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Author Topic: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone  (Read 591 times)

Helmerb

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Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« on: January 20, 2020, 04:26:25 PM »
We're planning a trip from Florida to the Poconos this June, we have lots of time and would like to avoid traffic and enjoy the scenery.  As part of the route I'm considering the Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee NC to Boone NC. We travel in a 28' Class C, and tow our car on a dolly.  (I know it's a roundabout route, but my strategy is to avoid Atlanta and DC.) Any tips or advice welcome.
Bill and Cindy
2019 Four Winds

LarsMac

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2020, 04:47:17 PM »
Blue Ridge Parkway is a nice drive, as long as you're not in a hurry.

Check you height when entering at Oconoluftee.
https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/maps.htm
http://www.blueridgeonline.com/Tunnels
The higher numbered Milemarkers at at the Cherokee end. You're OK as long as you stay towards the center, usually. 

You might need to offer a little dramamine to your passengers, just in case.


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“All I ever needed was a wheel in my hand and four on the road.” -- Apologies, or Thanks, to Jack Kerouac

LarsMac

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2020, 04:52:14 PM »
We once ran the Parkway all the way up, and then along the Skyline Drive, as well. Took the better part of two weeks. Some great campgrounds, and fishing, canoeing to be found.
2000 Itasca Sundancer 430V
2007 Saturn Vue

“All I ever needed was a wheel in my hand and four on the road.” -- Apologies, or Thanks, to Jack Kerouac

JackL

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 05:36:07 PM »
The section from Mt. Mitchell to grandfather Mountain is the best. If somehow or other you can drop your tow vehicle and take the road to the summit of Mt Mitchell it is well worth it. It is the highest mountain (Over 6000 feet) east of the Miss River. The trip up Grandfather Mtn is well worth it also.
 You could camp for a few days at Tom Johnsons camping center in Marion, leave your rig there and do both in your tow vehicle, along with checking out Linville Falls

Jack L

phil-t

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2020, 07:05:37 PM »
Beautiful country.  We did some of the parkway near Grandfather Mtn. last summer with out grandsons from SC.  We were going to do the Skyline Drive but didn't get there.  Here's a few photos of GFM
We will be back.
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CharlesinGA

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2020, 11:53:31 PM »
I have stayed at Mt. Pisgah Campground several times, and have driven or ridden with my co-worker/co-campers from Ashville to Cherokee. The southern most section of the parkway from Cherokee to US 19 is poor pavement and in bad need of repairs. The remainder of the parkway is decent. They recently topped most of the parkway with a tar/gravel mix over the existing asphalt as money was too short for a complete re-asphalt job. It came out OK.

On US 19 just south of the parkway crossing is Soco falls. The pull off is kinda tight for a Class C but the falls are rather neat, its actually two falls at 90 degrees to each other dumping into the same creek.

Before you get on the parkway take County road 1410 that crosses the river from US 441, parallels the river and 441 on the oppsite side, and then crosses under the parkway right at the entrance. It winds around past a couple of run down campgrounds, the new Cherokee High School and you are looking for MINGO FALLS, this is a HUGE water fall, 120 ft high. The walk is less than a half mile and not difficult at all https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/mingo-falls.htm Both of these falls are located on tribal land.


You will notice that on tribal land (including all of the town of Cherokee) all of the public signage and much of the private signage is bilingual. The high school has a sign on the front door "English stops here" as they are attempting to revive the use of Cherokee.

At Milepost 431.4 you will find the Richland Balsam Overlook (north bound it is about half way between where the parkway crosses US 23/74 and NC 215) This is the highest point on the parkway itself, at 6053 ft according to the sign, or 6047 according to the parkway guide book https://issuu.com/blueridgeparkwayassociation/docs/70theditionblueridgeparkwaydirector?e=7207057/68763991

If the weather is good, I highly suggest that before you get on the parkway at Cherokee, you stop at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, as it is less than a mile from the parkway entrance, and if you have time, drive 441 toward Gatlinburg until you get to the turnoff for Clingmans Dome and drive the 8 miles or so to the parking area. The walk up the asphalt trail will exhaust most people, it is a 10% plus grade for a half mile, to the tower, but if the weather is decent the view from the tower is spectacular.

Charles
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 09:49:05 PM by CharlesinGA »
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arcticfox2005

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2020, 09:02:13 AM »
I have two suggestions.

First, find a campground and get off the road on weekends. It is great during the week but on the weekends when all the locals are there it is awful.

Secondly, beware of turnouts that might get you trapped. Most of them have an entry and an exit further down, but occasionally there is no exit route which means you have to go back to where you entered to get out. When the parking lot is full (on a weekend) then you have a real problem, especially if you are towing.

Bill

HappyWanderer

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 03:13:11 PM »
It you’re really not in a hurry, find a nearby campground and leave the motorhome there. Sightsee by car, then return to base camp.

There’s nothing enjoyable about driving an RV up there.
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CharlesinGA

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Re: Blue Ridge Parkway-Cherokee to Boone
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2020, 09:40:38 PM »
Know your height. There are three tunnels between the south end and US 19 that are the lowest on the parkway. Bunches Bald, Lickstone Ridge and Big Witch. These all have edge of the road (white line) heights of 11ft 3 in or less. Two of them are fairly low even in the center at just over 13 ft. Know your height accurately.

https://www.virtualblueridge.com/parkway-info/tunnels/

I highly recommend not attempting to access or leave the BRP via NC 215  or US 276 on either side of the ridge or NC 151.

Charles
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 09:45:00 PM by CharlesinGA »
'03 Ram 2500 CTD HO, 6 spd, std cab, Leer topper, and a Bigfoot 25B21RB 30th Anniversary Edition TT... SOLD - 2007 Winnebago View 23H motorhome and soon to be sold Thor Freedom Spirit 180 TT