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Thread: Blue Ridge Parkway

  1. #1
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Blue Ridge Parkway

    After hearing how great Deals Gap, Cherohala Skyway, and Blue Ridge Parkway are, I'm going to try and include these on my way to Nova Scotia.

    If I were to pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway say around Asheville, NC for example and take it all the way north to Front Royal, VA, can anyone tell me how long of a trip I should expect? Any suggestions welcome as to where stop for dining or lodging would be a help as well.

    Obviously this won't be interstate speed plus I would plan on lots of traffic and hopefully riding this during the week.

  2. #2
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    Start farther south near Mount Vernon / Tellico Plains, TN.

    I guess about two days from there to Front Royal, VA. at a leisure pace. Which is the best way to enjoy the moment.

    Doc

    EDIT: Tellico Plains, TN to Roanoke, VA (halfway) to Front Royal, VA = 641 miles @ 17 hours (Mapquest)

    Cherohala Skyway - BRP - Skyline Drive
    Last edited by PacWestGS; 03-04-2006 at 05:31 PM. Reason: comment
    Russ
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  3. #3
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFDOC
    Start farther south near Mount Vernon / Tellico Plains, TN.

    I guess about two days from there to Front Royal, VA. at a leisure pace. Which is the best way to enjoy the moment.

    Doc

    EDIT: Tellico Plains, TN to Roanoke, VA (halfway) to Front Royal, VA = 641 miles @ 17 hours (Mapquest)

    Cherohala Skyway - BRP - Skyline Drive
    Thanks Doc.

    I'm allowing a day from Tellico Plains to Robbinsville and then Robbinsville to Maryville which will cover the Cheroala Skyway run and Deals Gap run in a day. It's up in the air how I'll get to Asheville from Maryville, but I could cut through the park on 441 or just come across on I-40. Have no idea how 441 is ,but don't want it to be another Yellowstone in July. I realize it cuts off some of the Blue Ridge Parkway from Ravensville to Ashville, but I want to have the days to ride Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

    I'm just trying to figure out the time riding Blue Ridge from Ashville to Front Royal. Mapquest plots it taking I-26 and I-81 to Front Royal for 400 miles and 6.5 hours on the interstate the whole way. I'm thinking it might be more like 10 hours?

  4. #4
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    Well, then I think you should go from Maryville to Peyton on I-81 then (R) on I-64 to Waynesboro and get on Skyline Drive. By-pass the BRP for speed, you will have much of the same scenery without the 35 and 45 mph speed limit. BRP is nice if that is the only stretch your doing, but if you see the southen and the northern ends, the middle only gets you there.

    Note to self: Do what you just said in life, (I only did the BRP from Boone to Cruso Road Intersection) Still look forward to the day to go where you are going.

    K12Coop - where are you on this one. He's the local guy out that way.

    Doc
    Russ
    "If you took the time to really get to know me...you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

    (Life comes at you pretty fast "Pay it Forward" - Have no regrets when the end happens)

  5. #5
    Motorcycleton
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy
    I'm just trying to figure out the time riding Blue Ridge from Ashville to Front Royal.
    Depends on what you want from the ride. I've taken 3 days to do this ride with frequent stops to look at the scenic views, hike some of the trails (e.g. Linville Falls - BRP milemarker 318), and visit some nearby attractions.

    In pleasant weather I have enjoyed making the ride from Fancy Gap (BRP mm 198) to Ashville and a bit beyond (BRP mm 385 to 415) and then on to the Georgia Mountain Rally in one day. Fallen trees or other reasons frequently seem to keep the part south of Ashville closed.

    One year I was headed towards the GMR and decided to spend the night somewhere between Christiansburg and Roanoke, Virginia so I could ride more of the BRP the next day. Well I did make it to the GMR that next night, but I decided that I had too much of the BRP for one day's ride. I didn't get to see much more than the yellow line in the road (no time to stop and take in the scenery) and when I got to the GMR it was nearly dark - no fun setting up the tent and the Friday night chilli was all gone :-(

    In poor weather (i.e., rain and fog) the ride from Ashville to the Virginia / NC border is MUCH less fun. My speeds seem to be closer to 20 mph rather than the 45 mph limit.

    Early morning and dusk on the BRP bring out the deer - it isn't a question of if you'll see them, but rather how many and can you avoid hitting one.

    So if you can spend only a day and the weather is ok ride at a comfortable pace, spend the night somewhere in Virginia, then jump on the Super and motor on up north. If you have several days and wish to see the sights, then go at a more leisurely pace and enjoy yourself.

    In the off season (early May) I have enjoyed staying in Blowing Rock (exit near BRP mm 290). I've also stayed and eaten at the hotel / restaurant (Lee's ?) behind the NorthWest Trading Post (BRP mm 257) and at the Peaks of Otter (BRP mm 85). Best to call for a reservation at the Peaks of Otter - they have no television in the rooms (a big plus!!).

    http://www.nps.gov/blri/
    http://www.blueridgeparkway.info/
    http://freespace.virgin.net/john.cle...enroad/brp.htm

    The Skyline Drive is actually a separate park which does charge an admission fee (and has a lower speed limit).

    http://www.nps.gov/shen/
    http://members.aol.com/adnascar/driving.html
    Last edited by robsmoto; 03-05-2006 at 02:23 PM.

  6. #6
    X-Troller hexst's Avatar
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    Do 441 then pick up the BRP at the begining. The best part of the BRP (most technical) is from the Southend to Doughton (sp) Park. It turns into sweepers and nice undilations after that. You would miss the highest point on the Parkway,Mt Mitchel, Pisgah,and all the tunnels by picking it up North of Linville Falls.A Nice day from Tellico is Cherihola,The Gap,Foothills Parkway then pick up 441 to the start of the BRP then about three to four hours to Little Switzerland for the night aroun mile 335.Next day BRP either to the end or maybe stop Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Parkway in Bedford VA around mile 95.After leaving the BRP Skyline Drive feels slow 35posted vs 45 and Skyline Dr. is heavily enforced.During non Holiday weekdays the ride is much less traveled. Have Fun and smell the wildflowers
    Knick
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  7. #7
    K12KOOP
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    BRP bottom to top

    Quote Originally Posted by SFDOC
    K12Coop - where are you on this one. He's the local guy out that way.Doc
    You can ride the BRP in one day but you will not enjoy doing it that way. You do want to ride both of the ends however and the middle is pretty cool too. I am not sure if the detour up close to Mt Mitchel is open or not yet.

    My favorite part of the BRP is the section from the South end to the Pisgah Inn. It is also a great place to stay and have a meal. Make sure you have fuel or you will be walking as there is not service on that end of the parkway.

    I would allow a day and a half and stop some where in the middle like close to "Meadows of Dan". Not sure of the mile marker on that but there is a good motorcycle only camp ground there i believe called Willville. You will probally find a pack of beemers there as it is well known in the beemer crowd.

    I have ran a touring company in that neck of the woods for motorcycles so if you have any additional detailed questions send me a PM and I will be glad to help you out any way i can

    Koop

  8. #8
    Stuff2c
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    If you plan on camping anywhere close to Tellico, this place is a must!


    www.cycleresort.com

  9. #9
    IRONMAN
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    It all depends

    It all depends

    Like someone else said it all depends on what you want to do. Ride the BWP 2 days Experience the BWP 3 days. Here is my input to BWP planning.

    Pick up a copy of the BWP guide at the first ranger station you cross. The guide lists gas food and other things by the mile markers. Plus it is free.

    Fog until 9:30 am and rain showers after 3:30 pm. Pack lunch if you can so you donÔÇÖt waste a lot of your prime riding hours looking for grub.

    Park ranger near the major cities.

  10. #10
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    Not sure of the mile marker on that but there is a good motorcycle only camp ground there i believe called Willville. You will probally find a pack of beemers there as it is well known in the beemer crowd.
    Willville is at BRP mile marker 177, just a mile down Rt 58. Clean showers, laundry, evening campfire and more, two thumbs up! There's also a small motel there on Rt 58 if you're not into camping.
    I find one actually can make good time on the BRP. You can easily average 50 mph, there's not a stop sign on the entire length. Subtracting for whatever stops you choose of course.

  11. #11
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    I made a copy of all the above replies and showed it to a member of our DFW club while at coffee this morning and he was blown away at the wealth of good information received here. I appreciate all the good advise from those who've traveled these roads. Thanks !!

    I 'm going to come across lower Tennessee on Hwy 64 and make it over to Tellico plains. I'll ride Cherohala Skyway, Deals Gap and cut through Great Smokey Nat Park on 441 and to begin the BRP. I'll take the BRP to Asheville and then get on I-81 north by way of I-26. From I-81 I'll get back on the BRP either at Roanoke or at Waynesboro depending on time and weather. I just don't think I'll have the time to ride the entire BRP this trip, but at least I can get a good run on hopefully the best parts.

    I love the link to the Cycleresort in Tellico and made a note of the early morning fog, deer at dawn and dusk, rain in the afternoon, lack of gas, cops out to enforce the speed limit and the don't ride on weekend part.

    I'm planning on taking my time on these roads just enjoy the ride and hopefully make stops to take photos which I'll post when I return. I'll be marking my maps with all the above lodging and dining suggestions so thanks again. This forum rules!!

  12. #12
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    I envy you RTRandy, have fun, I know you will...

    Keep the Sticky side down and your eyes on the Horizen

    We're waiting for you to get back home and post a Ride Report.
    Russ
    "If you took the time to really get to know me...you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

    (Life comes at you pretty fast "Pay it Forward" - Have no regrets when the end happens)

  13. #13
    BELG
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    BRP's awesome, I haven't quite gotten down THAT far on it (but then again, it's high on the list for this spring :=) ) but the top end is basically in my front yard(4 mi.)... I've had a lot of fun coming home on it from I-64 access after my eye apointments in Richmond... not only watch out for deer, though, but watch out for bear! Great when you see em, but it sure is freaky when you've only got a riding suit between you and it hehehehe. That being said, they'll leave you alone if all ya do is look

  14. #14
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy
    I'm just trying to figure out the time riding Blue Ridge from Ashville to Front Royal. Mapquest plots it taking I-26 and I-81 to Front Royal for 400 miles and 6.5 hours on the interstate the whole way. I'm thinking it might be more like 10 hours?
    That sounds about right... assuming fairly steady riding at ~50mph. Bring warm gear... it's significantly cooler on the mountains than it is down lower.

    If you're getting on in Asheville, see if you can find NC151... it's near I-40 east of Asheville. It will make for a far more entertaining entry to the BRP than getting on in the middle of town.

    Another nice place to start your ride is the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground which is southeast of Waynesville on US276 and just a nice twisty ride away from the parkway.

    Ian

    Ian
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  15. #15
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy
    I 'm going to come across lower Tennessee on Hwy 64 and make it over to Tellico plains. I'll ride Cherohala Skyway, Deals Gap and cut through Great Smokey Nat Park on 441 and to begin the BRP. I'll take the BRP to Asheville and then get on I-81 north by way of I-26.
    Whoops, missed this post.

    Check the BRP before you go down 441... it was still closed yesterday where it crosses Balsam Gap (US74)

    Another very fine way to get to I-26 from Deal's Gap is to take NC28 south from the south end of the Dragon, to US74 east, to NC209 to Hot Springs. From Hot Springs, US25/70 South/East to NC208 then NC212 to I-26. Sweet roads.



    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ________
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