Got plans for a road trip this summer? If you want to get really adventurous, click here for tips on how to hitchhike.
Once a wagon trail following the spine of the Great Smoky Mountains, this route is now a motorist's dream: a $100 million road built in 1996 linking the Cherokee National Forest and the Nantahala National Forest. There are no gas stations along the way, so fill up in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. You'll drive up to 5,500 feet, looking down on maple-covered hills and stopping at any of seven trailheads that lead into the absurdly verdant nearbyforest. PIT STOPS: When the skyway spits you out near Robbinsville, North Carolina, you can angle for brown and brook trout at Snowbird Creek with the Nantahala Fly Fishing Company (day trips, $225; flyfish24-7.com). Want faster water? Sixty miles southwest is the famous Ocoee River, site of the whitewater events at the 1996 Olympics; float eight miles of Class IIIIV rapids with the Nantahala Outdoor Center ($90; noc.com).