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"Dragon" research

Yeeha! Stephen

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I'm doing some research for our Spring vacation ride.

Think we'll go East this time, instead of Colorado.

Would like your input on routes, eats, and stays.

Want to include the Barber museum, the Cherohala, the Dragon, Smokey Mtn Park, and other sights of the area. Want to include some nice stuff between the Museum and Dragon (Northern Georgia).

I've stayed in Cherokee and Ashville NC before and will probably base out of there for a couple of days this time. We did the Park, part of the Blue Ridge Pkwy, the Cherohala, but skipped the Dragon for lack of time. Been wanting to go back ever since...


Other than that, I'm open to suggestions for the present time.

What say you? Got a Fav?

Send me some ideas... & thanks!
 
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If you are staying in Cherokee and haven't seen the "Trail of Tears" production, take the time one evening. The wife and I saw it in 2003 and have been wanting to see it again.

As for roads, you can have fun on just about any road in any direction. So are even better then the dragon just not as compact.
 

Squeaky

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There might still be sections of the BRP under construction and closed with VERY annoying detours. I spent the better part of a day getting to, routing around, then back down from it to just end up almost where I'd started last Spring.

Granted, the detours were VERY twisty - but it was rather inconveneint. Check with the park office (?) before you head that way.
 
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We stayed at Iron Horse Motorcycle Campground during our trip -they have some nice cabins, a comfortable lounge, and tent camping areas. I'm not affiliated, it's just a nice place - close to the dragon, and lots of other roads as good but less famous.

Oh yeah, Grandfather Mountain is really cool. The road up to it (and watching the big cruisers and luxo-tourers struggle up) is probably as entertaining as the facility. Well worth the 8 or so bucks to get in.

Joyce Kilmer National Forest was pretty cool.

If you happen to run into the guy that said "If you hit some gravel you could really wreck, huh?", punch him square in the face.
 
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The dirt road detour we took off the Blue Ridge a few miles north of I 40 was the highlite of our ride that day . I am not into tourist traps , I couldn't get far enough away from Cherokee and the traffic it draws . The Cherohala was sweet but I dont think I will ever see the Dragon again . Way too much pressure and way too much traffic enforcement and impossible to ride at speeds below 30 mph . One thing I noticed this last trip , every road we rode south of I 40 we had to deal with traffic , north of I 40 was motorcycle heaven with very little traffic . Since Maggie Vally ran the Wheels Thru Time mueseum out of town they can close the town up for all I care , I wont be back . SEYA
 

Tourmeister

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:tab Dave... Dave... Dave... There are TONS of great roads (paved and unpaved) South of I-40, you just have to know where to find them :trust: On our last trip out, I did not hit the Dragon or Cherohala. We stayed in Franklin on Hwy 28 and US 64. It is an ideal location for basing for 5-6 days of great riding. The rate may have gone up, but when we were there in 05, the Franklin Motel was $50/night for nice clean rooms and it is right smack in the middle of town so that it was easy to walk to places for dinner. Other than short stretches on US 64, traffic was a non issue.

:tab All that said, one of my all time favorite rides happens to be on the NE side of I-40 ;-) Hwy 209 North out of Waynesville all the way up to Hot Springs is an incredibly fun ride and typically has little if any traffic. Take US 70 East out of Hot Springs to Hwy 208 and go North just a bit to Big Laurel Rd (also NC 1318). This eventually winds its way over to US 23/I-26. This is one of those roads you will want to just turn around and backtrack a few times :rider: Or, you can run up US 23/I-26 via some backroads to Upper Higgins Creek Rd., about 5 miles North of the state line and head W to Hwy 81, then North up to Hwy 352 (also Devil's Fork Rd.) Hwy 352 runs back West to the NC state line and becomes Hwy 212 which then runs back down to Hwy 208, coming out just a hair North of where Big Laurel Rd., turned off. If you are feeling adventurous, there are a TON of little roads back in this area, many very nicely paved. I suggest having a GPS or a VERY detailed paper map as it would be easy to get lost ;-)

:tab Man, I could sit here for hours listing roads and routes... It really makes me nuts because I can't get out there to ride them! :doh:
 

LowRyter

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I'm doing some research for our Spring vacation ride.

Think we'll go East this time, instead of Colorado.

Would like your input on routes, eats, and stays.

Want to include the Barber museum, the Cherohala, the Dragon, Smokey Mtn Park, and other sights of the area. Want to include some nice stuff between the Museum and Dragon (Northern Georgia).

I've stayed in Cherokee and Ashville NC before and will probably base out of there for a couple of days this time. We did the Park, part of the Blue Ridge Pkwy, the Cherohala, but skipped the Dragon for lack of time. Been wanting to go back ever since...


Other than that, I'm open to suggestions for the present time.

What say you? Got a Fav?

Send me some ideas... & thanks!

I go there every April. I start at the AMA Superbike races at Barber and then go up to Deal's Gap. Next year I am thinking of staying the whole week and going back to 'Bama for the Talladega NASCAR race.

Anyway, if you're going in the Spring, why not go to the Barber Superbike races? After wards I like to camp in a country park west of Chattanooga. Then cruise around the TVA dam & Tenn River Gorge.

Since I trailer, I haven't done N Ga and TWO resort which I hear is great. As an alternative you can go up the Cherokee National Forrest. I thought that Smokey Park & Cherokee were over rated. Sorry never been to the Biltmore.

I like to stay close to the Dragon (Deal's Gap, Punkin Center, Robbinsville). My favorite ride is to take Dragon from Tenn, take the Hwy 28 fork at Deal's Gap and follow it all the way down to Highlands NC.

Not a lot of traffic during the weekdays in April. Still patrolled by the LEOs, you might save your speed for the turns and restrain yourself on the straightaways. Unfortunately, you'll still hear sirens and see ambulances, sometimes more than once a day.
 
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Here are the routes I had planned to take earlier this year.

Unfortunately I did not get to go.
 

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Hwy60 and WolfPen gap in norhern GA are very GOOD! The Gap is way overrated as there are many other roads for day rides.
 
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Try to ride at least part of the Natchez Trace going to or from Tennessee. It's a great ride - no commercial traffic.
 
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Highway 16 north out of Marion Virginia is a blast and in my opinion better thN the dragon because its faster with less traffic from there there is the head of the dragon thT makes. Big loop in w Virginia its also a great road
 
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