Join the Mailing List:



"For adventurous travelers, or those who want to get away from tourist traps, or even history buffs, this is an enjoyable, educational, entertaining work."
— Deirdre Parker Smith The Salisbury Post

"I recommend it highly—not only for you outdoorsy types but also for history buffs and anybody who enjoys a good, old-fashioned Sunday drive."
— Polly Paddock The Charlotte Observer

"Whether traveling the backroads of western North Carolina from the cushioned comfort of a mini-van or a squeaky front porch rocker, Sakowski’s book offers hours of enjoyable reading and a glimpse at life not visible from the fast pace of the freeway."
— Rose Erskine Out ’n About

"Every once in a while you’re overwhelmed with chagrin stemming from a sense of “What a good idea. Why didn’t I think of that?” Well, it is a good idea, and Carolyn Sakowski did think of it, and she has a winner….This is a book to have beside you on the front seat as you explore the backroads of the mountains."
— Jim Dumbell The Charlotte Observer

"Sakowski’s great contribution to the bookshelf—if not the back seat of the car—is 1) latching onto a rich concept; 2) applying an eye for delicious anecdote; and 3) delivering crisp prose. . . .She is a reliable traveler, a homegrown appreciator, and a wonderful storyteller... "
— Rob Neufeld North Carolina Libraries (journal of North Carolina Library Association)

"Those who enjoy the Western North Carolina scenery—but don’t appreciate the crowds—will enjoy Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads….it can bring the traveler closer to the history, people and beauty of Western North Carolina."
— Alva Stewart The State

Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads

Third Edition

Have you ever been to the mountains of western North Carolina and wanted to see the scenery but escape the crowds? Maybe you were tempted to take off down a side road but hesitated, fearful of getting lost. Now, Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads can help you make that escape.

The book's 21 tours cover the entire mountain region of western North Carolina and provide numerous opportunities for seeing unspoiled landscapes and pastoral scenes. But scenery is not the only focus. Once you're on the backroads, you might speculate about the history behind the old white clapboard farmhouse that dominates the valley ahead, or you might wonder about the rest of the story behind the two sentences on the historical marker at the side of the road. Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads fills in those details. Drawing from local histories and early travel writings, each tour is designed to be a journey through the history of the area. Tales of eccentric characters, folklore that has been passed down through the ages, and stories about early settlers combine to present a perspective that makes the scenery come alive.

This third edition features updated directions, additional sites, new photographs, suggested spur trips, and nearby recreational opportunities. Use this guidebook to plan your next day trip, weekend getaway, or cycling adventure!

  • Buy from:


"She lingers over the characters, economics, and battles that have put this part of the country on the map. "
— Carolyn L. Stoddard New Hampshire Tech. Inst. Lib., Concord

Touring the East Tennessee Backroads

Second Edition

What do miniature golf, the Cherokee alphabet, country music, the atomic bomb, and the long-lost State of Franklin have in common?

They were all born in East Tennessee, of course.

Author Carolyn Sakowski drove over three thousand miles to update routes and directions for this second edition of Touring the East Tennessee Backroads. Though she didn’t much care for filling her gas tank, she loved reacquainting herself with the region’s rich history and unforgettable personalities.

Readers of this popular guide will meet frontier legends Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston. They’ll encounter a pair of future presidents—the hotheaded, gun-toting Andrew Jackson and the fugitive Andrew Johnson—at decidedly unpresidential moments in their lives. They’ll witness where John Sevier assembled with the Overmountain Men during the American Revolution and where William Thomas’s Cherokee legion fought in the Civil War. They’ll see Rock City, visit sites on the Trail of Tears, and travel to the courthouse where Clarence Darrow battled William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes Monkey Trial. They’ll enjoy the best East Tennessee has to offer, from its mountain passes and TVA dams to its historic homes, churches, and gravesites.

The thirteen tours are amply illustrated with black-and-white photographs for the benefit of vacationers and armchair travelers alike.

  • Buy from: