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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by rockinrog, Oct 14, 2010.
Anybody know if the weekend of July 4 results in heavy traffic on the parkway?
We stayed in Little Switzerland last week I heared the desk clerk telling someone the price of rooms for the 4th weekend and they where up $40.00 a room from what I was paying for a Friday night. So would say price up traffic up.
As a general rule, when summer break starts, everyone that lives in the Carolina's, Georgia and Florida that aren't at the beach and have time off, are trying to get above 3000 feet to beat the heat. During this time, Parkway traffic doubles!!!
Thanks, I have a long weekend, but I guess so does most of America. I thought maybe I'd take an extra day of vacation and see the Parkway in the summer.
I have always heard others say how bad the traffic is in leaf season and I have never found it to be all that bad. So do you think the traffic is worse in the summer than in leaf season?
I found the the car and RV traffic was light. 6-13 - 6-18 more bikes then cars
I've found the traffic on the BRP to always be light during the week. I never go on the weekend, especially a holiday weekend.
I would say the summer is definitly more traffic, school is out and everyone takes vacation. I think the leaf season is more the retired crowd taking a Sunday drive.
If you've never taken the side trip to Linville Gorge, it's a must.
I could not agree more about the BRP. Its only a short 2 hour ride for me to the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak on the east coast.
I love the cool temps and the views most riders just read about. Took my bike for its first ride up to the top of Mt. Mitchell, a great day.
Mt. Mitchell a great destiny and altitude-
A buddy of mine showed me this road that runs around the rim of the
gorge. It's called Kistler Memorial Highway, NC 1238. It is recomended for off road capable vehicles only and a blast to ride!
Cool, what route is the gorge on? I will probably take my now annual ride down the parkway in Mod October. Now that I've done the entire pkwy I will have to start exploring things like this that are just off the pkwy.
way cool, highest parking lot in the eastern united states!!!
looks oddly familar...i thought i had my bike in the picture though.
I made it up there once, it was rainy, windy and cold I will have to stop again when the weathers better. We were going to camp for the night, but my buddy didn't like that you couldn't see the bikes from the camping area. As I recall you had to park and carry everything in.
Full campgrounds would probably worry me more than traffic. I like to stretch the day and camp just before dark. If you get there and the campground is full ... well riding around in the dark looking for a place to stay isn't my favorite thing.
get off the parkway at Linville Falls, Hwy 221, go about a mile or so and bear left on route 183. Kistler Memorial Highway and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area entrance is just a few hundred yards down on the right. at the top of the first rise take the left fork to the overlook to the gorge. i would highly recommend continuing on from there on Kistler Mem. Hwy but, when you reach the other end you'll have to use the gps to get back to the parkway or retrace your route.
<center>It looks a little different in late May.
I was there last year.
Mmmm, love the old RT. Had one back in the day.
Anyway, go for it. Summer weekends with blue skies bring out the RVs and minivans... can't be avoided. Maybe more traffic than in the fall but at least it'll be moving. The leaf peepers, on the other hand, stop right in the middle of the road and ooh and aah as if no one else cares.
Aside: I flew into a BRP tunnel near Cherokee once only to have my headlight reflect on a car stopped in my lane. No lights... nothing. They were just sitting there enjoying the dark and quiet, I guess. Barely missed 'em. Glad no one was coming the other direction. Point being, even though the BRP is naturally relaxing, don't lose your focus.
If you're lucky, it'll be on the rainy side and you'll have the whole thing mostly to yourself. No two BRP rides are exactly the same, if you pay attention. And I don't know of a better place to get stuck in traffic.
Enjoy the ride.
Your report was well done and brought back good memories.
Last year my wife and I flew to Boston, picked up a KLR and road it back home to Tennessee. It was a good trip (other than the stock seat). We stayed in hotels rather than camping. We started in Front Royal on the Skyline and left the BRP at Boone, NC. That was by far the nicest part of the trip. But part of the MA/PA/NY section wasn't bad either.
All of our meals were off the parkway and we found a couple of simple but nice places.
Our ride was in July but it ended up being the coolest week of the summer. It was also during the week and there was very little traffic.
Thanks again for your report. A link to our trip is in the signature.
Thank you for the kind words. The first time I visited the parkway I had read a little, but really didn't know what it was. I liked it so much I went back the next year and the next. If I don't make it down before, I will still make my normal mid October visit Lord Willing. I will check out your ride report.
The BRP is a beautiful ride "but" the speed limit is 45mph and since it is a federal highway speeding fines must be paid within 7 days.... Ask me how I know.
Also remember that most of the roads that the BRP crosses are great curvy mountain roads too. Do yourself a favor and get off the BRP to explore and you'll find jewels that the tourists and cops don't clutter so much.
I live within 20 minutes of the BRP and only ride it occasionally. I prefer to explore the less beaten paths.