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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pinnacle Overlook - worth the detour

I am sure there are numerous great overlooks throughout the Smoky Mountains.  I have had spent limited time in the Smokies but, during that time one of my favorite spots to view the mountains is Pinnacle Overlook near Cumberland Gap Tennesse and Middlesboro, Kentucky.  The ride up Pinnacle Road to the overlook is also a really good motorcycle ride even though it is only 4 miles.  The road and the Overlook are part of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.

We accessed Pinnacle Road from US 25E on the south side of Middlesboro, KY.  and stopped at the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park visitor center.  The visitor center provides information about the park and the overlook.
Good area for hiking
Pinnacle Road has several tight curves and some steep inclines rising to and elevation of 2,440 feet (visitor center is at about 1,200 feet).  The road is closed to vehicles 20 feet or longer and that is a good thing.  The road was in good shape but, it is a park road so there is no shoulder.

The views from the overlook were great.  We could see three states, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  It was incredible how far we could see.
Looking towards Virginia
If I remember correctly that is Fern Lake near Cumberland Gap, TN
It was a clear day when we visited the overlook.  We could see for miles.  There a location on the short trail at the overlook where we could put one foot in Virginia and one in Kentucky.  The boys loved that.

When we left the overlook we headed south out of Middlesboro and rode through the historic Cumberland Gap Tunnel.  My son (11 at the time) tried his hand at filming while we rode through the tunnel.  See video below - remember it was an 11 year old filming. :)
If you get a change to visit that area of the Smoky Mountains make plans to ride up to Pinnacle Overlook.


  1. Never been in that area but looks really nice. Maybe this summer if I find the time I will take a ride out there ;-)

  2. Great post, looking for places to stop by on my motorcycle ride to Maine.
    Big Al

  3. Great place to visit, and I enjoyed reading about your trip. I visited there myself a couple of years back on my Ninja and wrote about it in my blog: