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  1. Default finding foliage from Florida

    We are plannning a road trip of aprox. 15 days and 2500 miles starting in St Petersburg for Oct/Nov 2010 . I want see Mammoth Cave and my husband wants to avoid the most congested areas of the Smokies. I am looking at Tallahassee to Chattanooga but from there would it be best to to try for Memphis and St Louis or continue North toward Ohio ? We're aiming for maximum autumn foliage plus at least one city. Would anyone recommend Cincinnati ? Thanks in advance. This site was a great help in fine-tuning our Southwest trip last May and we had a great time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Mammoth and Turn Right

    Given the timing of your trip, I think you'd be well served by continuing northeast along the Appalachians after your visit to Mammoth. Even early November will be a bit soon for peak foliage in the middle Appalachians around Tennessee and Kentucky, but if you head up the Blue Ridge through West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania into maybe even central New York State, you'll be sure to hit peak somewhere while still avoiding the most heavily traveled areas of the mountains. This would also put you within striking range of some very historic and beautiful cities including Richmond, Washington and Philadelphia.


  3. #3


    Here's a different opinion. No need to avoid the Southern Appalachians, or even Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Avoid the most popular areas (Little River Road, Cades Cove, and Newfound Gap Road) and you won't have any trouble with crowds.

    Here's a thought: Drive up through Alabama to Birmingham. Visit Cheaha State Park and then work your way up Lookout Mountain, visiting DeSoto Falls, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Cloudland Canyon, and Lula Falls on the way. That'll eventually land you in Chattanooga where you can spend a few days. Then you'll catch a little more color on the Interstate trip up to Nashville (jumping over the Cumberland Plateau) and Mammoth Cave. From there you could take I-40 across to the Great Smoky Mountains area, spending a day at Scott's Gulf on the way. You could cross into the mountains via the Cherohala Skyway, visiting Bald River Falls and Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest on the way. Then there are far too many directions you could go in for me to plot out a specific route. :)

    Here's a map of the route described above.

  4. Default thanks !

    Thank you both for your suggestions. Lots of food for thought. I think planning is half the fun !

  5. #5


    No doubt! It's great when you arrive in a spot and don't have to worry about where to go or what to do or when to do it because you're already quite familiar with everything going on. Allows for more free-styling. :) Plus it's just plain interesting.

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