Parson Branch Road - The Road to Tame the Dragon - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-23-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Parson Branch Road - The Road to Tame the Dragon

Anyone ever taken a K16 or other bike up Parson Branch Road from the Great Smokey Mountain National Park's Cades Cove Visitor Center to the Dragon?

It meets the Dragon (HWY 129) at mile marker 4 - https://goo.gl/maps/BuEsxETJc5jnE2p66, and is basically the only way to exit the park to the south, and the shortest way to the Dragon from the Park.

Since it is an 8 mile one-way road, there isn't any turning around. From videos it looks like a regular gravel road. Also, since all the fords are paved and shallow - 6-8 inches, how bad can it be?

I assume no one is silly enough to use it for a group ride next week while Taming the Dragon. Any rides going through the park?

Anyone want to Tame the Parson while Taming the Dragon?
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-23-2019, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dhendy View Post
Anyone ever taken a K16 or other bike up Parson Branch Road from the Great Smokey Mountain National Park's Cades Cove Visitor Center to the Dragon?

It meets the Dragon (HWY 129) at mile marker 4 - https://goo.gl/maps/BuEsxETJc5jnE2p66, and is basically the only way to exit the park to the south, and the shortest way to the Dragon from the Park.

Since it is an 8 mile one-way road, there isn't any turning around. From videos it looks like a regular gravel road. Also, since all the fords are paved and shallow - 6-8 inches, how bad can it be?

I assume no one is silly enough to use it for a group ride next week while Taming the Dragon. Any rides going through the park?

Anyone want to Tame the Parson while Taming the Dragon?
Most of the time, Parson's Road is no problem if you're OK with gravel. If it rains, all bets are off - a couple of places will get pretty soupy, and the fords can get deeper. Have fun, and let us know how it goes (I've had my K1600 in GS mode quite a few times, but don't think the spirited group is interested)!

TN 107 (inserting hyperlink or using plain text embeds the video, which won't play embedded, so link is quoted):
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Kevin
'13 K1600GTL
'16 S1000XR

Last edited by Qbird66; 04-23-2019 at 11:26 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-24-2019, 09:31 AM
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I've done it on a Honda TransAlp with knobby tires and loaded down. The first mile or so had been freshly bladed (not graded) so it was roughed up. But the rest wasn't too bad. Not sure I'd try my K1600 on it, but I wouldn't hesitate on my GSA.

Rusty Myers - Austin, TX

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post #4 of 5 Old 04-25-2019, 05:06 AM
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Not sure how the weather in the mountains has been this year, but on the eastern side of the state, we're on the verge of building arks. The rivers are swollen and I can't access the lower portions of my land because my tractor will sink in the newly formed swamp.

Matt Clark
Bunnlevel, NC
'67 Triumph Bonneville, '72 BMW R75/5, '04 Triumph Bonneville, '05 Triumph Thruxton, '12 BMW K1600GTL
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-04-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Whelp. It's been closed for years. And will remain that way. 3 repairs ran between $400k and $1 million. And didn't work long term. They want to put resources elsewhere.

Not even park personnel are allowed on it without special permission bc of the hazards to vehicles.

On another note, while checking it out, I did find some bears. Can you find all three?

I guess I don't want to Tame the Parson, at least not on my K16.
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