Byway Landscapes

The Byway links a series of views to rural historic landscapes that are evocative of the pioneer era and frontier culture.

Ecoregions

The Cumberland Byway passes through several ecoregions as it winds through the Northern Cumberland region. The Cumberland Gap itself was formed by a fault in the Cumberland Mountain Thrust Block, which looms over the Powell Valley as you travel southwest toward Caryville.

The Powell Valley is a part of the Southern Limestone Dolomite Valleys and Low Rolling Hills, which provide home to several small farms along the Byway. This area is especially scenic with rolling farmland in the foreground and the Thrust Block steep slopes in the background. As you travel up Interstate 75, the Thrust Block comes to a point at an especially unique and scenic rock formation known as the Devil’s Race Track. From the peak at the Devil’s Race Track, one can see for miles into the Powell Valley to the South and into the Dissected Appalachian Plateau, also known as the Eastern Escarpment, where the ascent begins up into the Cumberland Plateau.

From Huntsville to Jamestown, you travel across the relatively flat Cumberland Plateau where isolation, poor soils, and lack of water access has kept the communities on the Plateau from becoming as populated as other parts of the Byway. Past Jamestown, the Byway begins to wind back down the Western Plateau Escarpment through Pall Mall, the home of famed World War I soldier Alvin C. York.

As you pass into the Highland Rim, scenic views are abundant with expansive panoramic views into the grassy farmland that leads you up to Static, Tennessee and back down through Byrdstown, where Dale Hollow Lake provides ample recreational opportunity for Byway travelers and local residents alike, and into Livingston. Finally, you travel back North into Celina where the Cumberland and Obey rivers converge.

The various ecoregions along the Cumberland Byway provide for a wide variety of experiences as travelers pass through, making for quite the interesting journey through the North Cumberland region of Tennessee.