Tennessee State Route 56
|Maintained by TDOT|
|Length:||164.85 mi (265.30 km)|
|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|
State Route 56 is a 164-mile (265 km) highway that runs south to north in Middle Tennessee.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2007)|
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)
- 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".