Tennessee State Route 56

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State Route 56 primary marker State Route 56 secondary marker

State Route 56
Route information
Maintained by TDOT
Length: 164.85 mi (265.30 km)
Major junctions
South end: SR-117 near Sherwood
  I-24 at Monteagle
US-70S / SR-1 at McMinnville
US-70 / SR-26 at Smithville
I-40 near Silver Point & Baxter
US-70N / SR-24 near Baxter
North end: KY 63 near Gamaliel, KY
Counties: Franklin, Marion, Grundy, Warren, DeKalb, Putnam, Jackson, Macon
Highway system
SR-55 SR-57

State Route 56 is a 164-mile (265 km) highway that runs south to north in Middle Tennessee.

Starting at the northern border, TN-56 is considered a secondary road; at the Kentucky state line, it terminates with KY-63. From there it starts its southern journey through the small town of Red Boiling Springs and on to the town of Gainesboro in Jackson County. It there becomes a primary route and a division of the Tennessee Scenic Parkway system, and it proceeds south to U.S. Route 70 N just outside of Baxter in Putnam County.

Before Interstate 40 was built in the 1960s, TN-56 went directly through the town of Baxter and proceeded down what is now the Old Baxter Road to Silver Point and then to Smithville. After the interstate came through, a spur route was built to intersect with Exit 280 (the Baxter - Gainesboro exit) that bypasses Baxter. Also, the route from I-40 to Gainesboro is known to Upper Cumberland residents as part of the Corridor J project. At the junction of I-40 and TN-56, TN-56 accompanies I-40 west for 7 miles (11 km). At Exit 273 (Smithville - McMinnville exit) TN-56 proceeds south towards Smithville and then to McMinnville in Warren County. This stretch of road between I-40 and Smithville was notorious for terrible curves prior to the late 1970s, but it was rebuilt and is now considered a good route to follow. Some refer to this route as the I-40 to I-24 corridor. In McMinnville, drivers can travel west on Tennessee State Route 55 to Manchester to reach I-24. Beyond McMinnville, TN-56 once again is considered a secondary route. It goes through Altamont, Tracy City, Sewanee, Tennessee and then terminates near Sherwood, Tennessee at the Alabama/Tennessee state line at Alabama State Route 117.

Counties traversed (north to south)[edit]

  • Macon — 17.37 mi (27.95 km)
  • Jackson — 27.37 mi (44.05 km)
  • Putnam — 6.05 mi (9.74 km)
  • DeKalb — 20.20 mi (32.51 km)
  • Warren — 24.88 mi (40.04 km)
  • Grundy — 33.88 mi (54.52 km)
  • Marion — 0.01 mi (0.016 km)
  • Franklin — 16.55 mi (26.63 km)


  • Tennessee Department of Transportation (24 January 2003). "State Highway and Interstate List 2003".

See also[edit]