Great Smokey Mountains - Tips needed - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-18-2009, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Great Smokey Mountains - Tips needed

Two Strommers from South and Central Florida will be coming up to the Great Smokey Mountains for a week at the beginning of Sept 2009. Would like to hear from riders who have been in the area. Especially interested in recommended places to stay, eat, and a safe place to park a trailer. Should we head out from a central location (say Ashville ?) and return each night to sleep OR do a loop and spend each night in a different location? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Kurt (DL-650) kamstutz at cfl dot rr dot com
Ron (DL-1000)
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-18-2009, 10:02 PM
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You may want to split your time between the Bryson City Area and the Asheville Area

One place I could recommend is the Iron Horse in Stecoah.

http://www.ironhorsenc.com/

They'll let you keep a trailer there.

This is near Bryson City which is close to a lot of outdoors type activites as well as the Cherokee Casino. If you like to raft, gamble or hike while you're here.

Plus the Dragon (touristy obligation) and the Cherohala Skyway and the South end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The TN Foothills Parkway is a nice way to see Cades Cove with a gravel return via Parson's Branch.

Asheville has a lot to offer in terms on nightlife and there's plenty of great riding paved or not in all directions. Popular destinations are the BRP, Lake Lure and just about any backroad with the word "Mountain" in its name.

I live near Asheville, PM me for my phone number and I'd be happy to talk to about it all.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-18-2009, 10:25 PM
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Thumbs up Iron Horse

I doubt you can find a better place than the Iron Horse.
Stayed there twice for the Vstrom get-togethers.

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-19-2009, 03:34 PM
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I agree with Stromin

You should probably split your stay up between a couple of places to include Asheville and something near the Dragon. I recomend getting a place out on Lake Santeetlah (spelling?). Or even camping on the lake, it is beautiful, and just minutes away from the dragon and some of the best roads in WNC.

Asheville is great to start out from, and from there I recommend rides to lake lure, Hot Springs, on the blue ridge parkway, Caeser's head near brevard, and up to Mt Mitchell.

Check out Acme's motorcycle shop in Fairview on the way out to Lake lure for something to snack on, a drink, and good motorcycle chat. Have fun, Rubble
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-19-2009, 10:21 PM
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I also agree with stromin. Bryson is a great old town, I go there often. There is a great Pizza place on the corner of Depot St and Everett St, good pizza and beer. I usually stay at Gracey Manor (always $66 per night). My path is usually: Bryson to Deals gap (74 to 28 to 129). Then I take Foothills parkway to Townsend then to Cades Cove Rd to eastern Gatlinburg where I pick up 441 to go across the park to Cherokee then a quick ride back to Bryson. It's a big loop that is very curvy and scenic. Stay away from going into Cades Cove with the bike (take the truck or go very early in the morning), you will be stuck in horrible traffic for hours and a very sore clutch hand. Same with Gatlinburg, if you go at the wrong time, traffic will be horrible. If you have time see Clingmans Dome in the park.

I also like to take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee to Asheville then up to Blowing Rock. It's a good days ride with sightseeing. Beware of the road up to Grandfather mountain! My dad dropped his Harley there last month (again traffic). Mount Mitchel is a good stop but you will need a long sleeve, it snows up there in July. I always bring water and snacks because there is alot of nothing out there.

Cherohala Skyway is a must see. There are some good dirt roads to ride around that area too. Stop at Fontana dam if you have time.

Be sure to be very careful in Deals gap on the Tail of the Dragon. I've had oncoming bikers misjudge curves and end up in my lane on the wrong side of me. Also there are always freshly dropped crotch rockets at the deals gap store. It's fun to get your sticker and it is a cool ride.

I've met tons of Florida bikers in this area. They always rave over all the twisties but must do complain about the "flat spot" on their tires from all the straight line riding in FL.

You will have a great time up there. PM me if you have any questions.

Brandon David
Atlanta, Ga (Chamblee)

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2006 DL650, Custom pearl orange paint, was baby blue.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-19-2009, 10:26 PM
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I also agree with stromin. Bryson is a great old town, I go there often. There is a great Pizza place on the corner of Depot St and Everett St, good pizza and beer. I usually stay at Gracey Manor (always $66 per night). My path is usually: Bryson to Deals gap (74 to 28 to 129). Then I take Foothills parkway to Townsend then to Cades Cove Rd to eastern Gatlinburg where I pick up 441 to go across the park to Cherokee then a quick ride back to Bryson. It's a big loop that is very curvy and scenic. Stay away from going into Cades Cove with the bike (take the truck or go very early in the morning), you will be stuck in horrible traffic for hours and a very sore clutch hand. Same with Gatlinburg, if you go at the wrong time, traffic will be horrible. If you have time see Clingmans Dome in the park.

I also like to take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee to Asheville then up to Blowing Rock. It's a good days ride with sightseeing. Beware of the road up to Grandfather mountain! My dad dropped his Harley there last month (again traffic). Mount Mitchel is a good stop but you will need a long sleeve, it snows up there in July. I always bring water and snacks because there is alot of nothing out there.

Cherohala Skyway is a must see. There are some good dirt roads to ride around that area too. Stop at Fontana dam if you have time.

Be sure to be very careful in Deals gap on the Tail of the Dragon. I've had oncoming bikers misjudge curves and end up in my lane on the wrong side of me. Also there are always freshly dropped crotch rockets at the deals gap store. It's fun to get your sticker and it is a cool ride.

I've met tons of Florida bikers in this area. They always rave over all the twisties but must do complain about the "flat spot" on their tires from all the straight line riding in FL.

You will have a great time up there. PM me if you have any questions.

Brandon David
Atlanta, Ga (Chamblee)

1971 Z50A restored 70cc
2006 DL650, Custom pearl orange paint, was baby blue.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-19-2009, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Stromin' - Thanks so much for the recommendations. My riding partner and I are making our first trip up to NC and there's nothing better than getting some advice from a "local" like yourself. I'll make an obligatory stop at the Iron Horse. Seems to be a popular spot judging by the comments I see in various forums. Many thanks again for the comments. I'll send you a PM for your phone number. Regards, Kurt
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-19-2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubble View Post
You should probably split your stay up between a couple of places to include Asheville and something near the Dragon. I recomend getting a place out on Lake Santeetlah (spelling?). Or even camping on the lake, it is beautiful, and just minutes away from the dragon and some of the best roads in WNC.

Asheville is great to start out from, and from there I recommend rides to lake lure, Hot Springs, on the blue ridge parkway, Caeser's head near brevard, and up to Mt Mitchell.

Check out Acme's motorcycle shop in Fairview on the way out to Lake lure for something to snack on, a drink, and good motorcycle chat. Have fun, Rubble
Rubble, Many thanks for the tips. and good luck on your trip out west. Kurt
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-19-2009, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeauxStromin View Post
I also agree with stromin. Bryson is a great old town, I go there often. There is a great Pizza place on the corner of Depot St and Everett St, good pizza and beer. I usually stay at Gracey Manor (always $66 per night). My path is usually: Bryson to Deals gap (74 to 28 to 129). Then I take Foothills parkway to Townsend then to Cades Cove Rd to eastern Gatlinburg where I pick up 441 to go across the park to Cherokee then a quick ride back to Bryson. It's a big loop that is very curvy and scenic. Stay away from going into Cades Cove with the bike (take the truck or go very early in the morning), you will be stuck in horrible traffic for hours and a very sore clutch hand. Same with Gatlinburg, if you go at the wrong time, traffic will be horrible. If you have time see Clingmans Dome in the park.

I also like to take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee to Asheville then up to Blowing Rock. It's a good days ride with sightseeing. Beware of the road up to Grandfather mountain! My dad dropped his Harley there last month (again traffic). Mount Mitchel is a good stop but you will need a long sleeve, it snows up there in July. I always bring water and snacks because there is alot of nothing out there.

Cherohala Skyway is a must see. There are some good dirt roads to ride around that area too. Stop at Fontana dam if you have time.

Be sure to be very careful in Deals gap on the Tail of the Dragon. I've had oncoming bikers misjudge curves and end up in my lane on the wrong side of me. Also there are always freshly dropped crotch rockets at the deals gap store. It's fun to get your sticker and it is a cool ride.

I've met tons of Florida bikers in this area. They always rave over all the twisties but must do complain about the "flat spot" on their tires from all the straight line riding in FL.

You will have a great time up there. PM me if you have any questions.
Brandon - Thanks for the detailed route and warnings. Unfortunately we will be up in the area over Labor Day so I expect some extra traffic. Confession: I do have flat spots on my tires I'll swap them out for a new pair of rubber before I leave. We do a lot of straight line riding here, but we have fun with the hills (highest point in FL is about 300ft above sea level). Thanks again for your comments. Kurt
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-21-2009, 07:51 PM
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I was in that area for a family vacation in July. Don't miss 28. Especially the bit south of 19/74 to Franklin. When I was there, it was beautiful ride, and almost no traffic.

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