Alabama route suggestions for dad's 75 b-day

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by condoor, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. condoor

    condoor Adventurer

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    Hi all -
    My dad lives in Helena, AL and I live in Colorado. Ever since I was a kid we talked about getting a couple Gold Wings and driving across country together, but that never happened.

    BUT - His 75th birthday is coming up in September and I'm looking into possibly renting or borrowing a bike in the Birmingham area and doing a 3-4 day trip with him - he has a cruiser japanese 900ish - not sure of model.

    Anyway, this would need to be an all pavement trip with a max of 200 mile days and hotels at night. I'm leaning on heading into north Alabama and possibly sliding over into North Georgia, but I really don't know too much about that area - other than it's beautiful.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Chris
    #1
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    IMO N. GA has better riding than Al but there is some good riding in AL also. Just East of Birmingham is Mt CHeaha which has some nice roads as well a a lodge at the top of the mountain. In northeast Alabama is Little River Canyon, Desoto Falls and even a Ski Area:huh. Guntersville is pretty because of all the water there.

    Much of this ride report is done around Huntsville and North Alabama and it may give you some ideas: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=647784
    #2
  3. DirtViking

    DirtViking SKOL!

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    I was just in that area a few weeks ago. Talladega national forest looked pretty cool. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to root around any. I was on my bike though. That's pretty close to Birmingham. It's a pretty area.

    I think it really depends on the type of riding you're looking for. I have ridden north and south out of Birmingham. I would go north as you have already indicated. I would try to hit the mountains in Tennessee/North Carolina. Beautiful area. Too far?? If you're in Tennessee, then Asheville, NC is not that far away. If you could find a way to get there, I think you'd be happy. There's basically an interstate that leads from Knoxville to Asheville that goes through the mountains. It's pretty easy riding depending on traffic, but still kind of fun.

    Good luck.
    #3
  4. GeorgiaDirtDawg

    GeorgiaDirtDawg Adventurer

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    NW GA has a few good roads with good views for cruising. Middle North GA is even better though, and a little closer for you than NC. Hwy 136 from the Alabama/Georgia line would take you East with a lot of good rural riding. You could take it all the way to 382, then north to Ellijay, GA. From there, your options further East for riding are great! Or you could stay on 136 all the way to where it t's into Hwy 52 near Amicalola Falls, then turn left and then back to the right onto 52 towards Dahlonega. Great historic town to stop in! Tons of roads and nice loops to ride north and northeast of there! Hwy 60, Hwy 129, 180, 348, 75, you will not get bored up there! And Amicola Falls is a good stop too. Oh, BTW, Stop in at Cloudland Canyon State Park and check out the view before getting too far into GA, too. It's right beside the parking lot, so not a bad walk or anything. You could head north from there on Lookout Mountain Scenic Hwy (189 I think) towards Chattanooga, either if you want to go more north into TN than East into GA, or you could do a there and back ride on that road just to see it before getting on 136. Its a real nice road with a lot of good views off the ridge. Even passes a hang-gliding launch area!
    #4
  5. GeorgiaDirtDawg

    GeorgiaDirtDawg Adventurer

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    And just to clarify, those GA roads are all pretty much primary two-lane, nothing rough or sketchy, just a lot of smooth open riding, or easy mountain curves.
    I've only driven around north AL a handful times, half the time dirt and half the time sportbike, so I don't know a ton of roads that would be good for yalls trip. Someone mentioned it, and Little River Canyon has some decent roads right around it, and the waterfall is cool to see. There's actually a road that follows the canyon a good ways thats very scenic and good pavement. Its 176 I think, runs from west to east/northeast up towards the falls, which are on Hwy 35. It is technically called Little River Canyon Pkwy, Or Canyon Rim Road or something like that. I know it is a right turn off of 11/7 a little ways north of Collinsville, AL. And then Desoto Falls is north of there, and is a really cool almost hundred foot freefall into the canyon! Its easy to access, too for a good view. Some of the roads around it can be a little narrow and occasional gravel on the pavement, but those are mostly side roads nearby, not really the more direct route to the falls. Did I mention it's a really cool waterfall? ;-)
    #5
  6. condoor

    condoor Adventurer

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    Thanks all! I'm looking at a map now and kind of forgot how big Alabama is! The Cheaha area looks really interesting! Are most of the roads through there paved? It looks like it would be nice to drive through that area on the roads labeled as 'Scenic Highway', and then continue north up to DeSoto Falls.

    We are planning this trip for either late September or early October. I don't really know how many miles we will be able/willing to cover in a day, so I will come up with a route with lots of contingencies.

    Does anyone have any experience with these guys: http://www.birminghammotorcyclerentals.com/

    Or do you have any other recommendations as to where I can rent a bike while I'm there?

    I haven't searched yet, will do that next, but would like to pick up some kind of way for us to communicate between each other while on the bikes. Any suggestions there?

    Thanks again-
    Chris
    #6
  7. ZGirl

    ZGirl Girly Adventurer

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    If you end up around Birmingham, please don't forget Barber Motorcycle Museum. I promise you will not be disappointed! :-)

    1st time we visited we only had a couple of hours before closing & I thought my husband was going to cry when they made us leave!

    http://www.barbermuseum.org/
    #7
  8. cahoona7

    cahoona7 Rider

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    Lookin for AL Tag
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