This ride is an experience in uphill/downhill curves. The ride will take you over two mountains with tight uphill/downhill comeback curves. The valley floor road follows mountain streams with numerous places to pull off and enjoy the scenery. Traffic with rare exceptions is light, however because you are in the mountains and this is coal country, watch for coal trucks.
Starting at highway 25W (Clinton highway) north to Lake City, turn left onto highway 116, a narrow winding road that is the start of the “Devil’s Triangle”. It follows Coal Creek and a railroad which passes through many small communities that were once thriving coal towns. You are still in the valley when you will come to the intersection of highway 331 (on your left), this road is a shortcut around the two mountain passes you are about to cross. It will take you to the town of Oliver Springs through another beautiful valley on a smooth winding road. Passing highway 331 you will start up one of the two mountains with sharp comeback uphill curves. Take your time and be extremely careful. If you are not used to these types of roads they can bite if you are not careful. After going over the first of the two mountains you will enter a narrow valley with a stream and railroad as your companion. At the bottom of the second mountain overpass and its sharp comeback down hill curves is Brushy Mountain Prison. This was the home for James Earl Ray for many years and because of its remote location, prisoners who escaped did not stay that way for long. After the prison the road soon “T” intersects with highway 62. There is a gas station and small grocery at the intersection. Turn left onto highway 62 and follow until you come to the intersection with highway 61. This is at the edge of the small town of Oliver Springs where the movie – October Sky -was filmed. If you desire at the traffic light go into town on the old road and you can see the buildings used in the movie. This is also where highway 331 comes out if you took the bypass mentioned earlier. Follow highway 61 and 62 towards Oak Ridge. When you get near Oak Ridge, highway 61 breaks off and goes around and continues back to highway 25W. However I suggest you continue on highway 62 (straight) into Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge is called the secret city as it was built in the early 1940’s and was not on any map because it was built for the Manhattan project (the home of the Atomic Bomb). The Museum of Science and Industry in Oak Ridge will trace the development of the atomic bomb and is worth the time and effort. From Oak Ridge your return to Knoxville will continue and shortly after crossing Melton Hill Lake your choice of Hwy 62 or 162 “Pellissippi Parkway” will take you back to Knoxville.