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post #1 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 2:33 pm Thread Starter
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Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Planning to take a ride starting mid-May returning home end of May to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Leaving West Central Illinois heading through IN, KY, TN. Starting at the southern end of the Parkway and heading north to the beginning including Skyline Drive. Then its heading west to get back home through VA, W. VA, OH, IN, IL.

Plan on camping along the trip as much as possible. Looking for any insight for must do rides, places to eat, campgrounds, sightseeing, etc. I hear about the "Dragon" as a must do but I'm sure there are other great roads in the area as well. Any must do roads in southern IN, through KY, and across TN? Or on the way home through VA, W. VA, OH.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 2:40 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ride2Ski
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
DON'T SPEED on the Parkway. Ask me how I know!


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post #3 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 4:04 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Can get very foggy up there and the deer stand in the middle of the road...............
Take your time and enjoy..............

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post #4 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 5:30 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

I just got back from riding Rte 33 from Harrisonburg Va to Seneca Rock WVa. Very nice ride.
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post #5 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 5:39 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

We were there last summer. On your way back take Hwy 50 West towards Cincinnati .
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post #6 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 5:56 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

There are several camp grounds in the Shenandoah National Forest on the Skyline Drive leg with camping supply stores near by. If so inclined, one of them toward the north end of the Drive has an excellent restaurant in a lodge walking distance from camp sites.

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post #7 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 6:27 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

We might just run into each other. I am planning on leaving San Francisco about May 1st and headed east. The Blue Ridge Parkway is on the agenda, probably about mid May. If you see two guys, one on a champagne LT and the other on a silver Vstrom, that's us. Wave.

Here is the approximate route of my trip. Starting from San Francisco, going through northern Arizona, New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina with the Outer Banks as the furthest east we will go. Returning through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, (possible alternate route, Ohio, Michigan, lower and Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin), Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana Idaho Nevada and back to California (alternate possibility, Idaho, Oregon, California).

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post #8 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 7:17 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Hwy 62 in Southern Indiana and Breakfast or lunch at the Overlook restaurant in Leavenworth. This maybe on your way south. Very nice views of the Ohio River and very nice riding. Not much out of your way if your riding on I 64.
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post #9 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 7:25 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcpsycle
We might just run into each other. I am planning on leaving San Francisco about May 1st and headed east. The Blue Ridge Parkway is on the agenda, probably about mid May. If you see two guys, one on a champagne LT and the other on a silver Vstrom, that's us. Wave.

Here is the approximate route of my trip. Starting from San Francisco, going through northern Arizona, New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina with the Outer Banks as the furthest east we will go. Returning through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, (possible alternate route, Ohio, Michigan, lower and Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin), Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana Idaho Nevada and back to California (alternate possibility, Idaho, Oregon, California).
Love the outer Banks. Nice motel at Nags Head called the Sea Foam inn. Older, cheaper and screen doors, over looking the ocean. Great restaurant across from it called Owens. Sounds like a great trip.
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post #10 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 7:55 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Ridden both directions many times. Don't bother with Skyline Drive, its a poor extension to the real thing. Get off at Waynesboro, head north a bit then take the 50W, then the 555N when in Ohio.

The BRP, especially the top and bottom 3rd's is one of America's great roads. Once you get into the rhythm, its intoxicating on an LT. I would start with the Cherohala Skyway to start (at the southern end) and leave out the Skyline Drive. I can send a route on MS Streets and trips if you want.

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post #11 of 38 Old Mar 18th, 2011, 8:37 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Take your time and enjoy. For a quite night, (no tv or phone) and a good dinner check out the Peaks of Otter.
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post #12 of 38 Old Mar 19th, 2011, 8:05 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Here is the approximate route of my trip. Starting from San Francisco, going through northern Arizona, New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina with the Outer Banks as the furthest east we will go. Returning through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, (possible alternate route, Ohio, Michigan, lower and Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin), Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana Idaho Nevada and back to California (alternate possibility, Idaho, Oregon, California).

If you go about 10 miles east of the Outer Banks the view is fabulous...Take a snorkel


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post #13 of 38 Old Mar 19th, 2011, 5:23 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

My Favorite Ride Every Year!

I'm heading North to South in April to attend STC. It's this time of year that everything just begins to bloom. The aroma from all those trees and flowers beginning to bloom not only intoxicating but addictive as well! The BRP is a great training for the Cherohola Skyway and all of the great roads in NC and Georgia.

I would avoid the Skyline Drive. The limit is 30 or 35 mph and the Park Rangers love to handout $500 Performance Awards. The BRP is 45 and much less monitored especially mid week. You can go 60 all day and really enjoy yourself!

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post #14 of 38 Old Mar 20th, 2011, 4:37 am Thread Starter
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Thanks for all the helpful tips, and road route information. Our trip on the way to the BRP will be through IL, IN, KY, TN, NC then north on the BRP. Unfortunately we have to head back home but our travels will be through VA, WVA, OH, IN, IL. We plan on traveling on backkroads as much as possible (2-lane). Our travel dates are 5/19-29, this is a leisure trip we plan (you know that goes) on being at the southern end of BRP on 5/21 and plan on taking 3-4 days just for the BRP and riding the area before heading back.

Should be a great ride there will be three of us travel, my LT (dark graphite), 1150R (red) and I'm not sure what the other rider will be on.

If you see us wave! Thanks again for the information! Ride safe!

Dennis Franks
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post #15 of 38 Old Mar 20th, 2011, 7:32 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg08057
Ridden both directions many times. Don't bother with Skyline Drive, its a poor extension to the real thing. Get off at Waynesboro, head north a bit then take the 50W, then the 555N when in Ohio.

The BRP, especially the top and bottom 3rd's is one of America's great roads. Once you get into the rhythm, its intoxicating on an LT. I would start with the Cherohala Skyway to start (at the southern end) and leave out the Skyline Drive. I can send a route on MS Streets and trips if you want.
The Skyline Drive is nice but may be somewhat of a letdown in comparison to riding on the Parkway. The Cherohala Skyway is awesome too with spectacular sweepers. With regards to the Dragon, you may want to avoid riding it on the weekend. Another route that is considered equally if not more challenging is the Snake, US 421 through Shady Valley, TN.


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post #16 of 38 Old Mar 20th, 2011, 7:37 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Dennis, one more thing. There are some road closures from time to time on the BRP. Go to this site to see what's closed;

http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

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post #17 of 38 Old Mar 20th, 2011, 8:53 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

I was looking for a particular book that sits next to my bed in my DC apartment to share with you.

While googling it, I found this site:
http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=62

Who knew: Fodor's has tips for motorcycling the BRP: http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...ge-parkway.cfm

Here's a virtual guide for motorcyclists: http://www.virtualblueridge.com/park...torcycling.asp

I still can't find the dang book title I was looking for.

It was written by a Goldwing rider that documents the I-81 corridor into seven different sections. He then gives insight on using the section as a hub and offers 5-7 pin wheel recommendations for daily rides.

I will be back up in DC tonight. I will post the title.

Glenn
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post #18 of 38 Old Mar 20th, 2011, 2:43 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
. The BRP is 45 and much less monitored especially mid week. You can go 60 all day and really enjoy yourself!
Yea! Ha! That's what I thought...see post above ;{i)
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post #19 of 38 Old Mar 20th, 2011, 6:10 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ride2Ski
Planning to take a ride starting mid-May returning home end of May to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Leaving West Central Illinois heading through IN, KY, TN. Starting at the southern end of the Parkway and heading north to the beginning including Skyline Drive. Then its heading west to get back home through VA, W. VA, OH, IN, IL.

Plan on camping along the trip as much as possible. Looking for any insight for must do rides, places to eat, campgrounds, sightseeing, etc. I hear about the "Dragon" as a must do but I'm sure there are other great roads in the area as well. Any must do roads in southern IN, through KY, and across TN? Or on the way home through VA, W. VA, OH.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
The dragon is a fun road stay in your own lane!! The roads in smoky mountain national park get a little slow with campers pulled behind trucks I like to camp at Iron Horse Camp ground they have cabins for rent camp sites and food and hot showers and is close to dragon,and the parkway If you go to KY the road between the lakes is very nice lots of deer after dark CFull
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post #20 of 38 Old Mar 20th, 2011, 6:59 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

a good place to camp thats close to the parkway and the dragon is iron horse campground have good meals and clean showers ,also cabin rentals very biker friendly. CFull
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post #21 of 38 Old Mar 21st, 2011, 7:32 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

As promised: http://www.amazon.com/Motorcycle-Jou.../dp/1884313485

Motorcycle Journeys Through the Appalachians




Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennM86
I was looking for a particular book that sits next to my bed in my DC apartment to share with you.

While googling it, I found this site:
http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=62

Who knew: Fodor's has tips for motorcycling the BRP: http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...ge-parkway.cfm

Here's a virtual guide for motorcyclists: http://www.virtualblueridge.com/park...torcycling.asp

I still can't find the dang book title I was looking for.

It was written by a Goldwing rider that documents the I-81 corridor into seven different sections. He then gives insight on using the section as a hub and offers 5-7 pin wheel recommendations for daily rides.

I will be back up in DC tonight. I will post the title.

Glenn
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post #22 of 38 Old Mar 21st, 2011, 7:54 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

If you think you will be able to spend some time in the southern WV area, I can send you a route that makes the Tail of the Dragon quite tame and uneventfully. It is a 50+ mile loop that will take your breath away. I used to ride it all the time when I lived there on an old Honda 350/450 and sort of took it for granted.

There is talk that the locals are in the process of promoting it like the Tail of the Dragon .

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post #23 of 38 Old Mar 21st, 2011, 8:30 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

This is Dale Coyner's web site. He is the author of the "Journeys through the Appalachians" book.

http://www.appalachianhighways.com/

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post #24 of 38 Old Mar 21st, 2011, 11:03 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

If you don;t have to have the Tshirt/sticker form dragon, there are innumerable roads off the parkway that are just as nice, but maybe not as long. Within 5 minutes of me, I can give you FOUR roads, about 5 miles each (One way) that are just as good, with less traffic.

ORchard Gap; Willis Gap; Squirrel Spur; and Pipers Gap. Those are all within 30 miles of milepost 200 on the BRP. There is also Fancy Gap, which can be quite fun. It is US52 at MP 200. One lane going down, whcih can put you behind any number of slow vehicles. 2 lanes going up, 55 mph speed limit, and can be ridden at that speed. Nice sweeping turns. HOWEVER, it can also get you hurt. I got the scars from that one.

Mt Airy NC is boyhood home of Andy Griffith, which some folks think is the greatest thing. And they use the area as a touristy spot. The whole Mayberry thing, if you are so inclined. About 12 minutes from Milepost 200. Plenty of bluegrass/old time music too. We have a great live blues jam on some Tuesday nights too. Good food in MA if you know where to look. B52s, Goober's, Snappy Lunch (can be very crowded).

If you need any more info on my little area, please PM me. Also I can be available if you need minor BMW help along the way. Which can be the difference in a good trip and a bad trip. If you want my contact info, let me know and I'll get it to you incase you need a phone number or assistance in these here parts. After my last experience with flat tires, I'll never leave home on a long trip w/o some contacts along the route.

Once you get on towards Boone and north of that, it is all easy 45 mph road that flows nicely. The southern end is a little tighter. Blowing Rock is a nice place to stop off too. Artsy, nice food, quaint. Not far from there is Boone, which is alos nice, but it's a town of 15,000 in the space for about 5,000.

Roanoke VA also has a nice transportation Museum, if you are so inclined. Not a "must see" but good. Pit Boss BBQ if you are in Roanoke.

I know that's a lot in one post, but feel free to PM me if you want.

Randy
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post #25 of 38 Old Mar 21st, 2011, 11:25 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

If you are into WW-II stuff, there is a great D-Day memorial at Bedford, Vr. Just 13 miles off the BRP.
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post #26 of 38 Old Mar 21st, 2011, 3:15 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDiver
If you think you will be able to spend some time in the southern WV area, I can send you a route that makes the Tail of the Dragon quite tame and uneventfully. It is a 50+ mile loop that will take your breath away. I used to ride it all the time when I lived there on an old Honda 350/450 and sort of took it for granted.

There is talk that the locals are in the process of promoting it like the Tail of the Dragon .
Dan, would you be willing to post that WV loop ride to the entire list?

- Bob

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post #27 of 38 Old Mar 28th, 2011, 8:35 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

I just returned from a quick 3 day ride on the BRP. We stayed at the Microtel in Maggie Valley and I was following someone who knew the area so I don't really know where I was but I do know that I had a good time :-)


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post #28 of 38 Old Mar 29th, 2011, 5:35 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

I live in virginia, and there's lots of roads around the BRP worth traveling... but, you do need to ride the dragon, and you do need to ride to maggie valley and visit the great motorcylce museum there (i believe its still open), worth the trip...

years ago we ran the BRP from north to south...into NC and looped back up thru tennessee...great ride... rt. 77 up thru WV was also a good ride...

i'll try to sit down with some maps later and send you more info about what's around here...give me a few days to get it together...

robert
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post #29 of 38 Old Mar 30th, 2011, 7:49 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

I suggest you budget more time at the North Carolina end, there's more to ride. The Dragon / Cherohala Skyway is a great loop, one of the must-do rides. If it's your first time, crossing Great Smoky Mountains National Park on US 441 / Newfound Gap Rd should also be on your list despite the traffic. If you're seeking some nice back roads nearby, NC 28 and Wayah Rd are two great options. For easy waterfalls viewing, US 64 Cashier / Highlands area, but again some traffic. US 276 / NC 215 cross the parkway, make for nice loops on either side. NC 209 is a local favorite. The Diamondback NC 226A is accessible from the BRP, and there are some outstanding rides just north and west. The Snake US 421 (and others) touches the corners of three states. In Virginia, nice riding around Floyd and west of Roanoke. At the north end, the best riding is found west near the W. VA border.
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post #30 of 38 Old Mar 30th, 2011, 10:21 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Just for information Mortons BMW from Fredericksburg Va, is having their annual Spring Fling May 13-15 just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Natural Bridge. I am hoping they will have the new K1600 on display. You can camp or get a hotel room near by.

Natural Bridge:
http://www.naturalbridgeva.com/

Mortons BMW:
http://www.mortonsbmw.com/

Motorcycle Virginia:
http://www.motorcycleva.com/
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post #31 of 38 Old Mar 30th, 2011, 11:41 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

We will be riding the BRP during the 3rd week of May from the south at Maggie Valley to have lunch at the Pisgah Inn. As others have said, take your time. Traffic will be heavy by this time of year but during the weekdays it should lighten up. Remember, you're in the mountains. With all the twists and turns and ups and downs, you only get to ride half as far as the flatlanders!

Hope you have a great trip.

~Steph


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post #32 of 38 Old Mar 30th, 2011, 12:55 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

The last ride of last season was BRP for Cherokee to Gettysburg. One of the best trips of my life! The leaves were turing and it was great weather. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but it is a good long trip from western Wisconsin. Watch the curves on the south side and keep it under 45 mph. There is a good reason for the speed. The senery is so good, a lot of drivers are not paying attentiion. Drive defensively and go during the week.
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post #33 of 38 Old Sep 27th, 2011, 8:34 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Gettysburg - Rt 15 south - Skyline Drive - Blue Ridge Parkway. Best trip imaginable. Went the first week of September. Had the road to ourselves. $10 fee for the skyline was the best 10 dollars I've ever spent. 35 MPH is enforced strictly but after you see the size of the deer you won't mind. A night at the skyline lodge is worth the price. Peaks of otter is a close second. Enjoy the scenery and watch out for the deer and rangers with radar....
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post #34 of 38 Old Sep 28th, 2011, 8:41 am
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

We just got back from a week long trip on the BRP! We took a nice route up to the begining at Mile Marker Zero and took a very leisurely trip down to mm 469. But we stayed in lodges and hotels. Be prepared for any kind of weather though. We had fog, dense fog, rain, thunderstorms & sunshine. Sometimes all in the same day. It was still a blast. Keep an eye out for wildlife too.
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Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #35 of 38 Old Sep 30th, 2011, 6:53 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemdav
Take your time and enjoy. For a quite night, (no tv or phone) and a good dinner check out the Peaks of Otter.
Stayed there last week.
Big Lynn Lodge in Little Switzerland too.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #36 of 38 Old Oct 4th, 2011, 1:38 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

I'll never understand the Americans, driving on a parkway and parking on the driveway:-)
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post #37 of 38 Old Nov 19th, 2011, 11:40 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Lots of great advice posted. In addition to seconding the ride over the Great Smokies from Cherokee to Gatlinburg, I'd also recommend that when you get to the end of the BRP where Skyline drive begins is the exit which takes you to Monticello (Jeffersons Home). It is worth the hour and a half to go check it out and take the tour.
I ride the BRP and Skyline almost every year and they are very unpredictable as are the critters that roam out onto these roadways. Take your time, stay alert and enjoy the ride. Plenty of places to jump off these roads and hit interstate if you start falling behind, but as a rule of thumb plan 1 day more than what you think the mileage on the BRP & Skyline would indicate.
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post #38 of 38 Old Dec 11th, 2011, 12:55 pm
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Re: Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Hi,
I am planning a trip from Newfoundland, Canada to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway. I visited Grafton, WV, in 2010, on a cross country tour and it gave me a flavour to want to come back.
I am looking for suggestions on routes to travel coming from the north. I will cross into the US at Holton or Calais, MA. I don't care to travel much on Interstates. I ride an 06' LT. I will start my trip late June, 2012.
Thanks,
Kelly

2011, R1200RT
2006, R1200GS (located in Ireland)
2006, K1200LT (sold)
1981, Kawasaki CSR 650 (sold)
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