Explore North Carolina
for Motorcycles & Sports Cars
The Cherohala Skyway was completed in the fall of 1996 after being under construction for some 34 years. It is North Carolina’s most expensive highway carrying a pricetag of $100 million. Winding up and over 5,400 foot mountains for 15 miles in North Carolina and descending another 21 miles into the deeply forested backcountry of Tennessee. The road crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests thus the name “Chero…hala”. The Skyway is becoming well known in motorcycling and sportscar circles for it’s long, sweeping corners and scenic views.
The North Carolina mountain roads near our Waynesville bed and breakfast provide lots of curves and scenic views for motorcycle and sports car drivers. If you do not live in North Carolina, always remember that helmets are required for operators and passengers and the headlight must be on anytime a motorcycle is in motion. For your convenience, we have a garage at our Waynesville, biker- friendly B&B where you park your motorcycle (holds up to 10)! Gryphon Bikes in Maggie Valley offers harley motorcycle rentals of new and late model Harley-Davidsons by the day, along with three and seven day packages for your stay in the Great Smoky Mountains. While in Maggie Valley, don’t miss the amazing Wheels Through Time Museum.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Just a few miles from our motorcycle friendly B&B is the Blue Ridge Parkway, what Motorcyle.com calls “the greatest ride east of the Mississippi:” Jack Cofano writes:
“Ok, picture this. You’re on a bike, leaning into curve after curve, mile after mile. You’re in the mountains, sometimes above the clouds. The curves keep on coming. Next thing you know you’re going through an unlit tunnel. (ensuring you play the concert of those drag pipes a little) There is no sign of civilization other than an occasional vehicle, and the only thing that changes is the altitude. You’ve ridden 20, 40, 80 miles and it’s more of the same. Don’t wake me up, it must be a dream. It’s not. It is what you would experience if you rode the Blue Ridge Parkway.”
Tail of the Dragon
About 70 miles from the our biker-friendly bed and breakfast are two more musts for great rides. Perhaps the most famous drive in the East is The Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap with 318 curves in 11 miles. It’s called America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road. The nearby Cherohala Skyway is quickly becoming number two with its remote 60 miles of scenic North Carolina mountain highway.
Crossing Deals Gap at the Tennessee/North Carolina state line, the Dragon is considered by many as one of the world’s best motorcycling and sports car roads. Anyone looking for an exciting highway will enjoy this stretch of US 129.
The Tail of the Dragon begins on the North Carolina side at Fugitive Bridge with a view of the Cheoah Dam where Harrison Ford jumped in the movie The Fugitive. It ends 14 miles across the mountain at the Tabcat Creek Bridge in Tennessee. US 129 climbs through The Slide, a steep series of “S” curves where one would not want to meet a tractor-trailer. The road then levels and straightens until a series of curves approaching the Crossroads of Time, one of the main hangouts for cyclists. Next comes Deals Gap and the Tennessee State Line.
The road is desolate and can be a real adventure in the winter months. Drivers deal with bears, turkeys, deer, and wild boars in the road, trees down, ice/snow, and tractor-trailers taking-up both lanes in the curves. It is not a road for the squeamish, but if you’re looking for a little excitement don’t miss this one. Like any public highway there is enforcement at times. The speed limit is 30 mph, so stay within reason.
On summer weekends, the Dragon may get 15,000 motorcycles and sport cars a day. It’s certainly a favorite with sport car clubs. Many of the Dragon’s curves have names: the Pearly Gates, Thunder Road Bend, Carousel Corner, the Whip, Brake or Bust Bend, the Wall, the Hump, Little Whip, Crud Corner, Shaw Grave Corner, Gravity Cavity, Horns of the Dragon and Hog Pen Bend.
For the latest updates on the Tail of the Dragon, go tailofthedragon.com.This road enthusiast’s dream connects Robbinsville, North Carolina with Tellico Plains, Tennessee. It can be desolate at night and extremely dangerous in the winter months. There are no facilities other than restrooms for the entire 36 miles so make sure you have enough gas to make the crossing. There is little evidence of civilization from views that rival or surpass any from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The elevations range from 900 feet above sea level at the Tellico River in Tennessee to over 5,400 feet above sea level at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line at Haw Knob. The Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains is a “must stop” on the Cherohala. Stop by for free maps, Skyway driving conditions and local area souvenirs and gifts. Picnic tables and spotless restrooms are available.
After an exciting day of motorcycle riding and sports car driving, return to luxury accommodations at our bed and breakfast in Waynesville!