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Old 01-16-2015, 08:55 AM   #1
Rubber Dutchman OP
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General BRP Recommendations

I'm planning an end to end trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway sometime this riding season. I'm looking for thoughts from people who have been there or live in the area. I plan to camp one night on the parkway and one night near the end around Cherokee. Any campground recommendations? What time of year should I go? Notable places to eat?

I've been there in a car so I know what to expect from riding. I need to know if there are any features that I should make sure I don't miss.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:01 PM   #2
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What time of year? Southern end of Parkway is subject to weather (ice/snow) closures and has been closed now for quite a while. Spring weather is still highly variable at elevation. Late spring, early summer are nice, fall foliage season is great but lots of traffic.

Willville near Meadows of Dan = motorcycles only campground and right off the parkway but not open until March or April? Check the website for dates.

Several campgrounds along the the Parkway open during the season. Check the BRP website for details.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a campground (Smokemont) within about 5 miles of the southern end of the Parkway.

Plenty of eats off the parkway. Decent breakfast in Cherokee at Peter's Pancake House. Other inmates will have suggestions.

You might want to check out Asheville as you pass through and the Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley - not far off the parkway from Soco Gap near the southern end.

Enjoy the ride.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:26 AM   #3
EastBoundAndDown
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Stay under 55mph.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastBoundAndDown View Post
Stay under 55mph.
Really the BRP begins to get fun over 65mph

There is a nice motorcycle only campground on 276 South of Waynesville. We used that for a base camp a few years ago and the folks that run it are wonderful.
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Old 01-18-2015, 03:37 PM   #5
Budman
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Pisgah Inn

Be sure ti have a meal at the Pisgah Inn. Trout is very good and fresh. I think they open in April.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:45 PM   #6
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When you get to Cherokee, get a burger at Cherokee Fire Grill, you will thank me later.

BRP has an App. It gives access points, gas stations nearby etc. I found it useful.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:12 PM   #7
roborider
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Freeborne's Eatery and Lodge at Milepost 248, Hwy 18

Be sure to stop here for lunch, dinner or overnight! VERY motorcycle friendly, and just off the Parkway on Hwy 18 near Sparta NC.

Freeborne's Eatery and Lodge +
14300 Hwy 18 South
Laurel Springs, NC 28644
(336) 359-8008


Look no further. Freeborne's Eatery and Lodge is the place you want to be. We are conveniently located 800ft from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 248. Guests enjoy all of the comforts of home in our authentic 1950's style motor lodge. If you have traveling companions then stay in our 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite. We have a rental house, cottages and cabins available.

Restaurant and Bar

Enjoy our chef-designed eclectic American cuisine. Simply put, the best burgers in North Carolina, or try the Appalachian Chicken (featured in Our State Magazine's 100 Foods in 100 Counties you must eat.) Spice things up with our award winning wings or treat yourself to our Certified Angus Beef Rib-eye, grilled to your specific temperature.

After dinner, relax with your favorite cocktail, or grab an ice cold beer while you listen to live music.

Convenience

Country store located on the property with a variety of sundries, bottled drinks, camping and travel accessories. Gas is available within 3 miles.

Motorcycle Friendly!

Witness our weekend transformation into a Motorcycle Enthusiast Hot Spot!!

Visit our website www.Freebornes.com for info on lodging and things to see. For more information and reservations call (336) 359-8008.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:00 AM   #8
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For some spirited curvy road riding get off the Parkway, use it as a route to explore the region. an example from my neighborhood - get off at VA state road 678(Raps grill and Gas) and go "down the hill" to VA 691; follow it to VA 620 and go back up to the BRP thru Lambsburg. Nice 45 minute excursion that allows you to ride as quickly as you want with as close to zero traffic as possible these days and really enjoy some curvy roads.

SW Virginia? Been around Hungry Mothers State park or Burkes Garden yet? Damascus? Riner & Indian Valley? Cripple Creek?

Camping - wow. Quiet and secluded or crowded? It's gotten to the point that I no longer micro-plan each days rides. Way too much to see off the BRP. Campgrounds mentioned are good, I have nothing bad to say about them at all. It depends on what you enjoy. Primitive camping in Kibler Valley along river (Meadows of Dan region - 614 down (!!) to 631 to 648. Definitely secluded. Simple example of an alternative to another suggested camp ground.

Food - So many breweries, wineries, and distilleries opening around here with decent eating and friendly crowds. Some of the wineries allow limited camping. Floyd always fun to visit - especially Friday nights for street music, camping available.

Depends on if your goal is to cover as many miles as possible or ride and explore, visit places under the radar or follow the crowd.

Riding BRP end to end is a pleasant slow ride, good way to relax. Really don't want to speed, even locals get expensive tickets. By May it's warmed up enough and dried out so you can ride and camp without too much problem. Weekends get really busy. Three bikes to one car.

4PawsHacienda screwed with this post 01-19-2015 at 08:06 AM
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:50 AM   #9
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I think late April-early May would be good time. You might hit very cold weather around Mt. Mitchell but that's true almost any time. But there should be way less traffic than in the summer, even on weekends. Weekend traffic is heaviest at Asheville and Richmond.

Traffic aside, fall would be by far the most scenic time, but weekends will have heavy traffic in the more scenic areas.

I like staying in Little Switzerland at the Switzerland Inn. They have a separate, very nice motorcycle lodge with private room/bath and shared bike carport for around $65.00. Also they have a nice restaurant and bar. This is more my style of roughing it. They guy who owns it is an avid motorcyclist and an excellent host. Both the Switzerland Inn and Peaks of Otter have awesome seafood buffets on Friday nights for about $35.00. Any trip for me would include Friday night at Little Switzerland, for the buffet and hanging out at the bar, and a lunchtime start on Saturday.

There is a nice campground across from the Pisgah Inn. It's nice to camp there and eat across the street at the Inn. That's only a couple hours from Cherokee.

It's also pretty nice to STAY at the Inn, but relatively expensive.

From Cherokee you're not but an hour or so from the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge. The best place to camp, ever. In my opinion.

I think I did the trip in two days, but I got on in Asheville because the BRP was closed from there to Cherokee. So it was probably early March. Really it does get fairly boring between Blowing Rock and Richmond if I recall correctly. I enjoyed the scenery in Virginia quite a bit.

If I had it to do over - which I do, and should - I would probably plan on four days, and stop a lot. Wed-Sat maybe.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:00 PM   #10
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Last time I stopped at Diamondback Lodge(The Little Switzerland moto lodge) it was more like $90.00. Parkway campgrounds normally open early May. On the BRP only Mt Pisgah has showers at the campground.
One up at Willville or Blue Cycle Camp is about the same as a national park operated campsite on the parkway. There are no gas stations on the parkway, but many are within a few miles.
The official website has parkway road closures listed. I've done Cherokee to Waynesboro in one day, but it would be a shame to fly passed all the scenery. Mabry Mill near VA line is much photographed. Sunday afternoons in season, locals as well as travelers come for an afternoon of music and flat footing. Food and Willville are nearby.
I have seen temps in the 30s in early May on the southern end.

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Old 01-20-2015, 07:18 AM   #11
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Great stuff so far. These are exactly the kinds of ideas I was looking for!

This will be my first multi-day trip on a motorcycle and that's really all I'm looking for out of it, just to get out on my own and cruise around in some pretty scenery for a few days. Rather than wonder aimlessly I wanted to give myself the "challenge" of getting from point A to point B and I'm less than a days ride from either end of the Parkway so that's what I chose. I figure if I get bored going 45mph then I'll turn off someplace and find my way home from there.

Time of year hasn't been decided yet. Probably late spring or early fall. I'd like to go when the traffic isn't too bad so it sounds like I should shoot for weekdays.

Up until now I've really only been trying to decide on my route to either end of the parkway from my house. Now I'll start looking at campground availability etc.

[QUOTE=4PawsHacienda;25966750]

SW Virginia? Been around Hungry Mothers State park or Burkes Garden yet? Damascus? Riner & Indian Valley? Cripple Creek?


I'm in Giles County. Burkes Garden was actually my last ride before the weather got too cold. My wife and I rode through there and about half of VA-16 near Tazewell. Great place to ride.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:40 PM   #12
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On the north end of the parkway camp at Willville Motorcycle campground
http://www.willvillebikecamp.com/

On the south end of the parkway camp at Blue Ridge Motorcyle Campground
http://www.blueridgemotorcyclecamp.com/

Both are excellent and right off of the Parkway
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:25 AM   #13
galejt
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I'm in Roanoke County, 1/2 mile from the BRP as the crow flies, mid-way between the Vinton (~MP110) and Mill Mountain (~MP120) exits. There is a Hardware store and a Kroger's just off the Vinton exit. Dogwood Cafe in Vinton has good lunch food at good prices. Mill Mountain takes you into the city or to an overlook of the Valley. I can source a pickup and a 5x8 trailer if you have problems near me. I will PM you my particulars. There is a good shop friendly to ADV riders locally that I use. You know...just in case.

Planning the same trip myself in the warm months.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:10 PM   #14
TylerSC
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What are you riding?
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:17 AM   #15
Voyager II
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Trying to follow your loop below. Can't find 678 on google map. Is it Orchard Rd by Rap's Orchard? If so, it looks like a great road -- think I'll try it. thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4PawsHacienda View Post
For some spirited curvy road riding get off the Parkway, use it as a route to explore the region. an example from my neighborhood - get off at VA state road 678(Raps grill and Gas) and go "down the hill" to VA 691; follow it to VA 620 and go back up to the BRP thru Lambsburg. Nice 45 minute excursion that allows you to ride as quickly as you want with as close to zero traffic as possible these days and really enjoy some curvy roads.
.
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