If you're in the mood for a less twisty road, less than 10 miles north of the "Tail of the Dragon", connecting US129 and US321, this 16 mile, limited access highway (see map) offers great views and fall color, but has no services. Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mtn National Park is just over the ridge, and Cherahola Skyway is 20 miles to the south, as the crow flies. The fog was really thick in spots one October morning during my visit.
The Foothills Parkway is a national parkway which, if completed, will traverse the foothills of the northern Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. The Foothills Parkway project has been continuously stalled by funding difficulties since Congress authorized its construction in 1944. As of 2010, only 1/3 of the parkway had been completed and opened to vehicular traffic.