If you want to ride the same roads as the Prohibition Era moonshiners, put the “Moonshiner 28” run on your touring calendar. This 103-mile route begins at US 129 at the “Tail of the Dragon,” and meanders southeastward through North Carolina and into upstate South Carolina. In contrast to The Dragon’s non-stop twists and turns, Moonshiner 28 offers a 55-mph speed limit for the majority of your ride.
As you cruise along, you’ll encounter a nice mix of twists and turns, sweeping arcs, and memorable scenery. Shortly after you begin the trip, for example, you’ll arrive at the massive Fontana Dam. Here, you’ll enjoy a bird’s eye view of beautiful Fontana Lake and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Heading toward Highlands in southern North Carolina, you’ll see the notable Cullasaja Falls that cascades downward in a 250-foot drop. Further along, you’ll encounter Dry Falls, a popular destination for travelers of all ages. Enjoy an easy hike from the parking lot, and wind your way downward to the impressive 75-foot waterfall. For an experience you won’t forget, stand under the roaring falls and take in the sights and sounds.
Finally, Moonshiner 28 takes you on a leisurely trek through Georgia and South Carolina, with the quiet town of Walhalla marking the end of your trip. Throughout your ride, you’ll find basic to super-nice accommodations and an enticing assortment of antique and craft shops. If you’re looking for a hearty meal to fuel your travels, you’ll find plenty of options to suite your tastes.
Lake View Drive, more commonly known as the “Road to Nowhere”, begins just outside Bryson City and runs approximately 6.5 miles inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its construction is like that of the Blue Ridge Parkway with many gentle curves and some beautiful vistas. Its destination is, literally, nowhere. The road was never completed after the construction of Fontana Dam, and it ends at the entrance to a tunnel. It’s a fun, short motorcycle ride that leads to some beautiful hiking trails. One set of trails is reached by walking approximately 1200 ft. through the tunnel. Another trail, Noland Creek, begins at a trailhead just before the end of the road. There is ample parking at the trailhead and at the tunnel.
The highest and longest continuous route in the Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs for 469 miles through North Carolina and Virginia. It has 26 tunnels, 168 bridges, and 6 viaducts. The Southern end of the Parkway is just 10 miles from Bryson City at Milepost 469. The 90 miles between there and Asheville is thought by many to be the most scenic. There are many overlooks where you can stop and enjoy the amazing vistas, and the Parkway has a 45 MPH speed limit which makes this ride very relaxing.
One of the most visited tourist attraction near Robbinsville, NC by road enthusiasts, nature photographers or anybody who is just seeking for a relaxing ride and nature-inspired adventures. Cherohala Skyway is known for its spectacular scenic overlooks, beautiful mountain views, world class hiking trails and pristine waterfalls. It was also featured in Discovery Channel’s Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in North America.
The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile (69 km) National Scenic Byway and National Forest Scenic Byway that connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, to Robbinsville, North Carolina in the southeastern United States. Its name is a portmanteau of Cherokee and Nantahala, the two national forests through which it passes. Along with multiple vistas and overlooks, the skyway provides easy vehicular access to various protected and recreational areas of the Unicoi Mountains, including the Citico Creek Wilderness, the Bald River Gorge Wilderness and old growth trees in the interior of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.
<h2><strong>Mile High Legend – 43 mile National Scenic Byway from Robbinsville NC to Tellico Plains TN</strong></h2>
The Cherohala Skyway was completed in the fall of 1996 after planning and construction for some thirty-four years. It was North Carolina’s most expensive scenic highway carrying a price tag of $100,000,000. It winds up and over 5,400 foot mountains for 18 miles in North Carolina and descends another 23 miles into the deeply forested back country of Tennessee. The Skyway is well known in motorcycling and sports car circles for its long, sweeping corners and breathtaking scenic views.
It could be extremely dangerous at night and in the winter months. There are no facilities other than a couple of restrooms for the entire 41 miles so make sure you have enough gas to make the crossing. There are also picnic tables with mile-high views along the way that visitors can enjoy.
Vehicles can turn around at one of the overlooks or continue down the ridge in Tennessee. At the state line, the descent starts into the Tellico River basin. If continued into Tennessee, take a detour to Bald River Falls on paved Forest Service Road 210 to see the 100-ft. waterfall from the car (or motorcycle).
The Snake 421 is also known as “The Best of the Snake,” and is a sample of some of the best of the combination of roads that make up the rides known collectively as “The Snake”. The series of roads that make up The Snake travels 112 miles and is a heavily traveled Motorcycle and Sport Car Ride. The Snake 421, aka The Best of the Snake, is a really nice 37 mile section of The Snake, offering 489 curves while crossing 3 mountains and traveling through one beautiful valley. It travels through Johnson County, Tennessee and Washington County, Virginia. It is considered by many as one of America’s favorite chartered Motorcycle and Sport Car Rides. This ride has something for everyone from new riders to experienced riders. This is a ride you will want to experience.
<span class=”YhemCb”>Tourist attraction in Swain County, North Carolina</span>
<span class=”review-full-text” tabindex=”-1″>Ok so this wasn’t on MY bucket list .. but was on my husband’s so it was on our anniversary trip to-do list! And it really didn’t disappoint ether! 318 turns in 11 miles with steep drops and no guard rails! This road is not for inexperienced drivers… But if you drive slow and take the turns carefully it is a pretty amazing experience. There are some cool shops just before you drive into TN that mark the beginning of your drive, and they have memorabilia and stuff. Look for the dragon statue to your left– he is all made of metal! Just beware.. it isn’t for people who don’t like heights or who can’t navigate turns well.</span>
<span class=”review-full-text” tabindex=”-1″>318 turns in 11 miles, one of if not the best drive I’ve ever been on! If you love curvy, challenging mountain roads and amazing views, this is the route for you! I drove through completely by accident on my way to the Foothills Parkway but I’ve always wanted to drive the tail of the dragon and I got to its something you must do if in the area!</span>
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The Dragon is popular and internationally famous destination for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts since 1981. Known as America’s number 1 motorcycle and sports car road, famous for its 318 curves in 11 miles (18 km). The road earned its name from its curves being said to resemble a dragons tail. The stretch bears the street name Tapoco Road in North Carolina and Calderwood Highway in Tennessee and is signed entirely by US 129 (hidden SR 115).
Deals Gap, also known as Tail of the Dragon, is a portion of U.S. Route 129 in Blount County, Tennessee, situated in a gap in Swain County, North Carolina, United States. It was publicized as one of the most scenic drives in USA. This road is appealing to those who are looking for adrenaline rush and excitement. With hundreds of blind curves, long blind crests, and high degrees of camber, this road presents plenty of opportunities to leave the pavement both laterally, and longitudinally, and will provide a challenge even for the most seasoned drivers/bikers.
The Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest border the Dragon, there is no development along the 11-mile stretch, this adds to safety as well as natural beauty. The Dragon stretch of US 129 is double-lined as no passing (there are pull offs you can use to allow tailgaters to get ahead of you.) There are also pull-off points along the route for scenic overlooks. The road is certainly breathtaking, but has a fearsome reputation, speed limit was posted at 30 mph in 2002 and still in effect today. Trucks are also prohibited to enter the road due to previous accidents and incidents involving trucks and semi-tractor.
The best time to drive this road is between March and November. Winter months can be hard to predict. The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. This road had a reputation for being extremely dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be challenging. This road is not for the faint hearted, but if you are looking for a little excitement and adrenaline pumping journey, dont miss this one.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of traveling eastern Tennessee’s patchwork of two-lane roads, plan to take on “The Devil’s Triangle” this season. This memorable 72-mile route, winding through Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, is meant for experienced riders ready for the region’s simply maintained roads and challenges around every curve.
If you enjoy traveling gently curving rural roads dotted with houses, farm scenery, and random ATV’s, you’ll find those vistas here. On the other hand, you’ll encounter plenty of switchbacks and twisted turns that closely resemble The Dragon’s challenges.
As an added bonus, The Devil’s Triangle throws in roadside rock-filled gullies, impressive rocky cliffs, mangled guardrails, and rutted roadways. Keep a watchful eye for trucks, as some parts of the route don’t leave much room for pull-offs and other evasive maneuvers. Finally, let’s not forget the route’s notorious climbs – including at least one section with a 1600-foot change in just 1.5 miles.
Finally, you won’t find competing tourist attractions along The Devil’s Triangle route. However, you will encounter the now-closed Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a notorious regional facility that opened in 1896 and closed in 2009. This maximum-security prison, located in a nondescript two-story building, held the “worst of the worst” criminals during its lifetime. Today, travelers are invited to tour the prison, visit the facility’s museum, and buy some “End of the Line” Tennessee moonshine (which is actually distilled and bottled onsite). Paranormal tours are also available – if you dare.