A Drive Five Decades in the Making

Last week we went on a drive on the Foothills Parkway. I remember doing this as a kid and it was pretty spectacular. It’s great living in Knoxville because we have quick access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Taking the kids was an inevitability but our first drive was not only nostalgic, it was history in the making.

The Foothills Parkway is a stretch of scenic highway between Interstate 40 to Chilhowee, TN. First authorized in 1944 by Congress, a significant portion of the parkway has been unfinished for 5 decades. It’s been dubbed “the missing link” and on Saturday, November 10, it was finally opened to the public.

So while it was the first time on the Foothills Parkway for both of our kids, it was also our first time on that particular section and for as insignificant as it may seem, it’s always fun to do firsts together.

The drive was beautiful even though peek leaf colors were washed out almost two weeks ago. The sun was up and the sky was spotted with clouds for our leisurely drive.

There are several pull offs and even a few trailheads off the parkway so if you decide to go up, do your research. We found a smaller pull-off that allowed some privacy so that I could feed my baby girl. It was the best view for a feeding we’ve had hands down.

The Foothills Parkway is easily accessible. We drove through Maryville to Walland on Hwy 321 with very little in the way of winding roads. Be sure to check it out before winter weather becomes an issue for roads through the mountains!

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