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  1. #1

    Blueridge Parkway 2012

    In order to survive the long New England winter, I like to spend hour after hour studying stacks of worn maps, surfing Expedition Portal or ADVRider, and planning next year's rides. My big plan for 2012 is a May/June trek from Western Massachusetts down to the Shenandoah National Park...running the entire length of the Blueridge Parkway...and then a run or two across the Tail of the Dragon. I expect that I'll pick up a notional traveling companion or ten throughout the winter and then most of them will ditch at the last moment due to family commitments, work, or American Idol auditions. That's OK...I enjoy the planning and having something to look forward to in the spring. fellow adventurers...intrepid explorers...eaters of exotic roadside fare...those who fear neither rain nor roadside flats...

    Anybody want to share a favorite road side stop...a cautionary tale...a favorite restaurant...a twisty back road that shouldn't be missed? I'll be riding my GSA and doing my best to avoid the interstates unless there's just nothing to see.

    I'd love to hear about your experiences in this area of the country. ~Ross

  2. #2
    ooh! Wheels Through Time Museum. That looks like a good destination.

  3. #3
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Upstate SC

    Ridin' The Parkway

    You're gonna have a good time, Bud!
    I know the parkway well from The Craggy Gardens pull off on down to the end of the parkway, but can't write all I know. There are others who live along the parkway, too, who know it better than I, too.

    But, here's a bit of info. And, I'll be happy to try and help you on this end, if I'm around during your run south in my area of The Blue Ridge Parkway.

    You camp? If so, Hwy 58 at Meadows of Dan, Va. One mile east on Hwy 58 is gas and a good hangout for a bit with food and souvenirs. The campground is west about a mile. There's a motel on the west side, too.

    Mt. Mitchell State Park on the parkway north of Asheville is a MUST stop, if the weather is fair! Highest point east of the Mississippi.

    On down south toward Asheville, you can find gas at Hwy 74 east, about a mile or so.

    Hwy 25 east in Asheville about two miles will take you to The Biltmore House, and BMW of Asheville, with a good many motels.

    About 4 miles north of Hwy 276, you will find The Pisgah Inn. A great place to eat, or stay. The Pisgah Inn convenience store is on the north end of the parking lot. Many, many bikers traveling the parkway stop there and hang out at the rocking chairs. They do not have gas.

    Nice loop: 276 west down to the intersection of Hwy 276/215. The Jukebox Junction is located at that intersection; good food! Take 215 east back to the parkway. Beautiful ride, and the loop will take you about an hour to ride, plus eating.

    High point of the parkway is around mile marker 435. Nice photo opp! Everyone stops for a picture of their bike with the high point sign, which was stolen last fall, then replaced at a cost to 'US" of some 11K $.

    I tell you should continue all the way to the end of the parkway, at this have options to get off, the best the Bryson City exit, Hwy 74, or a couple more.

    At the end of the parkway, take a right and go through the Great Smoky Mtn. National all the way until you hit Hwy 321, and take that toward Townsend, Tn. Motels along the way, or just continue east until you intersect the Foothills Parkway. Take the parkway to Hwy 129, turn left and ride through The Dragon, and stop at Deal's Gap store. They have good camping there in the middle of the action, or a really nice, small hotel. Very clean and lots of nice folks. I think the rooms run around 60$, and camping 13$, at least in 2010.

    In the end, there's just too much to write about. I don't know it all, and can't write all I know. But, you will absolutely love the trip...and, the planning. I have some maps of the parkway, but it's all online if you don't have them. Just google The Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Study the weather, too. It's a different climate up on top!

    Good luck, my friend!!
    Kemo Sabe

    (sorry, I didn't proof this response)

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    North Carolina Coast

    BRP Experience . . .

    My friend and I drove North toward Bloomsburg from Greensboro, NC. It is a beautiful ride and at 45 mph you can enjoy and savor the curves and great scenery.
    There are many campsites that are very reasonable but I believe none of them have showers. I wore a swim suit and gave myself a cool bath from a hydrant. It was summer and the water was cool but not cold.
    We needed fuel and took a road from the Parkway to Buchanon, VA. Great technical road.
    Have fun!
    Campbell Tellman II

  5. #5
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Portland, Maine

    Blue Ridge Parkway

    I rode from Maine to the Finger Lakes Rally and then headed south and did the parkway end to end in 2010. Right after Labor Day was a great time to make this trip because it wasn't too hot and there was very little traffic and it felt like I had the BRP all to myself most of the time. The Dragon is worth doing once or twice to say you've done it, but there are lots of other roads in the region that are pretty nice. If you like the switchbacks on the Dragon, try "The Snake" in Tennessee, it's very challenging in the same way. I bought a "Mad Maps" motorcycle roads map of the Smoky Mountain Regions off E-Bay or you can get Mad Maps directly from Garmin for your GPS and would recommend these maps to anyone. It lays out some really great rides throughout this region and lists all the great places to eat, points of interest, places to stay, etc.. I would recommend taking a spin through Great Smoky Mountain National Park and my personal favorite on this trip was the Cherahola Skyway. A couple of great places to camp that are motorcycle only are Willville Motorcycle Campground in Fields of Dan, Virginia which is about 90 miles below Roanoake and right off the Parkway.....great place, great host. Will will bring you a chicken or sausage breakfast bisquit from the local store for breakfast, if you order one. A really nice laid back atmosphere at Willville and first rate facilities. I'd also recommend Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, North Carolina, again, nice place, nice people. They serve a great breakfast onsite every morning at Blue Ridge Campground and it's right off the parkway. If you take the road right off the parkway, you'll notice the switchbacks on the way down the mountain to the campground are somewhat challenging. Both of these campgrounds have their own websites so you can check them out. You're going to have a blast. Happy Trails. Don
    Last edited by Beemeup; 11-26-2011 at 01:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Piedmont area of NC.
    A great little side trip off the BRP is, ( if coming southbound)

    Get off at Wilson Gap road , follow the twisties down to NC89, then go over a bit and find old NC52 north of Mt. Airy and take Orchard Gap road back up to the BRP.
    If that's not enough twists and turns I don't know what is.

    Came down Wilson Gap today, , smooth , clean and almost no traffic.

  7. #7
    Loading the Bike
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    route 16 is a nice diversion from the parkway especially between tazewell and marion va. If you enjoy technical stuff. also rt 226a at the little switzerland exit off the parkway is fun. and the motels there are motorcyclist friendly.The little Switzerland inn also has a nice restaurant.

  8. #8
    hondarider, if you see a GSA with an austrian flag on the windshield riding the opposite way, you may want to stop me for a break.

    Must be somewhere in the end of May. We're riding north from Waynesville to Floyd.

  9. #9
    Registered User kthflieger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Columbia river gorge, Oregon
    a few weeks ago there was a post about a riding seminar on the blue ridge. A lady who was a former racer was the host.... Anyone know where that post went or any details about the rider seminar? thanks
    "Wer reitet so spaet durch nacht und wind -es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind" -- Goethe
    R1200RT, F800GS
    '80 GL1100

  10. #10
    Registered User RT290's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Sheboygan, WI
    About five miles north of Hwy 276 in NC (about 60 miles out of Cherokee) you will come across NC state highway 151. It only runs to the north of the BRP. It is steeper and twistier than the dragon. Ride it down, then turn around and ride it back. It's about 4 or 5 miles. I ran into it two years ago when there was a detour on the parkway. Now it's a must ride for me when I'm in the area.


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by kthflieger View Post
    a few weeks ago there was a post about a riding seminar on the blue ridge. A lady who was a former racer was the host.... Anyone know where that post went or any details about the rider seminar? thanks
    I don't know about the upcoming seminar, but this is the lady you are probably speaking of. I saw a seminar by her a couple of years ago at the Klassic K Kampout just of the parkway, it was interesting. She did mention her motorcycles and indicated that she still rode quite a bit.

  12. #12
    My father-in-law asked me yesterday what I was going to do on this trip. I felt like we were speaking different languages.

    "So I hear your riding down south. Where ya goling?"

    "We're going to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end"

    "Yeah, but what are you going to do down there?"

    "We're going to ride our motorcycles the length of the parkway...Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park"

    "OK, but where are you going to?"

    "Ummm...we're riding"

    "Sure, but you must be going somewhere...what are you going to see?"

    "We're going to see the scenery"

    "You don't have a destination?!"

    "Yeah, the parkway is the destination"

    "'re not understanding the question...where are you going to on this trip?"

    "Ummm...we're going to The Tail of the Dragon"

    "Oh..OK...sure...what's that? An amusement park?"

    "'s a road"


    And off we go again. He just doesn't get it at all. He can't conceive that I'm riding for the sake of riding. I must surely have a destination...a park...a bar...a museum...a drunken Rally...something other than riding.

    The sad part is that he's got two motorcycles...

  13. #13
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Argyle Texas

    Mt Mitchell

    Try to camp in the Mt Mitchell State Park if at all possible! There are only few campsites there and they fill up fast but a night on the mountain is beautiful because the sites are way up high in elevation. I believe the restaurant in the lodge is open for lunch and dinner.

    Be sure to put any food in a duffel bag and hang it on a hook in the rest room building. Bears wander through all of the BRP campgrounds and this one is no different.

    I just checked the park website and see that they now have the ability to reserve a site ahead of time. The last time I stayed there it was first come first served and I had to arrive before noon to get a camp site. Here is the NC State Parks reservation number:1-877-7-CAMP-NC (722-6762).

    Have fun, I have done the BRP end to end several times and hope to do it again in August on my way to the Boone Rally.

    04 R1150RT

  14. #14
    Months of planning...days of packing...6K Service for the GSA...took the kids out for ice cream tonight...mowed the lawn...I'm ready to go. Tomorrow morning I head south to Front Royal and then on to the Skyline / BRP. I can hardly wait! Probably won't even sleep. More to follow as I get some miles under my tires. Thank you all for your inputs and recommendations. I hope to hit a lot of them.

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