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Hello Stromtroopers. June 30th I'm hitting the road for a week. My goal is to get to ride the Dragon (finally) after taking the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way. If you have done similar route, I would like to hear about it. I'm planning to camp most of the time. If you personally know of any cool place(s) to see and stay along the way you recommend, give me a shout. To be honest I'm not sure if I have enough time to ride the BRP. What do you think? Can it be done in 3 day

Appreciate your observations.
Stay vertical.

Xcape2xplore.
 

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BRP does not go to Dragon. Only to 441 near Cherokee. BRP not a fast road. More fun to stop to see things, regardless. Could do in 3 days, though. Many other fun roads.

Cherohala Skyway excellent, too.
 

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Hello Stromtroopers. June 30th I'm hitting the road for a week. My goal is to get to ride the Dragon (finally) after taking the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way. If you have done similar route, I would like to hear about it. I'm planning to camp most of the time. If you personally know of any cool place(s) to see and stay along the way you recommend, give me a shout. To be honest I'm not sure if I have enough time to ride the BRP. What do you think? Can it be done in 3 day

Appreciate your observations.
Stay vertical.

Xcape2xplore.
Blue Ridge Parkway itself can be done fairly easily in 3 days (I've done it in 1 really long day) and that is with plenty of photo/food/gas stops. Speed limit is 45mph most of the way and there aren't many passing zones so you've gotta be patient with traffic. The parkway ends in Cherokee, NC which is an indian reservation. Lots of trinket shops and a Harrahs casino in town if that's your thing. From Cherokee it is approx a 45 minute ride to Deals Gap. Deals Gap is a fun experience but is best to do on a weekday to avoid a lot of the traffic and craziness. Toaster404 is correct as well.. The Cherohala Skyway is not to be missed if you are in that area. It is a 50ish mile scenic hwy that runs along the ridgelines from Robbinsville, NC to Tellico Plains, TN. It is a great out & back ride from the Robbinsville area that will eat up half a day.

My favorite places to camp along the way.. All on or very close to the parkway...
Willville Motorcycle Campground in Meadows of Dan, VA - Willville Motorcycle Campground
Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, NC - Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground
Iron Horse Lodge in Stecoah, NC - Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge | 828-479-3864 Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge near Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap and Cherohala Skyway

Lots of info and maps at this website:
Blue Ridge Parkway - Home
 

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Lots of loops. Cherohala - 360 - Dragon is a standard one. Over 441 is nice, but puts you in Gatlinburg. A bit further south, Six Gaps is fun if you like twisties. Steep at times, kind of wears me out on the Guzzi, but I imagine VStrom would be a blast.

I live 50 miles from the Deals Gap store, so if you're looking for any specific local info drop me a line. I have a stack of tourist maps here. Much depends on where you're headed after.
 

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Awesome, you're going to have a great trip!

Last year my buddy and I went straight from DC to Asheville, NC, and much of the route is the same. It's a beautiful part of the country with many scenic byroads, so avoid taking the interstate when you can!

Skyline Drive is similar to the BRP and it goes through Shenandoah National Park before ending right at the start of the BRP. One literally ends where the other begins. It's a beautiful, technical slalom through a deep national forest, and the road is in really good shape, especially compared to some parts of Blue Ridge. It's also worth it to camp out in Shenandoah and do some hiking if you're outdoorsy.

I think you'd regret coming south through hilly, boring Ohio when you could instead come down along the eastern route through the Pocono and Appalachian mountains.

+1 on Cherohala Skyway.

Here's a picture from Skyline:
http://i.imgur.com/CQo0KdM.jpg

And one from the BRP:
[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/z8unqoD.jpg
 

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SLD will eat up a good half day. Limit is 35. I would bypass it and spend the time on BRP and down at the Dragon area if that is your objective. Of course weather could change that approach. You could blow down south and do it on the way back if the weather sucks in VA on way down. Rain is one thing but frequently it means fog and you just can't see a darn thing up there then. Watch for deer. No gas on BRP in VA that I know about and it can be time consuming to go get it so fill er up before you start. I would use Waynesboro at north end. Have fun.
 

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I have ridden on the BRP multiple times and covered the entire length in pieces. I will be riding the entire length in June. I will be in Mississsauga the last week of May. PM me if you would like to meet and I can pass along my experiences.
 

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I like the BRP. A great place to stay is the Little Switzerland Inn. They have a traditional hotel and/or cabins with multiple rooms. The food is good and Jen the bar tender is REALLY easy on the eyes.
 

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I like the BRP. A great place to stay is the Little Switzerland Inn. They have a traditional hotel and/or cabins with multiple rooms. The food is good and Jen the bar tender is REALLY easy on the eyes.
Yes indeed the Little Switzerland Inn is a great place I spent a week there a few years ago. When you exit the parkway you go right in to the parking lot. There is also the village of Little Switzerland just down the hill.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Toaster 404. Thanks for taking the time to write some tips. It will definitely be very useful during my planning. All the best.
 

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Great tips and fantastic list of
Campgrounds Branthopolis. That's exactly what I was looking for. Wow man! How did you manage to ride the BRP in one day? That must have been a day to remember for sure. But be honest...did you stay within the speed limit or had to ride after night fall? All the best. x2x.
 

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Nice thread and good info. I myself plan on hitting Tail Of The Dragon end of July from NJ and have heard many stories about it from overcrowded on weekends to watching out for people coming from other direction going over the double line. Also have heard there some nice or better roads in the area (alas with intersections) like the Cherhola. Will do both and any other places in the area. Any Civil War battlefields in area?
 

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Great tips and fantastic list of
Campgrounds Branthopolis. That's exactly what I was looking for. Wow man! How did you manage to ride the BRP in one day? That must have been a day to remember for sure. But be honest...did you stay within the speed limit or had to ride after night fall? All the best. x2x.
Middle of summer... long days.. Started at crack of dawn and rode until just after dark. Another important fact is this was many years ago before they ramped up enforcement and a speeding ticket was just a flat $50 or so... The parkway was practically unpatrolled and going 50-60 (or.. ahem.. more) mph wasn't unheard of.. It would be pretty hard to do now.

ETA.. Unless it has recently changed my understanding is that speeding tickets on the parkway are now in the $500 range and an optional $1500 reckless driving/stupidity tax at the officers disgression. I tend to stick to maybe 5 over these days and haven't attracted any undue attention.
 

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It would be good to hear the opinion of any Canoodians who have read your question. You may have a time constraint (depending on the amount of time that you want to spend near the gap) if you ride the parkways the entire way. They are beautiful roads but they have low posted limits and the summer brings out hordes who think going slower is even better and stopping right HERE is ok..and don't even think about blowing off a park ranger who wants to stop you for an award after they catch you forgetting about the double yellow thing..they will eat your lunch.

Riding earlier in the morning and mid-week has worked well for me in the past (watch out for forest rats) and I'll cruise along until I hit traffic and then stop for a hike or reverse direction. The parkways are limited access but there are plenty of fun and faster roads that allow you to get to various sections quickly and then explore those areas.

Have a great trip!
 

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It would be good to hear the opinion of any Canoodians who have read your question.
Went last year mid-june.

I had a blast but as always my problem was i didn't plan in advance. So while i stayed at a very cozy motel 6 mid-way, there was no lodging in the whole area but a very few camping site spots left.

I stayed at the Iron Horse, both the staff and clients there were nice, the facilities very clean.

Since i didn't plan and kept the trip short, i couldn't do much more than repeat the tail and ride part of the BRP, but it was so worth it! Writing these lines, i wish i could go back right meow. I will though, this summer (was thinking of june), and try to venture onto neighboring roads :)

Two things i will do differently when i go back: try to find a room before departure, and enjoy the view more ;)
 

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Nice thread and good info. I myself plan on hitting Tail Of The Dragon end of July from NJ and have heard many stories about it from overcrowded on weekends to watching out for people coming from other direction going over the double line. Also have heard there some nice or better roads in the area (alas with intersections) like the Cherhola. Will do both and any other places in the area. Any Civil War battlefields in area?
441 over the Smokies. 209 from Hot Springs to Waynesville. Six Gaps in N. Ga.

Chickamauga battlefield. Lookout Mountain. Missionary Ridge. Fort Sanders & other forts in Knoxville.

Early morning on Dragon. I don't go on it during riding times, except may this weekend to get over to strom meetup. Concerned, but I'm good at it after 30 years.
 

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Awesome to hear!!! I am doing a trip leaving on the 20th from Dallas, Texas to Toronto. Going to be my first long ride. I figure if you are going to do a long one make it good and long long. I'm riding to meet a friend on the 22nd in Muskogen, MI and then he and I are going to head in to Toronto to meed up with another friend there, and then the following day we're going to ride out a little further east to meet up with some of the fellow Canadian riders from the HawkGT forums. I'm kind of looking forward to it but I'll be the only fellow rolling on a Vstrom but I figure clocking off 3000 miles in the space of a week is going to be easier on the Vee than on something like the Hawk. I don't have a destination in mind for the trip back but I am thinking once I part ways with my friend on the way back in Michigan I may just head a little SouthEast and do the BRP my own self. Maybe we'll run across each other somehow, lol. I am furtunate and don't have to return to work until I think July 5th so I might just take the tent and light sleeping back with me and see about following up the Toronto trip with a great South Eastern US tour!!!
 

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Don't get tagged on the Dragon. If it is a National Park officer, very expensive and you might have to appear in Federal court.

Don't get tagged on the Dragon. If it is a Blount Co. officer you might be asked to attend driving school in Maryville. There are ways around this, but not worth the risk.

Dragon: Cannot see around many of the corners. The locals think they know these corners. You can't know these corners. At least two locals dead up there. Helicopter ride will be $15,000 or something like that. On the other hand, there are great reconstructive and facial surgeons right close.

Dual Sport Touring in Friendsville has stuff. Worth knowing about. Got my fork brace there.
 
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