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


Map (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.  

 

 

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    Link Details

    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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