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Smoky Mts Nat Park (Dragon's Tail)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by CajunRider, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. CajunRider

    CajunRider Been here awhile

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    566
    My brother in law has never been to the Dragon's Tail (he lives in Montana), so he's charged me with figuring out a route (I'm in Louisiana). Obviously, neither of us knows the area well, so I'm looking for help.

    I need ideas of roads to ride and things to see around that area. We'll be on cruisers, so please list things were we stay on paved roads.

    Most important... The roads. That's why we're going to the Smokies.

    Next in line... Waterfalls, Museums, Scenery... Any interesting things that'll give our butts a break from the saddle.

    Lastly... Places to stay. We typically do generic hotels, but if you have a good place to make a "base of operations", or just nice places to crash for a night, I'd love to hear about 'em.

    All ideas welcomed!!

    Thanks a bunch in advance!
    #1
  2. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    #2
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  3. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Natchez Trace from Natchez to Nashville is a good cruiser road. It's not high speed, though it's moderately curvy and scenic for the part of country it goes through. Pavement surface is perfect.

    I suggest the Natchez Trace with a caveat. You must be interested in the history of the area. Many people get bored with the Natchez Trace because it's got a low speed limit, and they think there isn't much to see. But if you stop at the historical sites and understand the background behind the road, it can be really rewarding. The section of road as you approach Nashville gets more hilly and curvy compared to the Mississippi section.

    There are some fantastic roads east of Nashville to take you toward the Great Smoky Mountains, unfortunately, it's been years since I was out that way, so I can't suggest anything specific.

    Jamie
    #3
  4. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

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    Wheels through time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley, NC
    Cheorloha Skyway
    Blueridge Parkway
    Hwy 28, moonshiners (parts of it really curvy), SC, GA, NC
    Hwy 209, Rattler, between Hot Springs and Lake Junalaska
    Wayha road near Franklin
    Foothills parkway (35 mph) to Lttle river Gourge to fighting Creek to Hwy 441 (Clingsmen Dome)
    Highlands area and hwy 276 has waterfalls, just search for waterfalls in Western NC.
    #4
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  5. TheSweeper

    TheSweeper Adventurer

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    Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham is a great place to spend a day if you have time. The best motorcycle collection you’ll find. From there, find your way through North Georgia.
    #5
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  6. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    My standard reply is www.visitvirginiamountains.com for roads that are connected to the Dragon in VA, TN, WV and NC. Dragon is scenic but anyone looking around there is in a dangerous place for gawking cause most everyone else thinks it's a race track.
    Also N GA & WV and far too many other roads to mention here. Museums are always on roads, waterfalls and scenery are where ever God put them so if you don't walk you miss much of whats out there.
    If you connect The Trace some good roads across from Nashville to E TN that's a great notion as you gotta head north somewhere. You might notice that the Dragon follows an edge of Smoky Mtn NP, so its right next to some of the better hikes in the eastern USA. Others are found in E TN & W NC areas on the other side of the park.

    Hey Sweeper, my DIL is from yer place.
    #6
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  7. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

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    Iron Horse is certainly high end with a great prime rib Saturday night. In Robbinsville is Two Wheel Inn which has rooms and is aimed at motorcycles with covered parking. I have no personal knowledge. Deals Gap at the top of the dragon has a resort with rooms, but again I have only camped there many years ago. Robbinsville also has a motel or two.
    For roads-pick one. Moonshiner 28 heads west to Fontana and can end up on the BRP with its numerous sight seeing opportunities. From Franklin to Highlands, 64 is a curvy ride with a waterfall to walk under, but has a lot of traffic. The list is endless.
    #7
  8. Patch

    Patch Long timer

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    Nailed it.

    Staying in Maggie Valley for at least a night to do the Wheels Thru Time ... plus its really adjacent to some great riding as shared above.
    #8
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  9. CajunRider

    CajunRider Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys!

    Gonna be doing some research on all areas mentioned to make a general game plan.
    #9
  10. tellicotom

    tellicotom Been here awhile

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    Another cool spot to check out is the Brushy Mountain Prison and End of the Line Distillery in Oliver Springs, TN. This is the prison that housed James Earl Ray that is now open for tours. They even have concerts in the Prison courtyard sometimes and the Distillery has great tasting options. Rt 116, The Devils Triangle, goes right past the prison.

    Also nearby is The Secret City, Oak Ridge, TN. Built as part of the Manhattan Project during WWII, it is still a critical asset in our National Security mission. They have Secret City Days the first weekend in June with concerts, displays, and tours to some previous NS sites..
    #10
  11. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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  12. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Absolutely. But, a long way from The Dragon. A great stop on the way from Louisiana.
    #12
  13. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    No, it's actually a baseball cap.
    #13
  14. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Right......:rofl

    I meant CajanRider... the OP
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  15. CajunRider

    CajunRider Been here awhile

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    Yes.

    It's a Yokohama Avid H4S (no longer made) on back of a Honda Valkyrie.

    I think the new version is called Avid Envigor??
    #15
  16. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Don’t miss the museum in Birmingham!
    #16
  17. cyrider

    cyrider Adventurer

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    This is all you need to know. Wheels through time is great. They are closed on like Tuesday or Wednesday or something so plan accordingly. Also, check out www.AmericaRidesMaps.com . I picked up a couple of his maps last year when I went and they made the trip so much better.

    When I was out there, I stayed at the Two Wheel Inn in Robinsville, NC. I can't recommend it enough. I stayed there for 4 days, and basically just rode a different direction each day and used it as my hub.
    #17
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  18. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    A great way to enter the western NC riding areas from the west is to stop at one of the several MC campgrounds in the Tellico, TN area. Another is via Knoxville area and eastward through Elizabethton, or Johnson City areas. Tellico Plains is at the entry point to the Cherahola Skyway road a scenic, high elevation road into whats mentioned above. It's close to I-75 access wise. All of E TN is superior riding before you get to the rest and of course the dragon is in TN. Greenville , TN & Waynesville, NC are a quieter area tourism wise than the tourist traps of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Seiverville, TN around the Smokies. N of Asheville, NC it gets less touristy and great riding.
    #18
  19. igi2003

    igi2003 Adventurer

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    very useful site.
    The tail itself is little bit overrated by my opinion, but Cherohala Skyway and Moonshiner 28 amazing.
    That's what I did in 2 and a half days there (hub in Robinsville)

    Attached Files:

    #19
  20. texas123

    texas123 Been here awhile

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    How was your trip? I'd be coming from Houston & riding the BlueRidge Parkway from south to north as well. Any advice?
    #20