Explore hidden gems on the Sunny Side Trail
About Explore hidden gems on the Sunny Side Trail
Just about anywhere you wander in East Tennessee, you’ll find historical sites, scenic views, and of course, friendly people. But a new effort by “Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways” details more than a dozen newly named routes where you’re sure to hit the highlights of the state off the beaten path.
One such course, The Sunny Side Trail, begins in the Great Smoky Mountains and continues northeast through the Cherokee National Forest via Johnson City. From Gatlinburg to Newport, through Greeneville and on to Johnson City you’ll travel along picturesque Highway 321 where you’ll see not only the beauty of the rolling countryside with the mountains rising to the east, but you can visit some of the state’s most significant historic sites. You can stop in to visit the home and tailor shop of our 17th President, Andrew Johnson or see the birthplace of Davy Crockett, a frontiersman and statesman born near the rushing waters of the Nolichucky River where fishing and rafting are available. Continue on towards the quaint town of Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town, and find antiquing and hear unforgettable tales at the International Storytelling Center.
Next on the trail is Johnson City where overnight accommodations, shopping and restaurants are plentiful. Activities for “just the adults” like a martini bar, upscale restaurants and night clubs can be found downtown. And fun outings suited for the entire family like Hands On! Regional Museum, and even a place to see pre-historic fossils at ETSU’s Gray Fossil Site.
The trail ends just a short drive from Johnson City in the mountains where you’ll reach the state’s northeast corner to see the rhododendron display at Roan Mountain State Park and explore the hiking, rafting and boating opportunities in the Cherokee National Forest.