35.7 miles: 0 hours, 51 minutes
Open, rolling hills characterize US 321 near Johnson City and Elizabethton. Heading west, the route begins to climb as you enter Cherokee National Forest, where twists and turns become the norm. Watauga Lake peeks through the trees as you follow its 16-mile-long shoreline. The Appalachian Trail crosses the route near the southwestern tip of Watauga Lake.