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Old 11-26-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
SCouch OP
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Smokey Mountain Area Roads/Trails,

I'm heading to Gatlinburg this weekend for a week, need some help for some scenic, not so difficult backroads/trails. I photograph a lot, so bridges, water falls etc.. appeal to me. I'll be alone, so I'm avoiding tough single track or long distance trails that would require a long walk if my KLR 650 breaks down. I would certainly welcome anyone who wants to ride, or if a group is willing to add a rider. I am a decent rider, and occasionally do somewhat difficult single track and ATV trails, but I am really taking a laid back approach to this trip.

This is an annual trip for me, so I'm familier with the main roads, and frequent the paved roads beween Gatlinburg and Deals Gap. I haven't been off pavement at the west end of the park except for the park roads (Parson Branch, Rich Mtn Rd, etc..) that are now closed.

Parson Branch, Rich Mtn Rd, are good examples of the type roads I'm looking for.

I am also familier with the east end of the park, Mount Sterling Road, Cataloochie, Buzard's Roost and Cold Springs Road up to Max Patch. This is a favorite area, and intend to make this trip, if for no other reason, just for the twisties on Highway 32.

Any help greatly appreciated!!!!
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #2
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Have you ever ridden the Tellico Plains/Cherohayla Skyway area? Lots of gravel FS roads to explore. Bald River Falls in particular is a nice photo op.

See inmate "Mini Mike" at Tellico Outfitters for suggestions, current road conditions/closings, area maps, gear, etc.

Bald River Falls

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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Tellico Plains is a really good suggestion. Give me a shout if you head South of the national park as I can show you around the Nantahala National Forest area. Be sure to dress warm. Winter has hit with nightime lows in the 20's and daytime highs in the 40's. There is some good stuff around Cherokee but keep in mind that anything in upper elevations is going to be cold.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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Thanks,
Been looking at some maps of the Tellico area, and I'm thinking the Tellico River Road and Bald River Falls is a good idea. Then I can follow N. River Road up to the Cherohala Skyway, and time permitting NF 81.

Does anyone know about how much time is required to travel thru this area, and if there is any other traffic this time of year?

Another option would be to go south thru the ORV area to Davis Creek Rd, down to 74 then come back up Tatham Gap Road to Long Creek Road and back to the Skyway.

I'm somewhat limited on time because its a 2 hour one way trip from where I'm staying near Pigeon Forge.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWannaB View Post
Tellico Plains is a really good suggestion. Give me a shout if you head South of the national park as I can show you around the Nantahala National Forest area. Be sure to dress warm. Winter has hit with nightime lows in the 20's and daytime highs in the 40's. There is some good stuff around Cherokee but keep in mind that anything in upper elevations is going to be cold.
I may do that, depends on how far south I can make it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCouch View Post
I'm somewhat limited on time because its a 2 hour one way trip from where I'm staying near Pigeon Forge.
Not specifically, but that entire Tellico area with the loop up River Rd, Bald River Falls, up North River Rd, and on and back to Pigeon Forge s/b easily doable as a day ride. Full day especially with the sun setting earlier now.

Again, best advice anyone here can give you is to stop in at Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters in Tellico Plains and chat with Mini Mike about what's currently open and good. I would not expect heavy traffic at all for this late in the fall in that area. There will be DS bikes, but most of the cruisers and leaf lookers are long gone.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCouch View Post
Does anyone know about how much time is required to travel thru this area,
For some....... about an hour


Are you staying in G'burg?
DO you have a GPS?
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mb90535im View Post
Not specifically, but that entire Tellico area with the loop up River Rd, Bald River Falls, up North River Rd, and on and back to Pigeon Forge s/b easily doable as a day ride. Full day especially with the sun setting earlier now.

Again, best advice anyone here can give you is to stop in at Tellico Motorcycle Outfitters in Tellico Plains and chat with Mini Mike about what's currently open and good. I would not expect heavy traffic at all for this late in the fall in that area. There will be DS bikes, but most of the cruisers and leaf lookers are long gone.
I do intend to check with Mike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatefalling View Post
For some....... about an hour


Are you staying in G'burg?
DO you have a GPS?
I'm staying near Pigeon Forge. I have an older hand held GPS, which I can use to get out of a bind, but I still don't know how to download tracks on it. I also have GPS on my Iphone. I mostly rely on maps.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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I mostly rely on maps.
Available at Tellico Outfitters. I think he has big free tear-off maps that he'll take and highlight route suggestions on for you. At least he use to have these.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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My 2 cents.........

Take a look at Wears Valley from PF to Greenbriar lodge to Foothills Pkwy, to 129 go to 72 to 411 to 360 at Vonore ......find Citico rd to Indian boundary to Cherohala to FS 81 to santeela gap , robbinsbille to cherokee to 441 to Gatlinburg............that should keep you busy all day...........
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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Just posting up to let everyone know that this week is promising some wonderful riding weather with temps in the 60's and maybe even the 70's and very dry. You couldn't have picked a nicer week to be in the Smokies in December. Who says global warming is a bad thing.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:32 PM   #12
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im headed that way tomorrow-/tuesday to Tellico Plains, River Road, north river Road and possibly FS 81, depending on time.

SCouch screwed with this post 12-04-2012 at 09:08 PM
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:09 AM   #13
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Well ...

Sorry to be late to the game on this topic but wanted to see how you enjoyed the riding in our area? Were you able to hook up with Mike in Tellico?

Lots of great riding as you may have discovered. You could spend a nice long weekend riding the Tellico, Citico and surrounding areas ... Nice places to camp and stay as well.
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