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    Visit NC Smokies - Motorcycle Rides

    Blog For Visit NC Smokies

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park - EAST

    A loop ride around the east side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    Distance: 115 miles

    Ride Time: 4-6 hours


    START: Maggie Valley

    • Follow US 19 - Soco Road west and climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway

    7.4 Miles

    • Get on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Soco Gap. Follow the Blue Ridge Parkway towards Cherokee for 13.5 miles.

    20.9 Miles

    • Turn right onto US 441 - Newfound Gap Road and cross Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Follow into Gatlinburg.

    52.8 Miles

    • Veer right onto US 321 - East Parkway Road. Ride along the north border of the park to US 321 at Cosby. 

    70.9 miles

    • Turn left onto US 321 - Cosby Road and ride north to the Foothills Parkway entrance.

    72.7 Miles

    • Cruise the Foothills Parkway

    78.3 Miles

    • Leave the Foothills Parkway and ride south on I-40 

    107.6 Miles

    • Exit I-40 @ Exit 20 onto US 276 and ride to US 19 - Soco Road

    113.28 Miles

    • Veer left onto US 19 - Soco road to complete the loop

    114.2 Miles


    END: Maggie Valley


    START: Maggie Valley

    Ride: Maggie Valley to Gatlinburg


    Ride: Gatlinburg to Maggie Valley


    END: Maggie Valley


     

    The Best Section of the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Soco Gap ( Milepost 455.7) to Wagon Road Gap (Milepost 412.2) 

    Haywood County’s crowning jewel is the BEST section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Arcing along the peaks on our southern border, this is the highest and most scenic portion of the 469 mile long ride.

    Enjoy views from the highest point, see the Devil’s Courthouse, Looking Glass Rock, Graveyard Fields, and more.

    Distance: 78 miles to make the loop

    Ride Time: 3 hours or more 


    START: Maggie Valley

    • Follow US 19 - Soco Road west and climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway

    7.4 Miles

    • Get on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Soco Gap. Follow the Blue Ridge Parkway towards Asheville for 43.3 miles.

    51.2 Miles

    • Exit the Blue Ridge Parkway at US 276 - Wagon Road Gap. Follow US 276 for 20.7 miles to Waynesville

    72 Miles

    • Pass through Waynesville on US 276 to US 19.

    74.5 Miles

    •  Turn west on US 19 - Dellwood Road and follow to Maggie Valley

    78 Miles

    END: Maggie Valley


    START: Maggie Valley

    Ride: Maggie Valley to the Blue Ridge Parkway


    Ride: Soco Gap to Balsam Gap


    Ride: Balsam Gap to Beech Gap


    RIde: Beech Gap to Wagon Road Gap


    Ride: Blue Ridge Parkway to Maggie Valley


    END: Maggie Valley


    America.Rides.Maps
    10 months ago
    Ride Plan (48676)
    Best of the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Best of the Blue Ridge Parkway

    This 43 mile section is the best of the 491 mile long ride. It's the highest, the most scenic and has more overlooks to enjoy it.

     

    The Waterfall Ride
    Thursday January 25th 2018

    The Waterfall Ride

    Tour almost a dozen roadside waterfalls on this scenic day ride.

    Distance: 165 miles

    Ride Time: All day ride

    Difficulty: Easy to moderate difficulty


    Start: Maggie Valley 

    • Starting at the Haywood Visitor Center, follow US 19 - Soco Road west.

    7.3 Miles

    • Pass under Blue Ridge Parkway at Soco Gap and continue on US 19 - Wolftown Road

    8.9 Miles - Soco Falls

    • Gravel pull off on left with small signs on the downhill section of US 19 on a  sharp curve. The falls can’t be seen from road. A path and boardwalk lead to an overlook with 2 converging waterfalls.

    18 Miles

    • Continue on US 19 into Cherokee. Turn left @ traffic light onto Casino Road to cut to US 441 south.

    18.8 Miles

    • Turn left @ traffic light onto US 441 south to leave Cherokee and merge onto US 74 east (Exit 74). 

     21.6 Miles

    • Follow US 19 / 74 / 441 (Great Smoky Mountains Expressway)  east to Dillsboro.

    29.5 Miles

    • Leave the highway at Exit 81, pass Dillsboro and continue south. Follow US 441 south to Franklin. 

    47.3 Miles

    • Exit US 441 and follow NC 28 / US 64 east. NC 28 leads into the Cullasja Gorge.

     52.6 Miles - Cullasaja Falls

    • Visible from road on right. Limited and hazardous parking near guardrail on sharp curve.

    57.4 Miles - Quarry Falls

    • Visible from road on right. Long paved pulloff on right side of road.

    60.7 Miles - Dry Falls

    • Not visible from road. Paved parking on right with signs. Short trail to waterfall. Path continues behind waterfall.

    61.4 Miles - Bridal Veil Falls

    • Visible from road on left. Paved pull off. Drive behind the waterfall for a photo.

    64.2 Miles

    • Turn left @ traffic light in Highlands to continue on US 64.

    86.7 Miles - Toxaway Falls

    • Not visible from road. Road crosses dam with waterfall below. Difficult to get a good view. Park at Toxaway Village or along road on dam. 
    • Continue on US 64 east past Rosman and through Brevard

    106.2 Miles

    • Turn left @ traffic light onto US 276 north. Ride north into the Pisgah Forest. 

    111.9 Miles - Looking Glass Falls 

    • Visible from road. Large paved parking along road on right. Boardwalk to base of falls.

    114 Miles - Sliding Rock

    • Not visible from road. Fee area $2. Paved parking lot. Bathers slide down waterfall. Continue climbing on US 276 to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    121.2 Miles

    • Turn right onto parkway ramp. Turn left at the stop sign to head south (towards Cherokee) on the Blue Ridge Parkway

    128.2 mi - Second Falls

    • Graveyard Fields - Not visible from road. 1/3 mile paved walk to top of Second Falls. Trails continue to 2 others.

    132.9 Miles

    • Exit Parkway. Turn left (towards Canton) on NC 215. Descend from the parkway on NC 215.

    134.8 Miles -  Bubbling Spring Falls

    • Visible from road. Hard to find. Look for 3rd gravel pull out on right on the only straight section of road.

    137.2 Miles - Sunburst Falls

    • Visible from road on left. River plunges beneath the roadway on a hairpin curve. Small unpaved parking are just beyond. Follow NC 215 - Lake Logan Road to US 276.

    150.2 Miles

    • Turn left @ stop sign to follow US 276 into Waynesville.

     155.8 mi

    • Turn right @ traffic light in Waynesvile. Pass through town on Main Street.

    156.25 Miles

    • turn left onto US 276 - Russ Avenue. Follow to US 19. 

    158.7 Miles

    • Turn left onto US 19 - Dellwood Road. Follow to Visitor Center

    162.09 Miles

    END: Maggie Valley 


    Start: Maggie Valley
    Ride: Maggie Valley to Franklin


    Ride: Franklin to Brevard


    Ride: Brevard to Maggie Valley


    America.Rides.Maps
    10 months ago
    Ride Plan (48621)
    The Waterfall Ride

    The Waterfall Ride

    Enjoy a dozen nice roadside waterfalls on this day ride.

     

    The Dragon & Cherohala Skyway

    The Dragon, a.k.a. Tail of the Dragon is one of the most famous motorcycle rides in the world. This ride takes you there from Maggie Valley, then makes a loop into Tennessee to enjoy the fabulous Cherohala Skyway.  

    Distance: 67 miles to The Dragon

    Ride Time: 1 1/2 hours

    Distance to ride the loop:  250  miles

    Ride TIme: All day ride


    START: Maggie Valley

    • Follow US 19 west, climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    4.1 Miles

    • Pass under Blue Ridge Parkway. Continue through Cherokee to Bryson City.

    26.3 Miles

    • Turn right, then left at the traffic lights in Bryson City to continue on US 19 west.

     29.4 Miles

    • Merge onto Highway 23 / 74 and continue west. Junction US 19 / Alarka Road / Highway 23 / 74 Exit 64.

    34.9 Miles

    • Veer right to continue NC 28.

    46.3 Miles

    • Junction NC 28 / NC 143. Continue on NC 28. Note this junction, this is where the loop returns to.

     56.3 Miles

    • Turn left @ stop sign on NC 28. Road to right leads to Fontana Dam.

    66.7 Miles

    • Turn right @ stop sign to ride the Dragon. Junction US 129 (The Dragon) and NC 28. Motorcycle Resort here. Food, gas, t-shirts, etc.


    Ride the Dragon (US 129).


    To continue on loop ride - 

    • Continue north to Punkin Center.

    88.7 Miles

    • Turn left onto TN 72. Follow to Vonore.

    97.7 Miles

    • Turn left @ stop sign to cross the lake. Junction US 411.


    100 Miles

    • Turn left @ traffic light onto TN 360.

    112 Miles

    • Turn left @ stop sign to continue on TN 360 to Tellico Plains.

    123 Miles

    • Turn left @ stop sign to start the Cherohala Skyway. Junction with TN 165. No gas next 50+ miles. Fuel here if needed.

    164 Miles

    • Turn left to continue on NC 143 into Robbinsville. End of Cherohala Skyway. 

    168 Miles

    • Turn right @ stop sign to pass through Robbinsville. Junction NC 143 with US 129.

      169 Miles

    • Turn left @ traffic light to exit Robbinsville on NC 143.

    178 Miles

    • Turn right @ stop sign to re-trace your steps home. Junction NC 143 with NC 28.

     46.3 mi to return to Maggie Valley. Alternate route back is to stay on Highway 74 all the way to Waynesville, then into Maggie Valley.


    END: Maggie Valley


    START: Maggie Valley

    Ride: Maggie Valley to Deals Gap


    Ride: The Dragon / Cherohala Loop 

    Recommended - Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort

    Recommended -  Tail of the Dragon Store

    • Once through the DragonUS 129 - Calderwood Highway is a relaxing ride along the lakeshore with sweeping curves and nice views. Watch your speed, it's common place to see tickets issued. You'll pass the Chillowhee Dam and US 129 Harley on the ride to Punkin Center. Veer left onto TN 72 and enjoy an easy crusie north.  

    Recommended - US 129 Motorcycle Pit Stop 

    • TN 72 will bring you to 4 lane US 411 - Greenback Road. Follow US 411 west to cross the lake to Vonore, then turn south on TN 360. 
       
    • TN 360 crosses a few bridges winding south. Watch for a turn to cross the lake at Tellico Beach and continue on TN 360The road rolls through homes and farms with nice curvy parts. There's a stop sign and turn at Ballplay to continue on TN 360 to meet TN 165 near Tellico Plains.
       
    • The Cherohala Skyway begins along the Tellico RiverTellico Kat's Deli is a good lunch stop here. If you have time Bald River Falls and Baby Falls are located on a small spur road just before the Skyway leaves the river. The remainder of the ride on The Cherohala Skyway climbs from the river to the highest ridge lines as it winds through the national forests. There are miles of sweeping curves. Numerous overlooks along the route make nice stops for a rest and photos. When the Skyway ends Santeetlah Road starts.  

    Recommended -  Tellico Kat's Deli 

    • Santeetlah Road drops through the Snowbird Community with sections of tight curves. It then runs north along the lake as Massey Branch Road to just outside Robbinsville

    Recommended - Thunder Mountain General Store 

    Recommended - The Hub


    Ride: Return to Maggie Valley

    END: Maggie Valley


    America.Rides.Maps
    10 months ago
    Ride Plan (48534)
    The Dragon & Cherohala Skyway

    The Dragon & Cherohala Skyway

    The Dragon, a.k.a. Tail of the Dragon is one of the most famous motorcycle rides in the world. This ride takes you there from Maggie Valley, then makes a loop into Tennessee to enjoy the fabulous Cherohala Skyway.  

     

     

    Nantahala Gorge & Wayah Bald

    Nantahala Gorge is known for it’s whitewater rafting as much as it’s stunning scenery. Climb to the rivers alpine source then cross Wayah Bald on a ride everyone loves. Complete your loop with a ride on one of North Carolina’s best curvy rides, NC 28 then return to Maggie Valley on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fun!

     

    Distance: 145 miles

    Ride Time: 1/2 day or more

    Difficulty: Moderately difficult


    START: Maggie Valley

    • Follow US 19 west, climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    4.1 Miles

    • Pass under Blue Ridge Parkway. Continue through Cherokee to Bryson City.

    26.3 Miles

    • Turn right, then left at the traffic lights in Bryson City to continue on US 19 west.

     29.4 Miles

    • Merge onto Highway 23 / 74 and continue west. Junction US 19 / Alarka Road / Highway 23 / 74 (Exit 64).

    34.9 Miles

    • Veer left to continue on US 74 into Nantahala Gorge at the junction with NC 28.

    46.9 Miles

    • Turn left onto Wayah Road.

     74.8 Miles

    • Turn left @ stop sign onto Old Murphy Road. Follow into Franklin. Old Murphy Road becomes West Palmer Road in Franklin. 

    79.5 Miles

    • Turn left @ traffic light onto Porter Road.

    79.6 Miles

    • Turn right @ traffic light onto Main Street. 

    79.7 Miles

    • Turn left @ traffic light and exit town on NC 28 north.

    100 Miles

    • Turn right @ stop sign onto highway towards Waynesville.

    133 Miles

    • Turn left onto Blue Ridge Parkway ramp.

    133 Miles

    • Turn right @ stop sign onto Blue Ridge Parkway towards Cherokee.

    145 Miles

    • Exit Blue Ridge Parkway.

     145.1 Miles

    • Turn right @ stop sign to return to Maggie Valley on US 19.

    START: Maggie Valley

    Ride: Maggie Valley through Nantahala Gorge

    • From the Haywood Visitor Center follow US 19 - Soco Road to pass under the Blue Ridge Parkway and continue through Cherokee. Pass through Bryson City, then get on US 74W and follow to where the highway forks. Bare left into Nantahla Gorge on US 74 and follow along the whitewater river to reach Wayah Road

    Ride: Nantahala Gorge to US 74

    • Climb from Nantahala Gorge along the Upper Nantahala River and across Wayah Bald. Descend to reach Old Murphy Road and follow it into downtown Franklin. Harrison Avenue will lead you north from town and onto NC 28. Enjoy the twists and turns of NC 28 to reach US 74

    Ride: US 74 to the Blue Ridge Parkway then back to Maggie Valley

    • Turn right to follow US 74E for 32 miles to reach the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam Gap. Turn left onto the parkway entrence ramp, the right to follow the Blue Ridge Parkway over Waterrock Knob to the junction with US 19 at Soco Gap. Follow US 19 down to reach Maggie Valley

    END: Maggie Valley

    The Copperhead Loop
    Wednesday January 24th 2018

    The Copperhead Loop

    US 276 and NC 215 are two of the finest motorcycle rides you’ll find.

    The Copperhead Loop ride links them using US 64 through Brevard. You'll enjoy wonderfully twisty roads, waterfalls, and intersect the Blue Ridge Parkway at two points. 

    Distance: 89 MIles
    Ride Time: 3 Hours

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Start: Waynesville

    • Junction North Main Street and US 276
    • Follow US 276 from downtown Waynesville to the traffic light in Bethel.

    6.3 Miles

    • Turn right at the traffic light onto Love Joy Road
    • Follow Love Joy Road to stop sign.

    9.1 Miles

    • Turn left onto Lake Logan Road and climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    24.1 Miles

    • Continue south from the Blue Ridge Parkway on Parkway Road to US 64

    41.1 Miles

    • Turn left onto US 64 and follow it through Brevard to the Junction with US 276 - Pisgah Highway

    53.4 Miles

    • Turn left on US 276 - Pisgah Highway and follow it to the Blue Ridge Parkway

    68.4 Miles

    • Continue on US 276 - Cruso Road to the traffic light in Bethel

    82.8 Miles

    • US 276 - Pigeon Road will lead you back to Waynesville and complete the ride.

    END: Waynesville

    89.1 Miles


    START: Waynesville

    Ride: Waynesville to Blue Ridge Parkway (Beech Gap)

    • Start the ride from downtown Waynesville where US 276 leaves from Main Street. A gas station on this corner makes a good meeting point.
       
    • US 276 - Pigeon Road winds out from town climbing through Pigeon Gap. It then makes a flowing descent to the Bethel ValleyWhen you reach the traffic light, turn right onto NC 215 - Love Joy Road.
       
    • NC 215 - Love Joy Road winds  along the Pigeon River then out into valley farm land. There's one sharp curve amongst the gentle sweepers that bring you to a stop sign at the junction with NC 215 - Lake Logan Road.
       
    • Turn left to continue on NC 215 - Lake Logan Road to Lake Logan. Above the lake the road starts climbing. The turns get tighter and tighter the higher you climb. You'll pass Sunburst Falls on a hairpin curve, then Bubbling Springs Falls as you get nearer to the top of the climb. Arrive at Beech Gap and the entrance ramp to the Blue Ridge Parkway. A classic break stop is the Courthouse Valley Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to savor the views.

    Recommended Jukebox Junction


    Ride: Blue Ridge Parkway - Beech Gap to Wagon Road Gap

    • NC 215 - Parkway Road makes a long drop to meet US Highway 64. It's one of the most techincal sections of the road with challenging curves up high, a short valley run in the middle, then another section of tight and twisty curves near the bottom. There are a couple nice roadside waterfalls near Balsam Grove.
       
    • Turn left onto US Highway 64. 4 lane sections run east from Rosman through buslting Brevard. Follow through to the intersection with US 276 - Pisgah Highway.
       
    • US 276 - Pisgah Highway leads north along the Davidson River into a very popular area of the Pisgah Forest. It's a pretty ride but expect congestion on nice weekends. Looking Glass Falls is the noteable attraction here, worth a stop for a closer look and a photo. Soon after you'll pass Sliding Rock. The road gently climbs higher and higher through pleasant twists. The higher you get the steeper the grade and the turnns grow progressively sharper. Arrive at the Blue Ridge Parkway junction at Wagon Road Gap at the top of the climb. The Cold Mountain Overlook is a good rest stop.

    Ride: Blue Ridge Parkway (Wagon Road Gap) to Waynesville

    • The 3 mile drop from the parkway on US 276 - Cruso Road to Big East Fork is exciting. After, the road winds through the woods then emerges into the Cruso Valley. There are a few nice curves along bends in the river. Follow through to Bethel then US 276 - Pigeon Road takes you into Waynesville to complete the ride.

    END: Waynesville


    America.Rides.Maps
    10 months ago
    Ride Plan (48327)
    The Copperhead Loop

    The Copperhead Loop

    US 276 and NC 215 are two of the finest motorcycle rides you’ll find. The Copperhead Loop ride links them using US 64 through Brevard. You'll enjoy wonderfully twisty roads, waterfalls, and intersect the Blue Ridge Parkway at two points.

     

    NC 209 - “The Rattler”

    Long popular with locals, NC 209 takes you on a wonderful scenic and challenging ride north to Hot Springs.

    Extend your ride and make a 100 mile loop by continuing through Hot Springs on US 25, pass through Marshall, then follow Meadows Town Rd to NC 63. NC 63 leads you back to NC 209.

    36 miles to Hot Springs. About 1 hour ride.

    98 miles to do loop ride. 1/2 day ride. 


    Route: NC 209 - The Rattler
    Junaluska to Hot Springs

     

    Start: Exit 104 on Highway US 74. Lowes store at this exit.

    • Pass under US 74. Follow NC 209 north

    3.7 mi

    • Cross I-40 at Exit 24. It’s an easy ride through the valleys for a few miles. 

    11.9 mi

    • Turn Right onto Betsy’s Creek Road to continue on NC 209. Ferguson’s store / gas marks this corner. Lots of signs.

    22 mi

    • Junction NC 63. Note and pass through. - Store and gas at this junction. Popular spot for a break, loop returns here. 

    36.6 mi

    • NC 209 ends at Hot Springs. Return as you came or continue on loop ride.

    The Rattler Loop Ride:

     

    • Pass through Hot Springs. Cross the French Broad River and follow US 25 for 5 miles. US 25 will reach a stop sign.

    41.7 mi

    • Turn right @ stop sign to continue on US 25 / 70 towards Asheville.

    50.9 mi

    • Veer right into Marshall on Main Street. Follow into town.

    61.6 mi

    • Turn right at the traffic light in the center of Marshall and cross the bridge over the French Broad River.
    • You are now on Bailey Branch Rd. It will become Meadows Town Road. Meadows Town Road ends in 10 miles at NC 63.


    71.5 mi

    • Turn Right @ stop sign and follow NC 63 to return to the mid point of NC 209.

    85.5 mi

    • Turn left @ stop sign onto NC 209 and follow back to Junaluska to finish the ride.

    98.4 mi - End of ride


    START: Junaulska


    Ride: Junaluska to Hot Springs

    • NC 209 - "The Rattler" starts at Exit 104 on US 19 / 74. A Lowes Store is the landmark at this exit.  NC 209 - Crabtree Road winds north through the valleys near the Pigeon River, crosses over I-40 at Exit 24 then becomes NC 209 - Rush Fork Road once it leaves the river valleys. Sweeping cruves flow through mountain famland, climb to Rush Fork Gap then drop to the Fines Creek community. 
       
    • NC 209 then shoots east as Betsy's Creek Road rolling into another farm valley for several miles. The landmark at this turn is Ferguson's Supply Store. Just beyond you'll find the "Rattler" sign and a chance to buy t-shirts and swag at the roadside. The road hooks around and climbs Lab Mountain to enter the first section of tight twists through rocky cuts. Cresting Besty's Gap it decends along Spring Creek. The curves relax and you'll pass historic Pink Plemmon's Store as you roll into the tiny settlement of Trust
       
    • The Trust General Store is the landmark here. Note the junction with NC 63 - you will return from here to Junaluska to complete the loop ride.
       
    • NC 209 soon makes a long straight shot across broad Spring Creek Valley then follows the banks of the creek for several more miles of nice curvy road. 
       
    • A sharp hook marks the start of the climb above the creek as you enter the National Forest. Challenging tight curves cut through the rocky bluffs high above the river. As you near Hot Springs a couple nice overlooks offer good stops for photos.
       
    • NC 209 then drops and draws near the river again becoming Lance Avenue as you enter Hot Springs.

     

    Ride: Hot Springs to Marshall

    • Passing through Hot SpringsLance Avenue becomes US 25 / 70 once you cross the French Broad River. It climbs from the river through sweeping curves then makes a long slow descent to a stop sign at Big Laurel Creek.
       
    • Turn right to continue south on US 25 / 70. The road winds along for several miles to reach the well marked turn onto North Main Street into Marshall. Continue to the stop light in the center of town.

     

    Ride: Mashall to Junaluska

     

    END: Junaluska


    America.Rides.Maps
    10 months ago
    Ride Plan (47987)
    NC 209 - The Rattler

    NC 209 - The Rattler

    Long popular with locals, NC 209 takes you on a wonderful scenic and challenging ride north to Hot Springs. Extend your ride and make a 100 mile loop by continuing through Hot Springs on US 25, pass through Marshall, then follow Meadows Town Rd to NC 63. NC 63 leads you back to NC 209.

     

      1110 Soco Road
      Maggie Valley, NC 28751

      (800) 334-9036 

      Printed maps of all the great roads surrounding the Smoky Mountains can be purchased at the Haywood Visitor Center in Maggie Valley, North Carolina

      America Rides Maps offers the most comprehensive and detailed motorcycle rides maps of the hundreds of great roads throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains from Virginia to Georgia.

      Order online http://AmericaRIdesMaps.com

      http://AmericaRidesMaps.com

       

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