Southern Highroads Trail

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Southern Highroads Trail near Franklin, NC
Town along the Trail

The Southern Highroads Trail is a 364-mile loop of scenic and historic highways in the Southeastern United States. The driving trail traverses 14 counties, four states, and four national forests, providing sightseers and passersby an array of culinary, hotel, shopping and recreational options along the way.

Visitors can start at any point along the trail, and circle back to their starting point. In the process, they will visit parts of four southern states, cross the Appalachian Trail twice, and meander over the Eastern Continental Divide numerous times. They will alternately travel beside whitewater rivers or high atop mountains.

As travelers visit the communities beside the trail, they will see preserved settlements from the pioneer days and old homes, along with red brick courthouses. A firsthand view of what mountain life is like, both now and then, is readily available.

The trail visits four National Forests: Chattahoochee National Forest in GA, Nantahala National Forest in NC, Cherokee National Forest in TN, and Sumter National Forest in SC.


Incorporated in 1992, this scenic driving trail is supported by local, state, and nationwide organizations [1] to give travelers an opportunity to view selected scenic parts of the lower Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Mountain area. It was put together by an accumulation of country highways in the south that had significance in terms of history or natural beauty.

The Southern Highroads Trail is an important historical route that brings visitors face-to-face with the rich history and legends from the region's past. This was the homeland of the Cherokee Nation. The route encompasses the Chieftain's Trail which memorializes the Trail of Tears. Visitors can learn about the Cherokee Indians, and also the early settlers that came in search of gold, set up farms and made their homes here.

There are also many old railroad towns here, and some red brick courthouses that are the oldest in the United States, with many buildings being included on the National Historic Register. There are also many important Civil War battlefields within close proximity to the trail.

Chattooga River



The Southern Highroads Trail is pieced together by various Southeastern scenic highways that either run near or through the landscape of the Appalachian Trail.

Major landmarks[edit]

Fires Creek National Wildlife Reserve

Towns along route[edit]


External links[edit]