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Hi guys, i would like to do a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway next week. I live in province of Quebec, Canada. It's at least a 12 hour trip to the beginning of the BRP. I have a relative who lives in New Jersey fortunately along the road. I intend to stop there for a night or two. He's located 8 hours away from home. I never did a long trip on the V, so i don't know how i will feel about that. I did the seat raise mod, bought a tall Givi windscreen, installed a 12v plug, hand guards and heated grips, Givi top case, GPS handlebar mount. I'm used to long trips tough, because i own an RV.

Now, i did some research and already know that i have to do the Dragon Tail and Skyline drive. That there is no gas station on the road but exits that lead to ones and places to stay. What else should i know or do?

Thanks!

Brad27
 

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What else should i know or do?

Thanks!

Brad27
You should know that the Skyline drive has a 35 mph speed limit and the limit on the BRP is 45 mph. And they're both enforced. They also attract slow moving RVs. It can get pretty frustrating after awhile.

The best roads are the ones that run up to the ridge and down the other side. Some very entertaining rides can be laid out to zigzag back and forth across the BRP.
 

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Yes, the best roads are off of the BRP, but the BRP is a good compromise, unless you want to give yourself more time to ride in that region.

Lucky for you I did some research last year and saved it on a Google Doc.
Here are some miles markers that I have saved that are worth stopping for. I did some research last year on what to stop for. I didn't want to miss anything good...I got tired of stopping at random overlooks....

84 to 87 Peaks of Otter's spectacular views have been popular since the days of Thomas Jefferson. A shuttle bus provides service to Sharp Top. Fee Charged.

http://www.naturalbridgeva.com/ before Roanoke. Very famous! It's on the VA license plates.

129.6 Roanoke Valley Overlook gives a view of the largest community along the parkway. Reach the city via U.S. Route 220 (at milepost 121), State Route 24 (at 112), and U.S. Route 460 (at 105).

167 to 174 Rocky Knob rises like the cresting of a wave to overlook Rock Castle Gorge.

189.1 Pilot Mountain (North Carolina)
The Big Pinnacle of Pilot Mountain, as viewed from Little Pinnacle Overlook.

238.5 to 244.7 Doughton Park was named for Congressman Robert L. Doughton, a staunch supporter and neighbor of the parkway. One of the best places to see deer. Campground.

304.4 Linn Cove Viaduct, a design and engineering marvel, skirts the side of Grandfather Mountain. Visitor center and trails.
The National Park Service maintains a visitor center and bridge museum at the south end of the viaduct.

Grandfather Mountain
http://www.grandfather.com/mountain-escapes/mile-high-swinging-bridge/
This is really cool! Check out the website.



355.4 Mount Mitchell State Park, reached via N.C. 128, has a picnic area, lookout tower, and the highest point east of the Mississippi River.

361.2 Glassmine Falls, an 800-foot (240 m) ephemeral waterfall visible from an overlook on the side of the parkway.

384 The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center. Get your national parks passport stamp.

417 Looking Glass Rock is visible from many spots on the Parkway starting at Mount Pisgah.

Milepost 431
The highest point on the parkway (south of Waynesville, near Mount Pisgah in North Carolina) is 6053 feet or 1845 m above sea level (AMSL) on Richland Balsam Mountain at Milepost 431

Mile 451: Waterrock Knob
A 360-degree, four-state view; it’s the best view of the Smokies, the Nantahalas, the Pisgahs, and the Cowee Mountains and the best sunrise/sunset spot

Camping-BRP
at Meadows of Dan, VA, there is Willville M/C campground. 3 restaurants at that exit plus beer and gas. no bars.
Or try the park service campgrounds.
http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/camping-on-the-blue-ridge-parkway.htm
No showers.

Hotel-BRP
Little Switzerland.
They are also very motorcycle friendly.
Plenty of chain hotels...just use the GPS.

Be sure to submit your "Ender to Ender Certificate"


If you take the slab back on hwy 81 north, may I suggest detours to include rte 33 west of Harrisonburg VA (to Brandywine) and Hungry Mother state park. Nice roads there....

Ride safe, enjoy, watch out for cops and take a lot of pics! Seriously, watch out for cops. The BRP is patrolled by federal police. They won't cut you a break. In some spots the speed limit drops from 45mph to 35mph.
 

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I first rode the BRP several years ago Before it was completed, but only from the Cherokee NC end up to Roanoke? Beatiful ride,but then speed limit was Heavily enforced. If not for that it would be the US Nurburring. Beware!, to seek eats, shelter, gas etc. On the ridges down off the BRP, when NC posts 15mph corners speeds they actually mean [email protected]! Don't ask me and then wife how I know this?
 

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BRP, Etc.

I plan to ride ride Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala Skyway, Moonshiner 28 and Back of the Dragon for a week starting Sept. 9. Going with a group of six or seven on a family reunion ride. Riders' ages range from mid-40s to late 60s, so I probably should have called it a "Slo-Mo" ride. Thanks, RickySpanish, for tips on scenic stops. I'll be looking for other Versys riders along the way.
Isn't a motorcycle an RV, too?
 

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You're in Quebec? Have you ridden from Grenville north to Mont Tremblant? The road follows the Riviere Rouge initially, and then (I believe) transitions to Hwy 327 via Lac-Keatley. GREAT ride!

:topsecret:
 

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BRP is a pretty drive, one I've enjoyed, but it's not a sport rider's paradise with its low speed limit and aggressive enforcement.

I've ridden the BRP three times (once north, twice south) and my biased conclusion is that road is a lot better the farther south you go, especially from about Boone, NC and south. Ride to the southern terminus of the BRP and you're not that far from the Cherohala Skyway, which is fantastic, some of the best public money every squandered on pavement and just as scenic, if only 10% as long.

Great advice from earlier posters regarding roads that go up to the ridge and back down. Get out your map and look at any road that squiggles its way down off the ridge (e.g., NC 215). THOSE are the roads you'll have the most fun on...tight turns and elevation changes...weeeee!

The second time I rode the BRP end to end was in early April. (That may be difficult for Quebecois without trailering a bike down south.) I was glad to have heated gear as the first day there was fresh snow on the ground in VA and it didn't get much above 40. The very nice upsides of riding that early in the year included hardly any traffic (the absence of motorhomes was fantastic), only one LEO (in a built up and boring stretch near Roanoke) and gorgeous long views because the trees were still leafless. Friends who did the same ride in early May ended up coming off the BRP because there were so many motorhomes and almost nowhere to pass.

The BRP is a real pretty drive...just don't expect more than that.
 

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I use to live in Charlottesville VA and the BRP is a nice ride. Stop in at Montocello (Thomas Jefferson's home) and Ashlawn (James Madison) while you're there. Ride careful, I don;t know how it is now but when I lived in VA there were places on the PArkway that had NO guardrails...about 100 foot before Terra got Firmer if you zigged when ya shoulda zagged!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You're in Quebec? Have you ridden from Grenville north to Mont Tremblant? The road follows the Riviere Rouge initially, and then (I believe) transitions to Hwy 327 via Lac-Keatley. GREAT ride!

:topsecret:
Hi, not particularly Grenville but i've been to Mont-Tremblant lots of time tough. I'm from Trois-Rivieres. Just between Montreal and Quebec city.

Brad27
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You should know that the Skyline drive has a 35 mph speed limit and the limit on the BRP is 45 mph. And they're both enforced. They also attract slow moving RVs. It can get pretty frustrating after awhile.

Yeah i knew that. I hope mid-september will be less busy there...
 

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To find great roads in NC, Tenn, VA. All you need to do is turn off the BRP on any paved road, it's bound to be full of unlimited twisties, ride until you hear banjos then turn around and head the other direction:D

You shouldn't have any traffic problems in September, especially during the week.

I've heard HWY 68 from Ducktown to Tellico Plains, TN is spectacularly twisty.
Northern Georgia has the most aggressive aggregate I've ever seen on any road. It'll ball up the edges of your tires. Hwy 60 is good through Suches, GA, and Wolfpen Gap Rd. also.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well i guess i'm going to have a hard time coping with the speed limits, even more with slow traffic, but since i own an RV i know what it's like to drive....

So far the weather forecast is not really good.

Thanks to you all for your inputs so far!

Brad27.
 

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Oh, man, I'm so jealous! I've ridden the Blue Ridge Parkway the last two years during the second week of September, and I would have done it again this year (at the same time you're going), but other stuff got in the way and I have to skip a year.

At this time of year, there is little traffic on the Parkway (or on Skyline Drive), especially on weekdays. The weather is still warm. Campgrounds have plenty of space available, and the National Park Service-affiliated lodges still have their restaurants open. You're going at the perfect time of year. Up around Mount Mitchell and in higher elevations in North Carolina, you'll see leaves beginning to change color, but the leaves are on the trees, not on the road.

I seldom saw law enforcement last year and the year before. I have a hunch that the police don't patrol the Parkway vigorously during the Magical Period between Labor Day madness and Leaf Peeper madness.

One-quarter to one-third of the vehicles you see will be motorcycles.

After you get off the Skyline Drive, you'll ride a couple of hundred meters and then you'll be on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Make sure you stop at the Parkway visitor center, a few miles down the road from the northern end. The friendly folks in the gift shop will give you a piece of paper that tells you which exits you can take to get to fuel. Make sure you get that piece of paper.

I recommend two campgrounds that are a few miles off the Parkway. The first is Mount Mitchell State Park. The campground there is spectacular, although the sites are a steep, long climb from the parking lot. If your knees and lungs can handle the trips back and forth from the parking lot, this campground is not to be missed. You can reserve (and pay for) a campsite online; google it. The second is the Balsam Mountain Campground near the southern end of the Parkway. It's the highest campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it is lightly used. You can't reserve a spot there, but spaces should be available on a September weekday.

Side roads: A lot of good ones, but I highly recommend the following route, down in North Carolina: Ride past U.S. 276. A few miles later, take State Road 215 north to Cruso (I think that's the town). When SR 215 crosses U.S. 276, turn onto U.S. 276 south (back toward the Parkway). When you get to the Parkway, keep riding under it, down some twisty roads, past Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls (stop to take pictures there), and to the town of Brevard. Refuel, then go back up U.S. 276 to the Parkway and continue south.

Also, if you plan to ride the Dragon and nearby roads, try to ride Wayah Road. Google it and you'll find plenty.
 

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Brad,

A nice ride while in the Dragon area is Cherohala Skyway, beautiful scenery & long sweepers.

Also, my son works at a nearby m/c dealership and if you are in need of anything just let me know and we'll get some help. I live about 30 minutes from the Gap.
My number is 865-556-3322 if you have any problems while in our area just give me a shout.
Dan
 

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Grandfather mountain swinging bridge

Scariest thing I have ever seen in my life. The morning I was there, there was a dude jumping up and down in the middle laughing. You could see about 100 feet down and then thick fog. That's all I needed to see- I was outa there! His friends were on the bridge, too, all screaming his name and begging him to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
At this time of year, there is little traffic on the Parkway (or on Skyline Drive), especially on weekdays. The weather is still warm. Campgrounds have plenty of space available, and the National Park Service-affiliated lodges still have their restaurants open. You're going at the perfect time of year. Up around Mount Mitchell and in higher elevations in North Carolina, you'll see leaves beginning to change color, but the leaves are on the trees, not on the road.



After you get off the Skyline Drive, you'll ride a couple of hundred meters and then you'll be on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Make sure you stop at the Parkway visitor center, a few miles down the road from the northern end. The friendly folks in the gift shop will give you a piece of paper that tells you which exits you can take to get to fuel. Make sure you get that piece of paper.



Side roads: A lot of good ones, but I highly recommend the following route, down in North Carolina: Ride past U.S. 276. A few miles later, take State Road 215 north to Cruso (I think that's the town). When SR 215 crosses U.S. 276, turn onto U.S. 276 south (back toward the Parkway). When you get to the Parkway, keep riding under it, down some twisty roads, past Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls (stop to take pictures there), and to the town of Brevard. Refuel, then go back up U.S. 276 to the Parkway and continue south.

Also, if you plan to ride the Dragon and nearby roads, try to ride Wayah Road. Google it and you'll find plenty.[/QUOTE]


Wow. At first i thought it was only one way going south(469 miles). So i said to myself that i could do it in 2 days. But i soon realised there were probably side roads thus making it almost impossible to ride every road there is.

Thanks for the tip about that paper showing where i can get fuel.
Nice to hear it's the perfect time of the year to ride there.
Altough i appreciate your efforts for writing where to camp, i don't intend to do some camping. I won't be carrying anything for that. BB's and/or motels will do it. Campgrounds are for the RV and family. Also i don't have a fortune to spend. Maybe 3 nights once i get in the area. But maybe i'll get carried away by the beautiful scenery and will decide to stay for a longer time!

Is there a simple road called the Dragon Tail(or Tail of the Dragon)? Or is it a whole area with many roads to explore?

Brad27.
 

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Highway 129 is "The Tail of the Dragon". Deals Gap resort is located at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line.

Watch for the law & slow moving hogs (the Harley type & the animal type)

Dan
 
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