It was a time-honored tradition in the hills and hollers of East Tennessee, carrying jugs of “that good ole mountain dew” to friends—and customers. The secret stills, souped up cars and wild night drives gave birth to NASCAR racing and larger-than-life legends. A mix of fact and faction, the tales of bootleggers running ’shine on Thunder Road gave life to the 1958 film and song of the same name, but there were plenty of real people and real stories to go around.
Travel the White Lightning Trail to learn about famous moonshiners like Popcorn Sutton. Visit the Vardy Community to see the home of “Big Haley” Mullins, a bootlegger so large she was deemed “catchable but not fetchable.” Travel the East Tennessee Crossing Scenic Byway, which travels the path of the real Thunder Road.
Stop in at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery for a taste of the legal version, or visit Calhoun’s Microbrewery or Bearden Hill location for a Thunder Road ale.
Tennessee Vacation eGuide
The 2016 eGuide gives you instant access to Tennessee’s irresistible attractions and destinations. Peruse venues online, then put in your order to get a free guide delivered to your doorstep.