Western NC/Eastern TN/Tail of the Dragon (and some) - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

RoadTrip Field Reports RoadTrip Field Reports as filed by roadtrippers who are ON-THE-ROAD RIGHT NOW and after returning from "out there". Misc. tips and news postings of interest to future planning.

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#1 Old 06-01-2015
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Western NC/Eastern TN/Tail of the Dragon (and some)

We took a two-day drive through North GA/Western NC/Eastern TN this weekend, I'd never seen the Tail of the Dragon. That was the highlight, but there were plenty of other segments with great roads and views.

If you're considering a drive, I'd suggest you pack a picnic lunch or look at a map and plan your stops carefully. There aren't a lot of restaurants along the way, and most of the small towns don't offer much outside of M-F 8-5.

This was my favorite segment, very twisty, 2-lane with not much "open road":

- From Franklin, NC, take Hwy 64 West about 5 miles to Wayah Rd.
- Take Wayah Rd. ~30 miles to Beechertown.
- Take Hwy 74 ~12 miles to Almond.
- Take Hwy 28 ~30 miles to Deals Gap. The first 10 miles is 4-lane, but the rest is 2-lane.
- Fontana Dam is a great stop along this stretch if you need a break. It's a fascinatingly huge TVA dam and you can drive across it.
- Take Hwy 129 and you're at the beginning of the Tail of the Dragon.

A more "open road" segment after the Tail of the Dragon that involved more 4-lane and open roads, and required some getting lost:

- From Hwy 129 take Hwy 72 ~ 20 miles to Vonare.
- From Hwy 441 ~5 miles to Hwy 360. Four-lane, but thankfully not very long.
- Take Hwy 360 ~20 miles to Tellico Plains. Take care to cross the water @ Citico Beach because Hwy 360 turns without any signage!
- Drive into downtown Tellico Plains and then take Hwy 68 south ~30 miles.
- Take Hwy 68 ~25 miles until the intersection with Hwy 123.
- You are now officially in the "middle of nowhere". We chose Murphy, NC, about 90 minutes away, as our final destination, but there are other options.

Finally, the more expedient ride home from Murphy to Athens, GA on Hwy 129 was mostly uninspiring but had a great stretch from Blairsville, GA to Cleveland, GA. A three-lane, twisty, wide road, very forgiving, but with lots of car and bicycle traffic.

We are planning to go back in the Fall for the Cherohala and Blue Ridge Parkways.
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#2 Old 07-12-2015
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hey mikey22 here,sounds like a good trip also you may like to try the lake lure area, great swimming area good places to eat, twisting and tight turns to drive,and great view of the mountains, thats in lake lure nc
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#3 Old 07-12-2015
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Up to meeting the dragon?

That sounds fabulous! Very envious you have the roads up there...Floriduh is so flat and boring.

Would anyone be open to a weekend/long weekend trip like this? My daughter is on the Crossfire forum and they do a meet at the Tail of the Dragon annually.

If anyone would be interested reply to the thread.

If we get a good response...let's go for it!


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#4 Old 07-12-2015
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I'm in, but that would be a grueling weekend drive from FL!

Autumn is a great time for driving in the Smokies, but the leaf-peepers clog the roads!
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#5 Old 07-12-2015
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Hubby and I would make a vacation out of it and hope the kids don't burn the house down!


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#6 Old 07-12-2015
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We might consider maing the trip down from Ohio if there is enough interest overall.
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