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Thread: Best 300 mile loops

  1. #1
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    Best 300 mile loops

    It seems worthwhile to head south one morning and zig zag across all the roads in Cherokee National forest. Excluding the named favorites, Is there a northern loop that would include Jefferson National forest? I'm looking for about 300 miles in 7 or 8 hours.
    Thanks aaaaaa

  2. #2
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    All these routes call for heading north on I 81. Aren't there any alternates say perhaps just north of Kingsport?

  4. #4
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaaaaa View Post
    All these routes call for heading north on I 81. Aren't there any alternates say perhaps just north of Kingsport?
    25-30 miles of I-81 isn't bad in this area and only takes a few minutes. I can easily avoid I-81 but i can't explain it because I don't pay attention to the road names or numbers. I'm just used to them. You can get off of I-81 at exit 1 and head to Gate City, Va and then onto Clintwood, Haysi and then to Grundy/Vansant on 83 to 460 S and back to Rt 19 and home. Maybe 150-200 miles + or -. I spent so many years wandering through the mountains handling insurance claims, I threw my map away.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  5. #5
    Registered User bicyclist's Avatar
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    If you happen to go through Grundy around lunchtime, there's a place called Bellacino's that makes really good sandwiches (and pizza and ice cream). Skip the chains and try them.

    On the way to Johnson City, I spent the night in Wytheville, about 100 miles away. To stretch the ride the next day, I got on Rt 16 at Marion and rode the route backwards. Much, much nicer road than the Dragon. It has a whole variety of turns, from tight twisties where it goes over the ridges to nice sweepers in the valleys. Great road. Good surface, not much traffic. There's a newly paved stretch. On the north side of the new pavement, the construction trucks kicked gravel out into the turns. Other than there, the road is clean.

  6. #6
    Registered User Hillman's Avatar
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    Yep, good food at Bellacino's, but it is a chain restaurant. If you do osbornk's route A, get fuel in VA as it is much cheaper than in WV. No decent places to eat between Grundy and Tazewell and between Tazewell and Marion. No fuel between Tazewell and Marion.
    Breaks Interstate Park is a nice halfway point for lunch, or a picnic lunch if you prefer to pack one.
    My personal choice would be "B", but at Marion I'd continue south on 16 to US 58 at Volney (food and fuel), then go east on 58 (this road's a hoot!) to Damascus. Then south on 133 into Tennessee and the mandatory stop at Shady Valley. Then straight on to Johnson City via TN 91 (also a hoot!). North on I-26 to the rally site.
    Actually, I'd do this ride in reverse (I-26, then 91, 133, 58, 16, 19, 80, I-81) only for the reason of the beautiful view of Thompson Valley that you have after cresting the third mountain between Marion and Tazewell.

  7. #7
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    All these routes call for heading north on I 81. Aren't there any alternates say perhaps just north of Kingsport?
    here you go.

    the first three rides are what you're looking for.

    and if you like dual-sport, check out the "3 state ride" too.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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