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Thread: Blue Ridge Parkway in August

  1. #1
    Tom Mieczkowski mieczkow's Avatar
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    Blue Ridge Parkway in August

    Amigos:

    A friend and I are planning a Blue Ridge Parkway tour in early August. We'll rendezvous in Asheville (he's coming down from the north, I'm coming up from Florida). We have looked at the maps, etc. But I would appreciate any tips, pointers, etc., about what to avoid and what not to miss. We have about three days free to just cruise once we arrive in Asheville and before we have to turn around and head for home.

    And if anyone has a good suggestion for the Atlanta area to Asheville leg of the trip, I'd appreciate any advice on that too!!

    Tom Mieczkowski
    1987 K75S
    Tom Mieczkowski
    1987 K75S

  2. #2
    Midwest Command ptero's Avatar
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    Blue Ridge closure

    Over at advrider there is a thread with link for a closure on the BRP due to slides and road damage. The section is to be closed into '09. The link has a number of alternate routes. Routes are somewhat rated for type of vehicle and scenic desire. Looks like everything from the interstate (for RVs and speed) to twisty local stuff.

    Could be fun stuff. I have had some great runs down off the parkway - esp back before the Linn Cove Viaduct was completed. Loved that "detour".

    The closure is from near one of the Asheville entrances up to around Mt Mitchell. You can get to the side road up to Mt Mitchell from the North side.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354282
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  3. #3
    rocketman
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    The closure is from Rt 80 to 226, about 40 miles of parkway and they have detour signs posted to take you around it. There is another shorter one near Marlbry Mills at around the 100 mile maker. There are a number of nice falls along the parkway with with trails of varying degrees of difficulty, all require some walking to get to. There are also some MC campgrounds along the way, one near the southern end and one around the 100 mile maker. Also some nice places to stay but they are a bit pricey, The Alpine Inn on 226 has always been my favorite.
    There are some good sites with tons of info as well, I usually use this one..

    http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/

    has some nice sectional maps you can print out.

    do it during the weekdays is best but in summer it can get crowded.

    RM

  4. #4
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Best part is the feeder roads that cross the parkway, some wonderful pieces of pavement.

    I ran portions of the BRP a couple of weeks ago and was shocked at the lack of traffic, even on the weekend. The high cost of gas seems to have kept a lot of people off the road, all the better for us.

  5. #5
    notime
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    Atl -> Avl

    I used to commute between ATL & AVL and always enjoyed getting off the slab and hitting SC 11 from the GA line to I-26. I haven't been that way for a while so things may have changed....

  6. #6
    Registered User rvb1019's Avatar
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    I rode down in April right after the slides. All of the detours have great signage and very easy to follow. From Rockfish, VA to Ashville NC- no worries. I the hopped on the highway down to Stechoah and the Dragon.

    Just be mindful of the deer and the turkeys! They're EVERYWHERE!

  7. #7
    bob204bc
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvb1019 View Post
    Just be mindful of the deer and the turkeys! They're EVERYWHERE!
    I encourage you to avoid the deer.

  8. #8
    Registered User WildBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTime View Post
    I used to commute between ATL & AVL and always enjoyed getting off the slab and hitting SC 11 from the GA line to I-26. I haven't been that way for a while so things may have changed....
    11 is an insanely popular road for two wheeled conveyance.
    Last edited by WildBlue; 07-01-2008 at 01:22 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User ALIENHITCHHIKER's Avatar
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    Tom. some questions for you:

    Which side of Atlanta will you be riding from?

    Camping or hoteling?

    How many hours in the saddle per day do you want?

    If you post your answers I'll be able to offer some specifics.

    The major closure on the BRPW - the one with the longest detour - is immediately north of Asheville. The posted detour for that stretch runs on I-40, but it is scenic as far as interstates go. There are also some choice bits of road detouring to the north.

    Heading south on the Parkway, from Asheville, takes you to the southern terminus at Cherokee, about 90 miles away. It is arguably the best ride of the entire route, especially with the Craggy Gardens to Mt. Mitchell stretch closed. A shame it's so short, but it does land you in the neighborhood of the Dragon & the Cherohala Skyway.

    There is a region in North Georgia, spanning from Blue Ridge - Suches (home of TWO) - Hiawassee - Clayton and then on to Highlands,NC that is just marvelous. This area includes locally legendary rides such as Wayah Road, Wolf Pen Gap & War Woman Road.

    I'd consider spending the three days in the North Georgia, Western No Carolina, Upstate So Carolina (the aforementioned SC 11) region.

    Just some food for thought...
    Steve
    Current Hottie: '00 R1100RT
    Old Flames: FY K100RT, '80 XS850 with Vetter Quicksilver, '67 Bonnie, '66 Honda 90

  10. #10
    Tom Mieczkowski mieczkow's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Advice

    Fellow Beemervolk:

    Thanks very much for the advice. Steve: here are some responses to your specific questions:

    Which side of Atlanta will you be riding from?

    I'll be coming up from Florida on 19 and then head east south of Atlanta - I've been looking at GA 11 heading through Athens - I'd like to swing south of Atlanta to avois the traffic and suburbs and stay as rural as I can.

    Camping or hoteling?

    Hotels/motels - I'd like a hot shower and a comfy bed.

    How many hours in the saddle per day do you want?

    Eight is fine - I don't mind pushing a little more and I don't mind a little less either.

    I would like to cut up towards Greenville and pick up SC 11 and then head north towards Asheville.

    Thanks again for the tips and suggestions.
    Tom Mieczkowski
    1987 K75S

  11. #11
    Seeking Mental Floss
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    Tom,

    If you are going to Asheville anyway you might consider one day to tour the Biltmore House. It was the summer home of the Vanderbilts, and is amazing. When it was built, Mr. Vanderbilt had to build a railroad first to haul in the materials to build the house. See how the "other half" lives close up......well worth the experience. Vanderbilt's other contribution to the area can be found in Pisgah National Forest, just off the Parkway on 276 (which is as good as the Dragon, IMO). It is the Cradle of Forrestry, and a very interesting place to visit. While in Pisgah, I would recommend a visit to Looking Glass Falls, and a trip down Sliding Rock. My friends and I used to make Sliding Rock our Christmas Eve happening (illegally, I might add) while dodging the Forest Rangers (water's pretty cold that time of year!). I grew up in Brevard, also a nice little place to visit overnight, if you have time. Hope you have a great trip!

    Hugh

    PS. Coming up SC 11 from Greenville, you can pick up 276 through Brevard, which is an amazing road which will be almost empty. 276, then, continues on up to the Parkway, or you can turn on 64 over to Asheville from the square in Brevard. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    BTW in Virginia you might see signs for the Chateau Morisette Winery. It's worth checking out, great lunch-stop. Pick up a couple of bottles of Our Dog Blue.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  13. #13
    Tom Mieczkowski mieczkow's Avatar
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    I Know the White Squirrel!

    Well, I do know Brevard. I had the good luck to go to the White Squirrel Festival this year with my sister-in-law and her husband (who live in Asheville). I proudly wear my White Squirrel Festival t-shirt and it always draws a few inquiries ("Do they eat white squirrels?" etc.)....

    I really liked the soap box derby down the hill. The people of Brevard lack not for imagination! I have a feeling this will be an excellent trip.

    Tom
    Tom Mieczkowski
    1987 K75S

  14. #14
    Seeking Mental Floss
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    Used to have a white squirrel who lived in our back yard. He was rather shy, would not join the greys who would eat peanuts from my hand. Those were the days.......

    Hope you have a great time!

  15. #15
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by mieczkow View Post
    Fellow Beemervolk:

    Thanks very much for the advice. Steve: here are some responses to your specific questions:

    Which side of Atlanta will you be riding from?

    I'll be coming up from Florida on 19 and then head east south of Atlanta - I've been looking at GA 11 heading through Athens - I'd like to swing south of Atlanta to avois the traffic and suburbs and stay as rural as I can.

    Camping or hoteling?

    Hotels/motels - I'd like a hot shower and a comfy bed.

    How many hours in the saddle per day do you want?

    Eight is fine - I don't mind pushing a little more and I don't mind a little less either.

    I would like to cut up towards Greenville and pick up SC 11 and then head north towards Asheville.

    Thanks again for the tips and suggestions.
    Well if you're hotelling it I HIGHLY recommend the Alpine Inn in Little Switzerland, NC right at 226 and the parkway just down the parkway from where the first north-bound detour takes you back to the parkway on 226A, you can double back to 226. Here is the view from the Inn's balcony (it sits at 3200 feet on a very steep slope right on 226)

    and a link to the pano I took from the balcony of my room when I stayed there this spring


    The Switzerland Inn just up the road (not to be confused with the Alpine Inn) has a four-star restaurant, I had the 1/2 roasted duck in marmalade glaze last time I was there, damn good eats.

    Then in the morning the Alpine Inn does a nice breakfast



    on the porch



    Its a very relaxed establishment and the owners are really nice, you'll often see them like this, working hard! Ha Ha




    and a link to more pictures from there below,

    http://roadrunes.com/photo/v/motor_e...GMR/Alpine+Inn

    You won't regret staying there, you have my personal guarantee!

    If you are splitting a room, the cost would be very reasonable.

    Tell 'em the Rocketman sent you, (won't get you anything, but I might get a discount next time I'm there if I send enough business their way! Ha Ha.) OK, just kidding about that part!

    OK, I'll shut up now, BUT stay there!!!!

    RM

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