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Old 07-31-2014, 04:46 AM   #1
-Brendan- OP
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Trip Planning Advice Requested

So my wife and I are loading up the toy hauler with the dogs and heading south for 9 days of camping. We plan on leaving NJ on Friday August 8th and are going to do Blue Ridge Parkway and then we may shoot over to either Myrtle Beach or Virginia Beach then head back home.

I am looking for some advice of what are the must to do's and recommendations for campgrounds and what not...

I was thinking we would maybe camp a couple days at Peaks of Otter Campground (MP 86) and then head to Cades Cove Campground in the Smokey Mountains. Would also be open to stay at a nice campground around the Ashville area as we would like to go to Ashville.

We are also thinking Gaitlinburg area may be nice too...

We will have the GS loaded in the toy hauler for day rides and of course Tail of the Dragon is on the list...

Any advice would be great!
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:09 AM   #2
AB13
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PM me if you want a good gravel day around Peaks of Otter also If you are into wine there is a vineyard real close to there. AB
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:10 AM   #3
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We are planning on staying 2 nights at Peaks and Otters campground and then 4 nights in Ashville...thinking of the Campfire Lodgings...then heading to Virginia Beach before we go home...
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:18 AM   #4
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you might want to have reservations at the camp sites this time of year.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:59 AM   #5
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Please don't get Wayne started with all this talk about reservations again! AB
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:03 AM   #6
Eddy Alvarez
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If you are not pressed for time, take the entire BRP, if pressed for time, only do the southern 1/2 as it's the most beautiful.
If you take him up on his offer (I would) AB13 is crazy fast on gravel, ask him to slow down early! He knows the best local roads/gravel and is a A+ guy.
Asheville is gorgeous. I recommend it. Try to see the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. Lot's of things to see. Very laid back.
Gatlinburg is a cheesy, tourist trap. Imagine Myrtle Beach in the mountains, without a beach, but a lot more rednecks. Crowded shopping outlets, country singing shows with Elvis, Reba and Garth Brooks impersonators, places selling fudge, etc.. Overall, it looks and feels old and tired.
Deals Gap should be on your list BUT, there are hundreds of miles around there that are just as good (or better) with NO TRAFFIC or cops trying to generate income for the county.
Also recommend Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley.
If you go to Myrtle Beach, investigate Myrtle Beach Travel Park. It's an RV resort right on the beach. We have stayed there, it's nice, the beach is very nice there and it's close to all of the tourist stuff that you would have seen in Gatlinburg and may want to do after dinner. They do NOT allow motorcycles to be ridden on the property.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:33 AM   #7
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Please don't get Wayne started with all this talk about reservations again! AB





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Old 07-31-2014, 09:01 AM   #8
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After my last week in Asheville, they may not want any more moto-sicklers.




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Old 07-31-2014, 10:36 AM   #9
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I would recommend staying at Willville Motorcycle Campground in Meadows of Dan Va instead of the Peaks of Otter campground. It's much nicer than the campground at the Peaks. The host/owner usually has a nightly bon fire where travelers congregate to talk bikes and of their journeys. You can always take a day trip to the Peaks from Willville it's around 2 hours south of the Peaks. And when I say nicer, I mean substantially nicer.
If you are in that area on Friday night be sure to go downtown Floyd for live bluegrass in the streets from 6-9pm. Chateau Morrisette winery not far from Meadows of Dan is also worth a visit. Gorgeous grounds with live music Sunday afternoons and somewhat upscale dining if you are interested.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eddy Alvarez View Post
Gatlinburg is a cheesy, tourist trap. Imagine Myrtle Beach in the mountains, without a beach, but a lot more rednecks. Crowded shopping outlets, country singing shows with Elvis, Reba and Garth Brooks impersonators, places selling fudge, etc.. Overall, it looks and feels old and tired.
+ 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To Gatlinburg, add the contiguous Sevierville and Pigeon Forge addresses!

But . . . your cup of tea if . . . you want a PIG to tell your fortune!

Or, if you've a consuming urge to TOUCH a JELLYFISH!

Yes, emporiums exist here, where for a slight fee, you may experience these wondrous opportunities.

Low on cash, disposable income? Then, PAN for GOLD! MINE for GEMS! How about a replica of HMS TITANIC, run aground? Not to mention, 3D multi-story go-cart racing tracks . . . the list goes on, putting roadside REPTILE GARDENS to shame . . .

Try transiting this region on a summer Sunday afternoon, when every child under 18 years of age from the 7-state "See Rock City" viewing area is being transported home from this playland in bumper-to-bumper SUVs, RVs towing hybrids, etc., with the temperature in the 90s and the traffic flowing slower than a man can walk . . . enjoy incipient heat stroke, as your clutch hand cramps from constant shifting . . .

If the garish and the vulgar (the low, common, tasteless meaning of "vulgar;" not the obscene one) are your "thang," then . . . you'll LOVE an excursion here. Added bonus: Viscous congestion, at peak ingress/egress times.

Unless you find the "attractions" compelling, I'd steer clear of the area, or . . . transit between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 a.m.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:49 AM   #11
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@ Eddy...I looked into Myrtle beach Travel Lodge and that place looks really nice...Ideally I wanted to head to Virginia Beach to shave a couple hours of slab off the trip but there are no areas to stay that look at good as this...

Plus the wifey has Myrtle Beach on her bucket list.

Last night I reserved 4 nights at the Campfire Lodgings campground in Ashville...that will be our home base while in the area. Seems to be a good amount of stuff within a couple hours ride...

Thank you all for the tips...sounds like we should skip Gaitlinburg if we go to Myrtle Beach.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:32 AM   #12
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The wife and I just finished Skyline/BRP/Deals Gap/HWY441/Maggie Valley...

Can't help with any campground specifics, our first time. Just want to say that we were stunned at the light traffic and overall beauty of the entire length. As otherss stated, the southern portion is the nicest, yet, I felt Skyline was as nice as the southern section of BRP. We had a fantastic trip.

Yes, hitting Wheels thru Time is worth the time, found hwy 694 from BRP into Asheville quite entertaining as well as Elk Mountain Scenic Hwy back to BRP equally fun.

Enjoy...
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by -Brendan- View Post
Thank you all for the tips...sounds like we should skip Gaitlinburg if we go to Myrtle Beach.
Pick your poison, the difference between the two is topographical. Eddy Alvarez and XDragRacer nailed it on their descriptions of The Redneck Alps. My advice would be to find a nice lake with a campground, like Indian Boundary off the Cherahala Skyway. Excellent riding in all directions.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:08 AM   #14
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Second the willville campground recommendation, good place and nice area for riding. Floyd a fun little place with some good food choices. Day rides in the area - Foster Falls, Kibler Valley ( squirrel spur to squirrel creek to Kibler ) bit of dirt and gravel, all park along river at end of road, birthplace of JEB Stuart, take wife to Chateau Morrisette (loop from Floyd to Chateau Morrissette to BRP), brewery in Galax. PM me if you want more - it's my neighborhood.
Gatlinburgh is known as Myrtle Beach of the mtns. Wouldn't take fido to Myrtle this time of year, state park south has good camping.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:52 AM   #15
Eddy Alvarez
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Well? How was the trip? Pictures?
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