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Old 02-08-2014, 08:40 AM   #1
Inniswhe OP
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Questions re western NC riding from a Canuck

Having a brutal winter up here in PEI Canada and a couple of us dual sport riders are considering a spring trip to the southeast in search of some good riding. We have never been down in the southeast riding and are looking for some guidance on a good location to base a few days riding out of. I read in old threads that around Waynesville NC was lots of dirt, fire roads, etc. Is that a good area ?
Also when does the riding season get going. From looking at weather info April 1 looks like about the earliest for reliable weather. We would like to camp or may take down a small RV. Trailering the bikes the 24hr ride.
Also how late in the spring do you ride before the heat gets unbearable in the Smokey mountain area or is it even an issue in that area.
We are riding 650 dual sports

Thanks for any advice

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Old 02-08-2014, 09:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inniswhe View Post
Having a brutal winter up here in PEI Canada and a couple of us dual sport riders are considering a spring trip to the southeast in search of some good riding. We have never been down in the southeast riding and are looking for some guidance on a good location to base a few days riding out of. I read in old threads that around Waynesville NC was lots of dirt, fire roads, etc. Is that a good area ?
Also when does the riding season get going. From looking at weather info April 1 looks like about the earliest for reliable weather. We would like to camp or may take down a small RV. Trailering the bikes the 24hr ride.
Also how late in the spring do you ride before the heat gets unbearable in the Smokey mountain area or is it even an issue in that area.
We are riding 650 dual sports

Thanks for any advice

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Waynesville is a nice little town but I can't personally speak of the dirt road/dual sport riding.(I don't have a plated bike-yet).The heat is never an issue here,the elevation helps with that.Seems like we get most good snows in February/March so April would be a good time to come.Lots of dual sport rides based from Hot Springs also ~ 25 miles from Waynesville.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:44 PM   #3
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Waynesville will make a good base for exploration. Plenty of good paved and dirt routes throughout Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. It rarely gets hot here (maybe in August) and when it does get warm, a little elevation does wonders. April is usually a good month but highly variable with regard to weather. Be prepared for anything, including road closures due to weather and / or budget cuts.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
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PEI winter.. haha, I spent 5 years in ova scotia as a kid. Winters here are much more pleasant!

Waynesville would not be a terrible place to use as a base camp. Some riding out that way. Look at the Tellico area threads as well. (spring beaver) Also, some riding out towards the Brevard area.
Eastern TN also has a lot to offer for dualsport rides.

Weatherwise, its hard to predict. This winter has been kinda long and cold, compared with our usuall. So, it may be cold/dry, Snowing, Warm/wet typically it doesn't get really hot here until june/july. typically spring is warm and rainy, but who knows!
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:50 PM   #5
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I have done many dual sport rides based out of Maggie Valley, NC. Tellico Plains, Tn is a good area too.

Here's a couple of ride reports that show some of the area:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=512682

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=630570
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:25 PM   #6
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I am in Clayton GA. You are welcome to base camp out of my farm. Have a campsite down by the creek with your own private waterfall, it is secluded, private, and no one will mess with your stuff. Pretty close to Two Wheels of Suches, Wheels Through Time, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala Skyway and all the dual sport routes in the area.

Riding season never ends. We were out yesterday on a really nice loop on the 990s. Although we did get sleet and freezing rain above 5000 feet and had to navigate with our faceshields up since they were frozen over...

Weather starts warming up at the end of February and usually by the end of March the only thing you will have to deal with is spring showers. It really doesn't get too hot to ride. July and August are the hottest.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Inniswhe View Post
Also how late in the spring do you ride before the heat gets unbearable in the Smokey mountain area or is it even an issue in that area.
We are riding 650 dual sports
Nothing is a sure thing, but if I wanted a reasonably nice time to see that area I would aim for mid-late May. We did it last year, and the bugs weren't bad, the nights were just a bit crisp and days were about perfect.

Here's a nice graphic for Andrews-Murphy Airport (Andrews, North Carolina)


Also, you might enjoy checking out some of the Trans Eastern Trail (TET)
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
dlrides
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To get to western NC you have to pass WV, VA and KY. That's like passing up a steak to get a hot dog !


Just sayin'
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:48 PM   #9
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Couple suggestions

Been in the area a couple times for road-only trips. Make sure you stop at Wheels Through Time and give yourself a couple hours. Cherohala Skyway is a great road that you want to check out as well.

Oh, and if you end up in Gatlinburg area, traffic could be a bit heavy.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:25 AM   #10
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Personally I love the central and SW Virginia and WVA region. Check out the Hatfield - McCoy trail system. trailsheaven.com
Super riding without the hassles of cities in VA mountains. Look around Bland and Bastian Va. Also see Hungry Mothers State Park area, Mt. Rogers area, and Grayson Highlands. Days of riding on forest service roads, roads along the rivers - New River especially. Rural Retreat is a good area. check out clawofthedragon.com website for some local info, also virginiablueridge.org
Time wise - you will be a bit wet and chilly in early April but fine, heat not a factor until July normally.
Western NC getting a bit crowded for my taste. Lots of campgrounds and not too expensive cabins available in VA and WVA mtns.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:37 AM   #11
Inniswhe OP
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Thames for the help, the TET looks like a great idea. Can jump on anywhere and may not have to go as far south as NC. Is the concensus that Virginia and West Virginia are as good or better ? Or does it come down to local knowledge

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Old 02-15-2014, 04:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Inniswhe View Post
Thames for the help, the TET looks like a great idea. Can jump on anywhere
Yes, do as much or as little as you please.

Quote:
Is the concensus that Virginia and West Virginia are as good or better ? Or does it come down to local knowledge
I enjoyed Pikeville, KY area (TET1 & 2) and also Gatlinburg, TN area (TET5 & 6)

As a matter of opinion, I believe the "Blue rated" trails are harder on the western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On a little bike T2 ALT 2 was extremely steep and a formidable opponent. Conversly, T7 alt 1 and the Tellico Extension alt I think were ridable even on a big bike.
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