The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile National Scenic Byway that connects Tellico Plains, TN, to Robbinsville, NC. Its name is derived from the two national forests through which it passes, Cherokee and Nantahala.
The western half of the skyway follows east on TN SR165 for nearly 25 miles from Tellico Plains to the state line at Stratton Gap. The eastern half follows NC Hwy 143 for 18 miles from Stratton Gap to Robbinsville, NC.
The skyway gains over 4,000 feet in elevation, rising from just under 900 feet at Tellico Plains to just over 5,400 feet on the slopes of Haw Knob near the Tennessee-North Carolina state line. The NC half of the skyway terminates near the south shore of Lake Santeetlah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherohala_Skyway
The Skyway's west end begins on tree-lined roads that snake through the forest. There are scenic views further east and the mid-point at Unicoi Crest has a nice view of the Tellico River Valley. If you're looking for color, catch the NC side before it turns gray at the higher elevations, like it was during my visit in late Oct.
Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters is just off the Cherohala Skyway in downtown Tellico Plains, offering clothing and gear for the motorcycle adventure traveler. Tellico Plains Harley is also a retail only store. Check both websites for seasonal hours.
In downtown Robbinsville, NC Mountain Motors specializes in Harley Davidson service with roadside pickup & towing service as well as biker gear, leathers, stickers, and gifts. Bike rentals and gear are also available in Robbinsville at Wheelers 129 Performance.
Here's another website with more Cherohala Skyway info and photos.