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Leaving northern Minnesota in two weeks on a solo ride. Highlights will be Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway and Tail of the Dragon. Any tips on routes, cool places to stay, great places to eat, points of interest, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
 

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@Filterguy, the BMW RA national rally is 5-8 September. Rally location is the fairgrounds in Woodstock, VA. Woodstock is about 10 miles for the start of Skyline Dr at Front Royal, VA. Several of us will be attending, camping at the rally, and riding the back roads of WV for a few days; join us.

Duane
 

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Like always, you will find more great routes than you have time alotted. The Dragon is "Ok", if it is your first time, but if you wish to enjoy IMHO better roads and less crowds, focus on some intersecting roads to the Sky Line and Parkway. Many factors to consider; dates of the trip (Fall Festivals), etc. I am sure you are checking resources like Butler Maps and several other publications focused on this subject matter. Question 1: Duration? Question 2: Ride through or base camp rides? Question 3: Direction to be traveled? A couple of favorites are VA 16, Tazewell to Demascus, VA. Then over to 421 to Bristol, TN. Moving into NC there are to many to list, but a couple stand out routes off the Parkway are NC 276 and NC 215. Depending on your direction, timing of the week, and if you have never ridden through the Smokey Mountain NP, turn right at the southern end of the parkway and ride north to Cades Cove. Wind around the back way through TN to the Dragon. If you have been there, done that, turn left through Charokee, NC on to Bryson City and pickup NC 28 (Moonshine). If all else fails, fill you tank and go exploring; forty years later, you will still be finding routes to log down. Have a great trip!
 

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Look up mountain rides under Southeast riders. We have been doing Appalachian mountain rides since 2016. Or, search Tame The Tail of the Dragon. This our yearly K1600 rally at the IHML. Best,

Doc
 

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I would add Moonshiner 28 and The Cherahola Skyway to the list. If you ride the Tail Of The Dragon, plan to ride it early on a weekday. That may help you avoid some of the riff raff. If you take 28 south to Franklin, you can take Hwy 64 to Highlands where you can pass a few waterfalls such as Dry Falls, Callasaja Falls, Quarry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. We’ve rode Skyline Drive and top to bottom Blue Ridge Parkway as well. You’re gonna have a blast.
 

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@Gunnert -

Can one just unexpectedly wake up that morning, pack a small camping kit, ride the 10 hours it would take to get there, and expect to find a camping spot and or a hotel room and be welcome and accepted?

Perhaps arrive on Friday and leave on Sunday...
 

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@PLAGUE, yes, there'll be plenty of camping area. I'll be putting up the K1600 banner, about 3'x5', black lettering, yellow background. Rally location is the Shenandoah Fairgrounds in Woodstock, VA, come and join us!

Duane
 

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@Gunnert - I may just do that. Thank you.
 

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Someone suggested riding the Dragon early in the morning before the buffoons show up. I'd suggest this, or wait until the end of the day...about 3pm-4pm. Most everyone has cleared out by then.

Western NC and Tenn has more good MC roads than you'll have time to ride. If you happen to get near Gatlinburg, try Tenn 32. It's probably the curviest road I've ridden...32 runs from Hwy 321 to the NC line. At the NC line the road crosses the App. Trail. At this point I've always turned around, due to the NC side being gravel. Also, there will be no traffic on 32.
 

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If I wasn't already previously engaged with 100+ folks showing up to my house on the 7th, I'd be heading to hang out with Gunnert and 500 of my closest BMW friends. Do that for sure
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like a great time. I wish I could make it. I will be arriving in Front Royal on 9/15. Thanks for the invite however.
 

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Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are great roads for sightseeing and even a slightly spirited romp. The speed limits are pretty low and there will occasionally be a Park Ranger to hand out performance awards so the best strategy for these roads is to go quick in the corners but don't hammer it in the straights - just tootle along no more than 10 over. This is a great ride and highly recommend it.

That said, the absolute best roads in Appalachia are found in West Virginia, Western Virginia, Western NC, and eastern Tennessee and they don't have catchy names involving snakes and dragons and such. We all have our favorites. There's way too many to list here and I'd recommend buying a copy of the Butler Maps for the region and going on a twisty safari and let it unfold serendipitously. There's all manner of roads, tiny towns, and interesting people if you leave yourself open to the meeting things as they come.

Or better yet, figure out how to get one of the really experienced riders on here that frequent the area to lead a ride. Unfortunately, I'll be headed to Durango about that time to ride the COBDR and the Continental Divide on a KTM 690 Enduro.
 
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