ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Regional forums > Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-29-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
-Chris- OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
-Chris-'s Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Sand Springs, Ok
Oddometer: 323
I'm heading East and need your help!!

I am in need of assistance/advice on a ride I will be doing in April/May (Tentatively Apr 26th - May 5th). I do not know the eastern part of the U.S. like I want to, so I’m heading that way. I have a tentative route and would like input from people that live in the areas or have ridden there before to see where I really should be going. I will be doing anything from dirt roads to two lane highways, prefer to stay off interstates. I will be riding a Tiger 800 and will do a mixture of camping and hotels. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

I am looking at leaving Tulsa and heading southeast through partial Arkansas and into Louisiana. Once in Louisiana I will try and follow the coast as much as possible (hoping to camp on the beach if at all possible). The only place I really care to stop in would be in New Orleans. Then from there I will keep going east to Mobile Bay. I plan to take the Ferry across Pelican Bay just because.

I will then continue east into Florida, I do not plan on going down into Florida much. Panama Beach maybe? Any places I should check out instead? After that I will head to the east coast, then up to Charleston, SC. Not really sure why but I have always wanted to go check that area out. After that I will change direction (because that’s all time permits) and head up through the Smokey Mountains and into Chattanooga, TN. I really enjoyed my stay there last time so I figure why not go through again.

I have a good friend in Decatur, AL that I will stop in and stay a day with, then up to Millington, TN and see some Family. Once I’m done there it’s just going to be a haul back across Arkansas (probably up through Mountain Home, AR) then on back to Tulsa.

I am pretty new to adventure riding and this will be my first week long ride with camping. Please be easy on me.

Again thanks for any help and hopefully I will see some of you on my ride. I will buy you a beer for your help.
__________________
2012 Triumph 800 XC
2009 Yamaha V-Max
2006 Honda CRF50
2005 Honda CRF450X
Fly & Ride-2013, Meandering East - From Tulsa to the coast

-Chris- screwed with this post 01-30-2014 at 02:59 PM
-Chris- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 01:03 PM   #2
GeForce
Let's Ride!!
 
GeForce's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2013
Location: Hickory NC
Oddometer: 9
I would suggest while headed to The Smokies to camp at Blueridge Motorcycle Campground. Www.blueridgemotorcyclecamp.com
Some of the best dirt roads anywhere!! Pisgah National Forest is full of National Forest roads. According to when you will be there I could give you a tour of these roads. Schedule a day or two there if possible. I have rode much of what you are riding and this will be a highlight of your trip. Lots of beautiful two lane twisties too!!
GeForce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 01:47 PM   #3
Fireman1000
Beastly Adventurer
 
Fireman1000's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Gray GA
Oddometer: 2,359
Where do I start? I would bypass Panama City, and go for the Naval Air Station Museum in Pensacola. Blue Angels are Stationed there, and you can watch them practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Skip Chattanooga and go for north Georgia. Wonderful riding in all directions. Cherohala Skyway, Deals Gap, Highway 28 in Western North Carolina to name a few. Go check out the D.O.G.S. thread in Regional Forums, lots of info there on places to see and ride. Shoot me a PM if you head up through central GA, and I may be able to show you a few places.
Nice choice in bikes also.
Fireman1000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 01:52 PM   #4
DirtDabber
cultural illiterate
 
DirtDabber's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Way, Way North GA
Oddometer: 7,807
I am biased but the best riding in the southeastern us is the TN, GA, NC, SC mountains. Unless you really, really want to be near the coast I would spend more time in the mountains.
__________________
.

I wonder where that road goes?
DirtDabber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
FTL900
White and nerdy
 
FTL900's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Oddometer: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtDabber View Post
I am biased but the best riding in the southeastern us is the TN, GA, NC, SC mountains. Unless you really, really want to be near the coast I would spend more time in the mountains.
What he said. New Orleans is fun, I'm glad it's on your hit list.

I lived in Florida for 5 years, and that was enough. It's a great tourist destination, but watch out for the q-tips. The roads are primarily straight and flat for the most part, and frequently congested with tourists and retirees. Unless it's Bike Week or your going to Disney or the beach, you're better off turning north. Panama City Beach (PCB) is in the panhandle, and is plenty of tourist attraction and beach without going any farther south.

North Georgia is a really great riding destination and has miles and miles of great roads and gorgeous scenery, everything from tight twisties to wide sweeping turns.
Going north out of Atlanta on GA-400, turn to go through Dahlonega and then follow highway 60 to Suches GA and the T.W.O. campground.



Go east from there along 180 (slow down through the little town and past the church to keep the locals happy!) to Vogel State park on the other end, and then ride 129 over Blood Mountain. There will be tons of riders at every intersection and gas station, and they will all help you find the best spots to ride. Check out Two Wheels Only, the motorycle campground in the middle of it all. It's recently been closed, but I heard it's about to open back up. It's an enthusiast hang-out/stopping point, and there will be loads of like-minded people there to tell you about great roads nearby. If it's not open when you get there, the Skeenah Gap campground is only 15 or so miles north and very bike friendly. The ZRXOA (Kawasaki ZRX owners) holds two rallies there each year, and are always welcomed back.

From there, the Great Smoky Mountains are between the north Georgia riding areas and Deal's Gap, and the park is really pretty to ride up and over.
You'll pass this sign:


Cades Cove loop is a one-way 11 mile scenic loop in a plateau at the top of the mountain, and it's not unusual to have deer and other animals walking right up to you at the road edge. They live protected, so they have no natural fear of man or machine. Pack a lunch in, and find a picnic table to relax while your bike cools down... 25 mph speed limit throughout the loop. And watch out for the gawking tourists.



Across the Smokies and down the north side is Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge... think tourist towns. Fun places for a minute. Pigeon Forge frequently gets gridlocked by car (Corvette, Mustang, insert-car-name-here) or other meets that seem to inhabit the whole town, so it's good to check their calendar. Kinda similar to PCB in Florida only without the beach and bikini babes.

Then from there, Deals' Gap is a little farther north. Deal's Gap gets all the attention for that area around north Georgia/North Carolina, but it's not nearly as large as the north georgia riding area. Deal's Gap is 11 miles long and very twisty,and you don't want to pass through without riding The Dragon, but it's frequently congested on weekends with people traveling hundreds of miles just to ride that road.



Be very careful there. Idiots abound. It amazes me that people will drive clear from another state just to navigate those very twisty turns, but then try to straighten them out by using both lanes, negating the sharp turn.
Large trucks struggle through there as well, trying to stay in one lane. It also attracts car clubs, so try not to go on Miata weekend.



The Blue Ridge parkway runs from that area up into Virginia, and is also great for nice scenery. I've only seen the south end of it.

Good luck, and post pictures!! All of us stuck at work want to see pictures!
__________________
The older I get, the faster I used to be.
1999 ZRX1100, 1998 VTR1000, 1996 Bandit 600

FTL900 screwed with this post 01-29-2014 at 03:06 PM
FTL900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 04:31 PM   #6
b1pig
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Ray City, Ga
Oddometer: 724
lots of good suggestions. personally, unless you just want to claim you rode through the dragon, i'd pass on it for better riding for the main reason being the idiots and hooligans. theres is also usually a strong law enforcement presence there. I've been down it once in a jeep... which was fun for about 5 miles. after that, it wasnt much fun for me.

Cherohala Skyway is a great road, some curvy sections, but the views are phenomenal. there are also other roads to explore, some with sights of their own. we found a farm that raises buffalo off of rafter road north east of tellico plains. there are some primitive camp sights along a few of the forest roads as well. we passed 4 or 5 along FR-35 near Indian Boundary.

found some intersting roads southwest of tellico plains without any research... just decided to take a turn. FR-341 offered up 4 crossings of Conesauga Creek... and some interesting views from the road. didnt check out the falls, though... we had our babies with us.
__________________
'07 Jeep JKU Rubicon, '73 Super Beetle, '13 Fiat 500 Abarth
'12 Grand Caravan (wife)
'08 KLR 650
'07 GZ250 (wife)
b1pig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 04:47 PM   #7
biker128pedal
Super Lurker
 
biker128pedal's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Eastern, VA
Oddometer: 2,803
If you can make it to the Naval Air Station go. Plan on a half day at least. Take the trolley ride to the air field. Then go from PensacolaPanama City Beach to Navarre Beach. Grab a fish Taco from Shark Bite at the West end of Navarre Beach if he is there.



Don't head up the coast. Too boring. Also do you want roads or history or both.
__________________


Wee Strommin along.

biker128pedal screwed with this post 01-30-2014 at 09:09 AM
biker128pedal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 04:57 PM   #8
Fireman1000
Beastly Adventurer
 
Fireman1000's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Gray GA
Oddometer: 2,359
^^ You mean Pensacola Beach to Navarre, right?
Fireman1000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 07:16 AM   #9
-Chris- OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
-Chris-'s Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Sand Springs, Ok
Oddometer: 323
You guys are awesome!!! This forum is great! I have so much info to go through now and they want me to work while im at work. What gives??? Don't they know I'm trying to plan a motorcycle trip???

Anyways, I won't have time to go through all of what you have suggested until the weekend. But Thank you!!!

If you have anymore, please let me know. When I have included your suggestions in my route I will post up a map to see what you think.

Also biker, I want roads and history!
__________________
2012 Triumph 800 XC
2009 Yamaha V-Max
2006 Honda CRF50
2005 Honda CRF450X
Fly & Ride-2013, Meandering East - From Tulsa to the coast
-Chris- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #10
b1pig
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Ray City, Ga
Oddometer: 724
history? dahlonega georgia. rich history, good museum. nice architecture. activities (if you have time). interesting landscape and roads.

Mercier Apple Orchards in Blue Ridge, Ga on Ga Hwy 5 is a good stop if you want to sample some "orchard wine" brewed from the apples they grow. they have a cafe. just had a Pita for lunch there monday on the ride home and snagged a bottle of brew from them. their apples are awesome.

Helen, Ga is a tourist town. its a shopping stop, but they are german themed, and they stock true german beers that i've not encountered elsewhere. restraunts have historically been very nice establishments.

i bought a book several years ago. i think it was something like "rides and drives of North Carolina". in it were several loops and straight tours that included historical landmarks, unique geological sites and scenic sights. it also included limited info on short hikes. proved to be an interesting tool that i used a few times.

the only thing on the coast that may be remotely intersting is Outter Banks. Kill Devil Hills and such for history of flight. If you're intersted, the beach road of Corrolla is "4x4 only" and is open access for the most part. moring is the best time to ride before the entrance/exit gets chewed up by the cars. if its something you have on your bucket list. its unfortunately a relatively expensive place to stay. no camping on the beaches there.

i'll throw this in for kicks and giggles. Krambone's BBQ in tellico plains, tn.... loaded baked potatoe is ... um... loaded. wife loved it.
__________________
'07 Jeep JKU Rubicon, '73 Super Beetle, '13 Fiat 500 Abarth
'12 Grand Caravan (wife)
'08 KLR 650
'07 GZ250 (wife)
b1pig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 10:00 AM   #11
DirtDabber
cultural illiterate
 
DirtDabber's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Way, Way North GA
Oddometer: 7,807
Here is a good thread in a similar vein regarding travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding area that will give you some more ideas...

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=950582
__________________
.

I wonder where that road goes?
DirtDabber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 10:38 AM   #12
klaviator
Beastly Adventurer
 
klaviator's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
Oddometer: 5,631
I have lived on the gulf coast, New Orleans and Pensacola. I found the riding there pretty boring and always headed up to the mountains whenever I could. Also keep in mind that there likely be a big difference in weather between the coast and the mountains. It will most likely be pretty hot and humid on the coast while you may encounter freezing temperatures at higher elevations in the mountains. You will need a wide range of gear.

There are several motorcycle resorts in the mountains of N. Ga and N. Carolina. Great places to camp and meet other riders.
__________________
I ride, Therefore I Am.



klaviator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 02:05 PM   #13
RideOn2
Studly Adventurer
 
RideOn2's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Concord,Mass
Oddometer: 585
All those are good ideas, try and grab an extra week. Charlston is a very cool town but if you don't want to go that far North. Savannah GA has a great Southern Feel.

I spent a couple weeks exploring the Destin,FL area a while back and really liked it. My two fav resturants Harbor Side in Destin and Stinky's Fish Camp about 25mi East of Destin.

The better riding is in the mountains for sure, but I need some time near or on the water.

Have a great trip.
RideOn2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 02:10 PM   #14
NICHE
EasyRider
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Maine/Nantucket
Oddometer: 20
Pensacola for Blue Angels practice. Don't miss it. The ferry across mobile bay is good. Stop at the Florobama on the other side for the mullet toss. The ride along the fl coast isn't bad. The area around Destin is beautiful with some nice roads. Ride early am for no traffic. Skip panama beach and hit Apilachicola. From there, head north. As in due North. The rest of Northern Florida holds nothing until you get to the east coast. Fernandina Beach is charming.
Have a nice ride.
NICHE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 04:48 PM   #15
AJay112
AJay112
 
AJay112's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Oddometer: 1,437
Quote:
Originally Posted by FTL900 View Post

Cades Cove loop is a one-way 11 mile scenic loop in a plateau at the top of the mountain, and it's not unusual to have deer and other animals walking right up to you at the road edge. They live protected, so they have no natural fear of man or machine. Pack a lunch in, and find a picnic table to relax while your bike cools down... 25 mph speed limit throughout the loop. And watch out for the gawking tourists.




Good luck, and post pictures!! All of us stuck at work want to see pictures!
I MUST disagree on the "Cades Cove Loop." Bail out and take Parsons Branch Road back to "Tail of the Dragon."

Google assignment:

Parsons Branch Road
Tatum Gap ("Technically" closed but... )
Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters
"Hellbender 28"
"Devils Triangle TN"

"Iron Horse Lodge" (Camping / Lodging)

You really don't want to waste time in Flatistan.
__________________
><>
Coming to a Starbucks near you
AJay112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 01:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014