Have you ever wondered where the two roads that branch out of Cades Cove go? Here is where you can find these two roads in Cades Cove:
- Rich Mountain Road – Before the halfway point around Cades Cove, and the entrance is across from the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church.
- Parsons Branch Road – At the halfway point around the loop road, at the same intersection that takes you into the Cades Cove Visitors Center.
Parsons Branch is another one way road out of Cades Cove. When you get to the intersection next to the visitors center inside Cades Cove, if you drive straight across, you will start your path to Parsons Branch. With this being one way, there are a few things that you need to think about.
- You are on a rural / primitive road. Dirt and gravel are the building materials and you will be on it for 8 miles.
- You are also on a one way road, so don’t think you can just turn around if the going gets rough.
- The other end of this road – the portion that is not in Cades Cove – drops you out onto US 129 on a portion known as the Dragon. The Dragon may be the twisty-est road in the south-eastern United States and is a destination for drivers seeking a true driving experience.
Now that you have made the decision to take Parsons Branch Road, let me tell you what to expect along the way. You are not going to run into a lot of traffic and with it being a one way road you are not going to encounter ANY oncoming traffic at all. This rough, bumpy road is going to take you past beautiful scenes of the mountains that are not seen by the weak of heart. You will follow a stream that runs along the road and you will explore terrain that you may never have been to before. With a couple of stream crossings you might find that your spirit of exploration has been ignited by an 8 mile journey into the woods toward a road called the Dragon.