America's Scenic Byways

Indian Lakes Scenic Byway

60 miles - Two hours

Travel this beautiful section of the Nantahala Gorge where history meets industry in the forested areas of western North Carolina. The Indian Lakes Scenic Byway will take drivers on a journey through an area of meaningful names just itching to tell a story. The Indian Lakes Scenic Byway will also take travelers by several other North Carolina byways including the Cherohala Skyway.

Visitors will have many opportunities to enjoy the scenic and recreational qualities that westen North Carolina has to offer. And who can resist those rich green forests? Try a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains or a picnic on the shores of Fontana Lake or Santeetlah Lake. Be sure to stop at Robbinsville to visit the grave of Cherokee chief Junaluska who displayed great bravery throughout the early 1800s.

On the drive, visitors might wonder about some of the names of the communities. The community of Stecoah is an Indian name that means lean or sparse hunting. The name Tapoco sounds like an Indian name, but it is really a shortened name for the Tallassee Power Company. The naming conventions of many cultures become mixed up in this byway.