Foothills Parkway Closures

The Foothills Parkway from US 129 at Tallasee north to US 321 in Walland will be undergoing repaving and other upgrades this summer. The work will be completed in two phases.

Phase One March 14 - June 17: The southernmost section from US 129 to the Look Rock parking area will have both lanes closed from March 14 to June 17 Approximately 7 miles.

Phase Two June 20 - August 31: The section from Look Rock parking area to US 321 in Walland will have both lanes closed from June 20 to August 31. Approximately 10 miles.

This map shows the closure areas and possible alternate routes to take around the construction. Some of the bypass routes take you through residential areas, so be respectful as you proceed. The roads shown in the DETAIL near the Top of the World are narrow and steep. Be especially careful if you are heading south on Flats Road at the intersection with Happy Valley Road. It is very steep and has a sharp switchback. A number of people have misjudged this intersection and gone off the mountain.


Cheoah Dam Celebrates 100 Years

Cheoah Dam Celebrates 100 Years


Among the many hydroelectric complexes in the western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee area is the Cheoah Dam. Completed in 1919 after three years of construction the 225-foot high, 750 foot wide dam was the tallest overflow dam in the world. The turbines at the time were the largest in the world. The structure spanned a narrow gorge of the Little Tennessee River and created the Cheoah Lake reservoir.

The dam was a private enterprise by the Tallassee Power Company. The nearby area was named for the TPC by taking the first two letters of each word to form Ta-po-co. The dam was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. It actually gained fame in 1993 with scenes in the movie The Fugitive when Harrison Ford made a dramatic jump to escape the law. Annette Bening also used the dam in scenes from her 1999 movie In Dreams. The 1971 cult classic Two Lane Blacktop starring James Taylor used the dam as a backdrop in one scene.

Workers building the dam were housed in a construction camp located at the site of the present day Tapoco Lodge. The small development consisted of twenty-tree houses, a church, two schools, a playground and swimming pool. It was completely razed after completion of the dam. The current Tapoco Lodge was constructed there in the 1930s which is also listed on the Register of Historic Places.

Alcoa played a major role in production of aluminum for World War I and World War II. The process of making aluminum requires vast amounts of electricity which was the primary reason for hydroelectric facilities such as Cheoah Dam. Later dam projects by Cheoah Hydroelectric Development, a subsidiary of Alcoa Inc., included Calderwood, Santeetlah and Chilhowee. Fontana Dam was constructed by the United States Government. Today Alcoa Inc. employs more than 2,000 works at its Blount County, Tennessee plant.

Some of the photos shown were provided by Phillip Thomason of Thomason and Associates, Nashville, Tennessee. Photos were included in the firm's National Registry of Historic Places application for the Cheoah Dam, dated October 2003.

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August 11, 2017

August 11, 2017 – Great weekend with the Miatas and a surprise visit by 140+ sand rail buggies. Also met a group from Barcelona whooping it up. Once again we get calls every day asking about the supposed rain-out that the weather pages keep posting. ONE MORE TIME …. when you see a 60 or 70% chance of rain it does not mean it will rain all day. Summer brings afternoon showers that are short lived and widely scattered. Today the Accuweather called for rain all morning, at 10 am it is full sun with radar showing clear skies for hundreds of miles.

May 3, 2017

May 3, 2017 – The roads are packed with Minis already. This weekend should see some 500 in the area. Also here this weekend is the BMW K1600 Forum, the New Beetles and Subaru Foresters. Spring Thunder in the Smokies in Maggie Valley.


Smoke is clearing and so are the roads !! Wildfires are under control and fire operations are winding down near the Cherohala Skyway and Tail of the Dragon. Roads are smoke free and open. You might find a few forest service roads and trails closed, but all the main roads are open. It’s a fantastic time to visit without the crowds. Join us for Thanksgiving:

Historic Tapoco Lodge Thanksgiving buffet from 11am-7pm. INFO (on US129 in NC minutes from the Dragon and Moonshiner28, across the street from Fugitive Dam)

Fontana Village Resort Classic Thanksgiving Feast and week long event. INFO (7 miles from the Tail of the Dragon)

Snowbird Mountain Lodge Thanksgiving Feast at 1pm. INFO (at the beginning of the NC side of the Cherohala Skyway)

Copperhead Lodge annual Thanksgiving Buffett 11am-3pm. INFO (in Blairsville Georgia, home to the famous 6 Gaps of north Georgia)

Switzerland Inn Thanksgiving Choose and Cut Package: INFO (off the Blue Ridge Parkway at mm 334 home to NC 226A Diamondback Loop)


map_fireLATEST FIRE INFORMATION NOV.11: Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway are not affected by the wildfires other than some smoky conditions at times. SEE MAP for wildfire areas. We are open for visitors.  See Accommodations Page for seasonal visitor information.