Blue Ridge Parkway

Discussion in 'Americas' started by tnbmwrider, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. tnbmwrider

    tnbmwrider Adventurer

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    Thinking about doing a ride up the blue ridge parkway heading out of Gatlinburg and spending about three days on the road. Suggestions on places to see or stops to make?
    #1
  2. Shawn595

    Shawn595 Been here awhile

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    Subscribed! I'm hoping to make a similar trip next year, but starting Afton, VA.
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  3. coop74

    coop74 Deal's Gap Junkie

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    Camping or hoteling? Riding or sightseeing? road bike or dualsport?

    a little more detail and you will get some more detailed answers.
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  4. Roadscum

    Roadscum Long timer

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  5. Gizmo

    Gizmo Hermes

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    +1 on Maggie Valley and they have a great little motorcycle friendly hotel there.
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  6. tnbmwrider

    tnbmwrider Adventurer

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    Guess a little more info would be helpful. will probably be hotel-ing, however the bikes not yet packed and i always enjoy a nice camping trip too so options still open on that one. taking the R1100R so we'll be sticking to the roads and want to do some fun riding within beautiful surroundings so i guess a little of both on the riding sightseeing side. basically if you've done the route or have places you would recommend in the area throw em out here. Thanks
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  7. coop74

    coop74 Deal's Gap Junkie

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    Things I love on the BRP.

    The pisgah inn for nearly any meal, Sunday brunch rocks and the view is unbelievable if the clouds give you a break. Chow at little Switzerland was also very good. The view from Mt. Mitchel is hard to beat. Depending on timing it could be very windy. Speeds well over 100 mph have been recorded there. Hwy 181 off the south side of the BRP is a nice high speed run if you like large sweepers. The Old store at the meadows of Dan is nice. One of them has bluegrass music that is very cool since it is just locals that wander in to play (or was in the past). Across from the old store is a great ice cream and sandwich place also. Down town Boone NC is a nice break from the bikes and some nice shopping if you are so inclined. Balsam bald is nice too. So many places depending on your inclination. If you make it far enough The inn at the peaks of otter offers great chow and the rooms are primitive but front on a great lake. It is also the location of the Eastern most range of the Cherokee nation back in that day.

    You can spend days running up and down the BRP and every time it is slightly different. If you are just about the riding you can go end to end and back in 3 days but it very dependent on the amount of leaf peepers you get behind.

    Sorry those are in no particular order. If you want to talk about areas on the map send me a PM and I will give you my cell number and we can look at your time frame and the map and i can suggest areas along the whole route, both on the actual BRP and items that are close and worth dropping of the BRP for.

    Coop
    #7
  8. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    For some outstanding country eating stop at Louise's Rock House in Linville Falls NC. Where hwy 221 intersects the parkway.

    That's also near where you can pick up hwy 421 to Lexington, KY which is another outstanding twisty highway. Just the stretch which goes through the Cherokee National forest towards Bristol, VA is amazing.
    #8
  9. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    We stayed at the Bluff Lodge at Doughton Park on the BRP. Nice little place and there's a restaurant within walking distance across the road. As I recall, the rooms do not have phones or televisions.
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    Word. Famous Louise has some great pie too. I ride up there on day trips.
    You can get off the parkway to go into the Linville Falls park and camp.
    You can also ride the other way into the crossroads at Crossnore about a mile or so from the parkway.
    Just near Famous Louise's is the Linville Caverns. For a few bucks you can take the tour. It's neat.
    A small gas station there in Crossnore has amazing fried chicken and tater wedges, and they have a barbecue that will knock your socks off.
    For a very different experience, just off the parkway there's a guy with a monster truck that has passenger seats bolted in the bed. You can buy a ride in the back of the monster truck around a course he has setup on the property. Very neat and stupid fun.
    You can take hwy 105 into Boone and then catch the parkway from there if you need to make up some time. Boone has a lot of good food too.
    The ride up to the entrance of Grandfather Mountain off 105 is nice and twisty.
    The Mountain House in Boone serves good diner style country cooking. It's like a cracker barrel without all the corporate kitsch. It's run by locals.
    The Daniel Boone Inn just beside the App State campus on King Street serves probably the best fried chicken in town.

    There's a lot more mountain culture to be had and enjoyed in the higher elevations. Here in Asheville we're swamped with sushi joints and crap like that thanks to yankee interlopers. :lol3:puke1
    I will say that if you're in the Asheville area and get hungry you should get off the parkway on hwy 74 and go South into Fairview. Eat at a place called Sugar Beet about 2 miles south of the parkway (w-s, 8-3). They serve organic meat grown in fairview and amish bread and such. Nice fusion country food that will make your tongue slap your mouth. Plates are about 10 bucks or so.
    After that, make the trek to Acme Motorcycles about 2 more miles down 74. They're an indy shop and usually have their fleet of race prepped CB350s and the land speed racer 750 Indian around. There's a /2 BMW and a 305 dream on display along with an old cushman. Generally there are one or two classics in the lot for service. Free coffee. Scott, the owner, is a nice dude too. It's worth seeing. They are the local BMW indy shop, so that's always good to know.

    There's a big Jap bike mega store just south of hwy 25 exit if you need any parts. MR Cycles.

    Asheville is a good place to get a beer. We now have more craft breweries than anyone. So, you could get a hotel room and wander around downtown. There's bike parking downtown too, and no meter on it. :deal
    I recommend Jack of the Wood, Lexington Avenue Brewery (the LAB), and Barley's Taproom (all downtown). Jack and LAB have good bar food. Barley's makes great pizza and such.
    For a nice quiet experience without the loud bar feel, the Thirsty Monk is a good choice.

    Stuff to do?
    Ride down into Pisgah Forest and check out some hiking, if you have time. The hike up looking glass is a good one if you're not out of shape. As mentioned, the balds at Black Balsam are pretty scenic due to no trees and 360* views. Mind the chiggers and ticks. They've been very bad this year and we've had no frost yet.

    Be careful. It's tourist season. Lots of leaf lookers in RVs and douchbags on sportbikes going mach 3 on our public roads. It's not hard to come around a curve on the brp this time of year only to have to share your lane or a hospital room with someone not paying attention or riding at 9/10 douche ability.
    #10
  11. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    Chris, I see you've already had some good responses, so let me warn you about one thing. I just got back from Spruce Pine, NC last week. We traveled hundreds of miles on the BRP. Traffic is already pretty congested due to all the tourists up there to see the Fall colors. People in camper vans and motorhomes were everywhere. We were told by a motorcyclist who lives near the BRP that for the next couple of weeks, traffic up there will be so bad that he doesn't even plan to ride there. The police presence in the area also seems to be increasing, so if you do go on the BRP, keep your speed below 55 mph.
    #11
  12. fdawg528

    fdawg528 Adventurer

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    i plan on doing the brp on nov. 13 and 14 how will traffic and weather effect my ride.
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  13. coop74

    coop74 Deal's Gap Junkie

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    Leaves likely by then will be way past peak, maybe even off depending on rain and wind till then. As for weather you could have sunny days, rainy days, and on the high spots maybe even snow on the roads. When it snows they shut it down at the gates.

    Coop
    #13
  14. marcoue

    marcoue Been here awhile

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    Planing on leaving Montreal (Québec) on Sunday towards New Orleans or Key West (still can't make up my mind!!!) and I was thinking of riding the Skyline and the BRP.

    Is weather a factor this time a year? Is it worth bringing the tent or it's just too cold at night? Is it easy to find à cheap bed if I don't camp?

    Thanks in advance!
    #14
  15. Aurelius

    Aurelius Long timer

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    Just met a friend who came down from NC. According to him, temperatures in the mountains have already dropped into the 30's. :vardy
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  16. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    Yeah, the high elevations are experiencing frost temps at night.
    I spent the weekend up in the high country above here in Boone and it was pretty chilly.
    I have a backpacking trip planned for this weekend up in Black Balsam/Shining Rock wilderness. It depends on your gear and how prepared you are for coldish weather. Camping off the BRP down in lower elevations helps.
    Conditions are very dry and campfires are discouraged or prohibited on public lands.
    Early November is a toss up. Could be lots of snow and could be mild. The higher elevations are always the wild card. Bring plenty of gear and make sure your grip heaters (or whatever) work. If you don't have any heated stuff, prepare to suck it up. :lol3:deal

    Traffic was quite bad this weekend, what with all the leaf lookers. Beware lots of fallen leaves on the roadways, especially if we get some rainfall to make them slick. Looks like leaf color will peak this week, so probably after this weekend things will thin out again.
    #16
  17. halliwood

    halliwood Been here awhile

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    pretty cold here right now, just checked in last night in robbinsville, and this morning it was in the 30's, no just got to wait for everyone to wake up so we can go eat breakfast and then I have about a 200 mile loop plan for the day, going to be hitting mt. mitchell tomorrow, and then cut off the parkway to hit 80, haven't done it yet, but here its really good roads. as for the leaves they have changed and there's some caked on the roads already, but I'm pretty sure it had rain before we got here. but most of the road is still clear. we'll be down here till sunday. if anyone else is riding through post up.
    #17
  18. shanekingsley

    shanekingsley Motoman

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    Some really good advice given already...

    I just got back from a 10 day tour through the BRP/Skyline Drive and more. I rode it in 2 days, on weekdays and it was fine for traffic. In fact, I didn't see any police the entire length of the parkway. I did it from south to north to have the sun on my back rather than in my eyes. My speed was generally below 70...

    As for temperatures, I would guess that since the areas along the south reach higher in altitude, they may be considerably colder, even though they are many miles further south. The drive is more technical further south as well.

    I stayed at Willville Bike Camp near Meadows of Dan - but he may be closing soon for the season.

    Have a great time. It was one awesome ride.
    #18
  19. DistortedHumor

    DistortedHumor Been here awhile

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    Right now it is leaf season (I live in the Boone area of the BRP area) and there is a good amount of traffic, traffic mind you that looking at leaves and not the road/motorcycles! (it is this type of year that I if I see a motorcycle about, I get behind them at a safe distance to make sure some idiot does not run over them looking at the leaves). At 3000 feet it is in the 40's already at 730 in the morning. Warms up in the day, but still chilly weather.
    #19
  20. SidewinderX

    SidewinderX Hey, watch this!

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    I have been the entire stretch of the Parkway this year. The past two weekends have been horrible with traffic.

    Current temps are low 40's in the early am and getting up to high 60's.

    Most scenic stretches are
    #1- anything south of Mt Mitchell
    #2- just north of Roanoke.
    #20