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Thread: Tennessee Route advice needed

  1. #1
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Tennessee Route advice needed

    I have a tentative route being planned to get to the Rally from Dallas to take about 3 days. Day one is just a launch to get into Tennessee so I'm taking a direct route from Dallas through just north of Memphis for the first night. From there heading north to Dyersburg and Union City and then heading east across the northern part of the state through places like Clarksville and Portland.

    Never been on any of those roads so just picking out the dotted scenic routes according to my Rand McNally state map. There appears to be a couple of choices at Pine Haven/Jamestown. One way is Hwy 52 to Robbins (highlighted in blue to the south) or take the northern road #297 through "Big South Fork Rec Area" ending in Oneida (shown highlighted in green).

    Anyone familiar with this area who can make a suggestion? Also any other must do roads, dining, or places of interested greatly appreciated.
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    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    A little bigger picture of the route for reference
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    Registered User ALIENHITCHHIKER's Avatar
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    Randy, i'm not sure how this might fit with your timetable, but have you considered running I-20 to Jackson, MS and picking up the Natchez Trace Parkway?

    You could then run the Natchez up to its northern terminus at Nashville, making I-40 to I-81 to I-26 (about 290 miles) your final leg.

    If you've never done the Natchez, this just might be a great opportunity.
    Steve
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    +1 on that suggestion-I ran the same route as you suggest coming the same direction home to KY. The only fine tuning you need beyond the Trace, is to fine tune the road choices after Nashville. I will say too, that Nashville afternoons can be a gridlock thing-not fun on a bike!

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    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    randy - i've believe that i've ridden the green road in your map, and i think you will like it. i was with a group of college kids who were riding portions of the Trans America Trail out to the west.

    this is a nice area, some good camping, and if you want the best roads from there to the rally, check out the extreme northern part of TN, get to Cumberland Gap area, follow US58 through the western corner of Virginia and take VA33/TN70 south and over to the rally area.

    ian
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    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    randy - if you want the best roads from there to the rally, check out the extreme northern part of TN, get to Cumberland Gap area, follow US58 through the western corner of Virginia and take VA33/TN70 south and over to the rally area.

    ian
    I changed my route thanks to your suggestion. I found Cumberland Gap and 58 along with 70 going south to 11E, however can't seem to locate VA33 in that area. Can you give me a town it crosses for reference or does the below map look right?
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    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALIENHITCHHIKER View Post
    Randy, i'm not sure how this might fit with your timetable, but have you considered running I-20 to Jackson, MS and picking up the Natchez Trace Parkway?

    You could then run the Natchez up to its northern terminus at Nashville, making I-40 to I-81 to I-26 (about 290 miles) your final leg.

    If you've never done the Natchez, this just might be a great opportunity.

    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid
    +1 on that suggestion-I ran the same route as you suggest coming the same direction home to KY. The only fine tuning you need beyond the Trace, is to fine tune the road choices after Nashville. I will say too, that Nashville afternoons can be a gridlock thing-not fun on a bike!
    I must admit I wasn't knowledgeable about that byway or where it ran. My original plan was to ride east across the northern part of Tennessee and on the way home, head west across the southern part of Kentucky.

    Couple of concerns: If I were to ride Natchez Trace Pky on the way home, I would miss out on riding parts of Kentucky. Secondly the temperatures are very high in mid July riding Texas , Louisiana, and Mississippi.

    Normally I solve the heat problem by leaving early morning and getting to a cooler place by mid day. On my original route, it seems to get cooler north of Little Rock.

    Should I try riding Natchez Trace in the fall without the need to go through Nashville or do you think it's worth giving up northern TN or Southern KY on this trip?

    Almost every great road I've ridden was due to the great information I've received here on this forum. My last trip going east, I took in Cherohala Skyway, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the dragon, but somehow missed Natchez Trace.

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    Registered User ALIENHITCHHIKER's Avatar
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    Randy, your point about July temperatures is well taken - and I think it argues for the northern, higher elevation route.

    I've also ridden the Cumberland Gap area and have to agree with Ian, it's a great area. (Watch out for coal trucks and local pickups rounding blind curves while straddling the center line).

    Based on the section of the Trace which I''ve ridden, it is a pleasant cruise, but not much excitement in the way of twisties or big elevation changes. The Cumberland Gap area is "all that".
    Steve
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    Registered User KatTN's Avatar
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    I have ridden both of the routes the you mapped out. They are both enjoyable with a mix of curves and elevation changes. If I remember correctly there will be lots of shaded stretches which also makes it cooler. If you decide to run Jamestown to Oneida, here is a little place in Big South Fork that I love rent for the weekend. It is called Kicken Back Cabin and the accomodations are wonderful. Some friends of our's owns it. They have gone out of their way to make sure that it has all the comforts of home. The only thing you would need to do is stop along the way to pick up a few groceries for grillin or cooking. Everything else is there already.

    http://www.kickingbackcabin.com/

    There is a place called the Hanging Hog that has some of the best barbeque and side items that I ever had. It woud be on the left of the road as you make your turn that you would take that runs you through Rugby to Oneida. Here is info on Rugby.

    http://www.historicrugby.org/index.html

    There is a country store there that really goes back in the time of grandparents and great-grandparents. I had only had coffee and a blackberry cobbler with ice cream at their restaurant so can't tell you much about their food. The cobbler was great!

    If you run through Pall Mall, be sure and stop at the Alvin C. York home. You can take a tour and one of his son's is the one you will talk to. I really enjoyed visiting this place. Here is just a little about

    him,http://www.laughtergenealogy.com/bin...alvinyork.html


    Both routes will have lots of wildlife, but the roads are in good condition. Just be on the lookout for critters!!


    Kathy

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    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Kathy,

    Thanks for the terrific information. I've now marked my route with all three of your suggestions including the Alvin York house so we can go right to them. Turns out the Hanging Hog is actually spelled Hangin Hog and I found their website.
    http://www.hanginhog.com/ A place like that we would have never found on our own

    The Kicking Back Cabin might be better suited for when we could spend the minimum two nights, but definitely a great find for sure. Looks awesome.

    The answer might be we take whichever road depending on how we are doing on time. It appears the southern route might be faster, plus we can go through Rugby.

    Thanks again and we welcome any other suggestions or places of interest especially when it comes to good barbecue. Can't have too many of those in Tennessee.

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    Anywhere in the Ozarks or eastern mtns. is going to be hot and muggy during the main part of the day. It is like a jungle here in KY a good bit of the summer and the Trace will better be done in the spring or fall-given a choice...

  12. #12
    Rjeffery
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    Natchez Trace

    The Trace is a nice ride but not if you want to put on the miles.
    I think the max speed is 55. After dark it's an animal hazzard.

    Living in Murfreesboro TN, we have scouted out many miles of nice twisties.

    No reason to ride through Nashville unless you had a reason to visit, there are so many other great roads around the city.
    There are two mountain ranges (see arrows) that you should go over, pick any back road and you will have a blast.
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    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy View Post
    I changed my route thanks to your suggestion. I found Cumberland Gap and 58 along with 70 going south to 11E, however can't seem to locate VA33 in that area. Can you give me a town it crosses for reference or does the below map look right?
    dernit mapsource! i meant TN33. it a nice ridgetop road that goes east from US25E just south of Tazewell, Tennessee, east through Sneedville (shown on your map) and over to TN70 near Kyles Ford. 70 is aka The Lonesome Pine Trail.

    on second thought, you should just stay east on US58 from the Cumberland area to VA70/TN70. While this isn't the best part of US58, this lets you do *both* sets of primo twisties on this road without any back-tracking, one set in Virginia, the other in TN. (you're showing that in your screen cap of your route....)

    of course, i have been known to ride primo sets of twisties in both directions, just for the fun of it!

    ian
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  14. #14
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    dernit mapsource! i meant TN33. it a nice ridgetop road that goes east from US25E just south of Tazewell, Tennessee, east through Sneedville (shown on your map) and over to TN70 near Kyles Ford. 70 is aka The Lonesome Pine Trail.

    on second thought, you should just stay east on US58 from the Cumberland area to VA70/TN70. While this isn't the best part of US58, this lets you do *both* sets of primo twisties on this road without any back-tracking, one set in Virginia, the other in TN. (you're showing that in your screen cap of your route....)

    of course, i have been known to ride primo sets of twisties in both directions, just for the fun of it!

    ian
    Couldn't see TN33 since I wasn't zoomed in enough. Looks interesting. Now my question is what's that 31 road cutting south from Sneedville down to 11W? Looks like some switchbacks. Have you tried that one? Might work as part of a day ride loop out of the rally or even on the way heading back home.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rjeffery View Post
    T
    Living in Murfreesboro TN, we have scouted out many miles of nice twisties.

    No reason to ride through Nashville unless you had a reason to visit, there are so many other great roads around the city.
    There are two mountain ranges (see arrows) that you should go over, pick any back road and you will have a blast.
    +1

    Think that that area is a little south of where they want to be, but Deb & I took a route to the RA in 05 right about where your arrows are. Even riding through hurricane remnants (clouds & drizzle) it was a great ride.

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