and headquarters for both sides and soldiers used the building's weather vane for target practice. Hours vary, call ahead.

220 Academy Rd. Speedwell, TN 37870


Continue NE on Gen. Carl W. Stiner Hwy. for 1.6 miles. Turn R onto Bowman Rd. Turn L at Old TN 63. Turn R at Academy Rd. to pt. 49.


Nashville Connection

This spot hosts live, family friendly music every Friday and Saturday night featuring Andy Maiden and The Silver Clouds Band.

Special Tags:

  • Live Music

2316 Hwy 63 Cumberland Gap, TN 37724


Return to Old TN-63, turn R. Quickly turn L onto Mundy Rd., turn R onto TN-63E for 4.5 miles. Turn L to stay on TN-63E for approx. 8.5 more miles to pt. 50.


Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum

Located at Lincoln Memorial University, this site houses one of the most diverse Lincoln and Civil War collections in the U.S. Many rare items are exhibited, such as the cane Lincoln carried that fateful night at Ford's Theatre. Almost 30,000 artifacts tell the story of this period in America's history

Special Tags:

  • African American

6965 Cumberland Gap Pkwy. Harrogate, TN 37752


Exit L onto TN-63E. Turn L at US-25E/TN-32/Cumberland Gap Pkwy. Continue N approx. 2 miles. Turn L into Lincoln Memorial University campus. Pt. 51 is 1st building on R.

More About: The Spring House

The Victorian Spring House on the University’s campus was once part of the Four Seasons Hotel, a 700-room mineral springs resort. An 1893 bank collapse forced its liquidation, down to the bricks. The spring house is all that remains.


Daniel Boone Visitor Center

This location inside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park serves as the trailhead for the Wilderness Road. A pavilion features the sights and sounds of early pioneers. Gap Cave tickets sold here. An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 American settlers passed through the Cumberland Gap on their way into Kentucky and the Ohio Valley before 1810.

Special Tags:

  • Information
  • Picture Spot

Old Hwy 25E , TN 40965


Head N on US-25E. Turn R at US-58, then L at State Rd. 872N/Cumberland Dr. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is located just off State Rd. 872.

More About: Traveling Through

An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 American settlers passed through the Cumberland Gap on their way into Kentucky and the Ohio Valley before 1810.


Pinnacle Overlook

At an elevation of 2,440 feet, the overlook offers a gorgeous view across Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. A winding 4-mile road leads from the park visitor center to the viewing platform, overlooking the historic town of Cumberland Gap.

Special Tags:

  • Picture Spot

US 25 E South Cumberland Gap, TN

Pt. 53 is located in the park.

More About: Cumberland Gap National Historic Park

The Cumberland Mountains, named after the Duke of Cumberland, are a mountain range in the southeastern section of the beautiful and rugged Appalachian Mountains. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park allows visitors to experience firsthand the abundant natural wonders of the range, including breathtaking vistas, lush forests and pristine waterfalls. The park stretches into Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, and contains more than 24,000 acres with 85 miles of hiking trails, many miles of underground caves, and several backcountry camping areas. You can see Civil War cannons in their original bunkers, as well as earthen forts and trenches used by both Union and Confederate armies. The actual Cumberland Gap provided a key passageway through the mountains for pioneers such as Daniel Boone, and is located within the park, at 1,600 ft. elevation. The visitor center houses a museum, theater and shop showcasing hands-on exhibits, films and local crafts. Points 71-75 are located inside the park.


Hensley Settlement

Step into the past at the historic Hensley Settlement on top of Brush Mountain. Stroll down fence-lined lanes, visit the blacksmith's shop, look into the springhouse and sit in the one-room schoolhouse. The settlement was established in 1904 by Sherman Hensley and was occupied until 1951. The historic buildings remain and can be visited on this 3.5-4 hour tour.

Special Tags:

  • Picture Spot

Cumberland Gap, TN

Pt. 54 is located in the park.


Historic Newlee Iron Furnace

Although all that remains is the lower portion of the original 1819 30-foot-high blast furnace, it is actually a very small part of what was once an impressively large complex. It was here that limestone and iron ore were heated by coal and converted to "pig iron," which was shipped down the Powell River to factories in Chattanooga.

Cumberland Gap, TN

Pt. 56 is located in the park.


Gap Cave

Join park rangers on an exciting two-hour adventure exploring this majestic underground cathedral. Discover glistening stalagmites and flowstone cascades. The moderately strenuous, 1.5-mile tour explores four levels of the cave, and includes a 1-mile hike along historic Wilderness Road. This cave was a stop along the Underground Railroad.

Special Tags:

  • African American
  • Picture Spot

Cumberland Gap, TN

Pt. 55 is located in the park.


Historic Town of Cumberland Gap

Nestled at the foot of the Cumberland Mountains, this little town offers breathtaking beauty and a charming "Mayberry" atmosphere with stops like:

Cumberland Gap General Store, more than 6,000 items in stock.

Whistle Stop Antiques, kitchen collectibles, quilts, glass, furniture, pottery and more.

Nothins Perfect, primitive country home decor, fixins and antiques.

Frame Shop & Art Gallery, historical and regional artwork and prints.

Angelo's In the Gap - serving authentic Italian Food

Pineapple Tea Room - serves homemade meals in an atmosphere of the area's historic past.

Gertie's Commissary - antiques and collectibles.

Fabulous Me - Boutique and Gifts

Olde Mill Bed & Breakfast - spend the night in an operating grits mill surrounded by the history and lure that is uniquely Cumberland Gap

Paul V. Hamilton Center for the Arts - promoting community and Appalachian arts

Colwyn St. Cumberland Gap, TN

Follow SR-872N/Cumberland Dr. into pt. 57. Turn R onto Colwyn St. Park & walk to visit 57-60

More About: The Ballad of Thunder Road

Cumberland Gap is mentioned in “The Ballad of Thunder Road,” a song co-written and performed by actor Robert Mitchum in 1957 and theme song of the movie "Thunder Road." The song made the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958 and 1962, then bluegrass performers Jim and Jesse (McReynolds) brought the song to the national country charts in 1967. The ballad is subtly referenced in Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road,” another song about moonshine running.


Olde Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast

Enjoy modern amenities during your stay in one of The Gap's oldest standing buildings. Musket ball holes mark the 1750s cabin and water turning the mill wheel flows from a lake under The Pinnacle. Reservations required.  

Special Tags:

  • Lodging

603 Pennlyn Ave. Cumberland Gap, TN 37724


Turn L onto Pennlyn Ave. to pt. 59.

More About: Daniel Boone and Wilderness Road

In 1757, Daniel Boone, an early “long hunter,” ventured across the Blue Ridge Mountains into what is now Upper East Tennessee, remaining here for several years as an explorer and land pursuer. As a young explorer, Daniel Boone and James Robertson “discovered” what is now Elizabethton in 1769, establishing the Watauga Settlement at Sycamore Shoals, now a stop on the Sunny Side: Early Country Trail. Watauga was the first permanent settlement outside the original 13 English colonies and the first majority-rule system of American Democracy. One of Boone’s greatest contributions to this area was his work in 1775 with 30 other axemen to clear and create an access corridor known as “Wilderness Road.” This route through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountains is the path Boone took into Kentucky, where he built a fort and village called Boonesborough and settled his family.


Little Congress Bicycle Museum

Tour this one-of-a-kind place and to see a collection of bicycles dating to the 1800s.

Pennlyn Ave. & Llewelyn St. Cumberland Gap, TN 37724


Pt. 60 is located next door to pt. 59.


Trail's End Antiques

Over 4,000 square feet of display space is filled to the brim with glassware, pottery, china, dolls, furniture, quilts and more.



3700 Hwy 25E Tazewell, TN 37879


Go E on Pennlyn Ave. Turn L onto N. Cumberland Dr., continue on SR-872. Turn R onto US-58W, follow signs for Harrogate/Tazewell to merge onto US-25E S (East Tennessee Crossing National Scenic Byway). Go approx. 8 miles to pt. 61.

General Area:




Get ready for White Lightning - 200 miles of unique American stories told every day through Appalachian arts and crafts, preserved buildings and sites, historic town squares and the tales of legendary characters.

The trail gets its name from the area’s history as a prohibition-era, Moonshine-Running Corridor. Rebels careened around the curves of "Thunder Road," transporting illegal, homemade corn whiskey under the cover of darkness.

More History-Changing Pioneers made their marks along this route. As you cruise through rolling hills and valleys, you'll be traveling along the path first cut by Daniel Boone himself. You'll walk with the ghosts of Civil War soldiers and coal miners, visit forts that protected the territory's first settlers and see the school where the Clinton 12 stood their ground in the name of civil rights.

And speaking of legends, no Tennessee trip would be complete without a little Musical Heritage. Visit the hometowns of country music's Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Kenny Chesney and Carl Smith.

Your drive takes you along parts of a National Scenic Byway: East Tennessee Crossing, with unforgettable views from the overlook atop Clinch Mountain. The Beautiful Bodies of Water you'll encounter have shaped the region's landscape and culture for hundreds of years and today attract outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.

So buckle up, there's adventure at every turn on the White Lightning: Thunder Road to Rebels Trail.


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