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Thread: Gatlinburg, TN this May! Any advice?

  1. #1
    Kevin kmolldenver's Avatar
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    Gatlinburg, TN this May! Any advice?

    Hello Friends,

    My wife and I will be staying in Gatlinburg and touring Smoky Mountain National Park early May of this year. Any advice on the weather, great restaurants, outstanding routes, or can't miss sites?

    Thanks in advance!
    -Kevin
    2005 R1200GS

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    Registered User dmftoy1's Avatar
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    Gatlinburg, TN this May! Any advice?

    Great riding all around. I find the congestion there a bit much but 15-20 minutes out is good riding. You're not far from the dragon, Cheroholla skyway and a whole bunch of fun. I think you could make a day trip to Maggie valley and the "wheels through time" museum w/o much effort

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    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Best advice, don't stay in Gatlinburg! Too touristy, congested, and just plain no fun. Great food, lodging all over the area, so options endless.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    We try to stay in Townsend. It's an easy trip over the Foothills Parkway to the upper end of the Dragon, then a big loop on the Cheraholla and back. Much less traffic in Townsend and close to Cades Cove, but further from Clingmans Dome and Cherokee.
    Dan

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    Gatlinburg, TN this May! Any advice?

    My family stays there almost every fall and we have found that the wears valley area serves our needs very well. It is about 15-20 minutes to the middle of Pigeon Forge, another 10-15 to Gatlinburg proper, and quite close to the foothills scenic parkway-dragon-cherahola run that entertains us nicely. Being from New Orleans, we really don't go anywhere expecting great food... But... We enjoy the Red Rooster pancake house for breakfast, the old mill for good country fair, Huck Finns catfish house for terrific fried catfish, and grandma's country kitchen on the nights that they serve their banana pudding and fried chicken.

    I hope you have a great time... I am heading through that way without the family, in late may on a longer trip to Canada with some buddies.
    -Steve
    2012 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metalic - 2009 Gillera Fucco

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    Ohio RT
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    With 441 closed until Mid May, I would either make sure it is reopened or I would change destinations. From Gatlinburg to all of the major rides you will have long detours to get down towards Cherokee.

    If it reopens before you get there, great.

    Little River Road is just south of Gatlinburg, great ride.

    You should also look into some of the America Rides Maps. They highlight a lot of the great roads around there.

    But seriously, if 441 is closed when you are in Gatlinburg it will really cramp the riding.


    Quote Originally Posted by kmolldenver View Post
    Hello Friends,

    My wife and I will be staying in Gatlinburg and touring Smoky Mountain National Park early May of this year. Any advice on the weather, great restaurants, outstanding routes, or can't miss sites?

    Thanks in advance!

  7. #7
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Book early

    Around 60 rental cabins were destroyed by fire a few days ago in the area. You might want to get your lodging lined up since there will be a shortage.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/viewart...rly-60-cabins-
    '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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    Better places.

    Gatlinburg is not a motorcycle friendly town. Most of the public parking garages have no motorcycles allowed signs, but then that of course is after you torn off the street and then have to struggle to turn back around and leave. A lot of more friendly towns around the area and motorcycle friendly also.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  9. #9
    That road looks good! Norwood's Avatar
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    Smoky Moutains

    Quote Originally Posted by kmolldenver View Post
    Hello Friends,

    My wife and I will be staying in Gatlinburg and touring Smoky Mountain National Park early May of this year. Any advice on the weather, great restaurants, outstanding routes, or can't miss sites?

    Thanks in advance!
    Good advice thus far...441 is doubtful for this summer opening...main road from Gatlinburg to Cherokee... the South Side of is the very best for riding selection IMO, From the South Side you can connect to Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala Skyway, Maggie Valley and many great roads. The towns are smaller but offer some great place to eat and shop.... you can't go wrong on any road in this area..

    Here is a great Motorcycle web page with plenty of good information...just explore the page and links... http://www.tailofthedragonresorts.com/

    For a Motorcycle only Lodge/Campground/Cabins... take a look at this one ... www.ironhorsenc.com

    Off the Blue Ridge Parkway... camping and cabins ... http://www.blueridgemotorcyclecamp.com/

    and if you use a GPS...I will share some GPX files ...

    Just Private Message me on this forum...

    Hope this helps
    2011 R1200 GSA (My Radio Flyer)
    75 R90/6 with Velorex sidecar

    " Oh Lord I pray, Let me live long enough to do everything they say I've done"

  10. #10
    Kevin kmolldenver's Avatar
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    Thanks Norwood and all who contributed their insights! Your time is greatly appreciated.
    -Kevin
    2005 R1200GS

  11. #11
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norwood View Post
    Good advice thus far...441 is doubtful for this summer opening...main road from Gatlinburg to Cherokee... t
    I planned on riding US-441 towards the end of June, from south to north through the park. I noticed the Park's website says that they expect the road to re-open "by May". I'm just wondering what your doubts are based on. Is the Park's update overly optimistic?
    Mark
    2006 R1200RT

  12. #12
    Kevin kmolldenver's Avatar
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    I was just on the parks web site and there's no new info about 441 being open. Feel free to e-mail me before you leave and I'd be happy to give you an update.
    -Kevin
    2005 R1200GS

  13. #13
    Registered User SBAIINE's Avatar
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    I have stayed in Gatlinburg via motorcycle and another time I rode from Maggie Valley over and into Pigeon Forge on a Friday afternoon. Never again. I would avoid both like a plague. I like Wears Valley, Cheraholla and that area. Nice roads everywhere.

    BRP not far from Cherokee


    Heading up 441 toward Gatlinburg

    But on the other side it was ugly. Cars, stop lights, traffic, and a slow trip through Pigeon Forge. Cheap eats and beds though if you need them.

    Little River Road, Old Rt 73, Elkmont, TN. Harley dad with a daughter riding pillion in shorts. Bad Dad, missing ATGATT.




    Wears Valley heading toward Townsend.

    Now if you take that road you are looking at and bear left as you get near the the ridge there is some nice twists to that road.

  14. #14
    Kevin kmolldenver's Avatar
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    Great pictures! Thanks for the insights. We're leaving Denver next week and are looking forward to the trip.
    -Kevin
    2005 R1200GS

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    Registered User jlampru's Avatar
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    April 15, 2013 Update: Newfound Gap Road (US-441) has reopened.

    According to the National Park website the road (US-441) is now open. Thanks to those who worked hard to complete the reconstruction ahead of schedule.

    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parknews/nfg-landslide.htm

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