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My Wife and I are taking a week off in June and want to do a nice ride. Anyone got any ideas of where to ride to if the starting point is Washington DC. We would also like to do some hiking once we get to one or two different places. We are both photographers and are looking for great places with great scenic views.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. The only place that comes to mind is the Carolina's or West Virginia....

Reb and Joyce
 

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I would recommend Deal's Gap on the TN/NC border. When I was there, we stayed in Gatlinburg, TN, which was about an hour ride from Deals Gap. It's in the Smoky Mountains, so I would think you could do some hiking as well. On the NC side, there's the Cherahola Skyway, and of course, the Blue Ridge Parkway.
 

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West to Skyline Drive, South to the Blue Ridge Parkway, South on the Parkway as far as time allows. Turn around, repeat in the opposite direction.

Plenty of hiking, camping, and photography opportunities all along the way. The further south you travel on the Parkway the better it gets. If you've never done this ride you're in for a treat. I'm planning the same ride this year, and next, and next, and next.
 

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Skyline Dr (Shenandoah N.P.) & the Blue Ridge Rkwy are my first thoughts. Plenty of hiking there. Or into eastern West Virginia to the Seneca Rocks area. It's all good!
 

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I agree with a lot of those listed above.....I'd also add the Luray Caverns in VA and, if you opted to ride down the coastline, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnels. You can also vist the Mt Mitchell State Park (highest point in the eastern USA). If you ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and have the time, you can go south off the BRP on Hwy 215 and work your way over to Whitewater Falls on the NC/SC boarder. It is said to be the second largest waterfall on the eastern side of the Mississippi River, after Niagara Falls. If you haven't been to Gettysburg, you can stop there just a ways into your ride. You may also want to plan a stop at the Staions Inn ( www.stationsinn.com ) while on your trip. If you stay there, there is always the Linville Falls and Linville Caverns near Boone, NC.
 

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is neat, and perhaps on the southern end there's some roads that won't lull you to a bored sleep, but north of that bridge/tunnel are the most dull and uninteresting roads in MD or Virginia... long, straight lights in "towns."

I like western VA/NC/SC/GA and eastern TN/KY into WV... Roads? Check. Hiking? Check. Scenic? Check.
 

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I guess if I were starting in DC I would work up towards Charlottesville VA and then maybe take the BRP or at least follow the parkway, there are many roads that run nearly parallel that are far better and offer less traffic.
Then at some point maybe E.Tenn turn North and come through the corner of Ky and through Wv then back home into VA.
The riding around Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg is nice but really congested w/ tourists. I would avoid it. Deals Gap is a blast but will also be crowded, if you make this part of your ride do it mid week and early in the AM.
If you get a tentative route planned and want advice post it up in the SE. we know this roads pretty well.
 

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Based on the favorable press received, I'm (almost???) OK very embarrased to say the wife and I have lived in central NC for roughly 10 years now and have yet to take a ride to the NC Mountains. That situation is about to be remedied during the 2nd week of June. Can't wait...
 

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If you've never done the Blue Ridge Parkway, you need to do it at some point. The road was constructed specifically to allow tourists view the mountians, so there are scenic overlooks almost every 5 miles. Certain parts will be congested, others will not. Usually the cages are pretty considerate and pull off to let you through. Great place for photographs.

Deals Gap is a also a must if you've never been there. One of the most infamous motorcycle roads in the US, but the roads in and around the area are all very nice as well. In fact, Hwy 28 from the south end of Deals Gap going east is a wonderful road.

The Cherohola Skyway is again a very neat road because it takes you up into the mountains in long, sweeping curves, but the road is never traveled because it really doesn't go anywhere. There is a waterfall at the northwest end of Cherohola Skyway called Bald River Falls; the picture of me on my bike in front of it is still one of my favorite PC wallpapers.
 

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Badger_WI said:
If you've never done the Blue Ridge Parkway, you need to do it at some point. The road was constructed specifically to allow tourists view the mountians, so there are scenic overlooks almost every 5 miles. Certain parts will be congested, others will not. Usually the cages are pretty considerate and pull off to let you through. Great place for photographs.

Deals Gap is a also a must if you've never been there. One of the most infamous motorcycle roads in the US, but the roads in and around the area are all very nice as well. In fact, Hwy 28 from the south end of Deals Gap going east is a wonderful road.

The Cherohola Skyway is again a very neat road because it takes you up into the mountains in long, sweeping curves, but the road is never traveled because it really doesn't go anywhere. There is a waterfall at the northwest end of Cherohola Skyway called Bald River Falls; the picture of me on my bike in front of it is still one of my favorite PC wallpapers.
At the end of the Skyway is a a great restaurant at Tellico Plains, right on the river.

And have fun on the BRP, but watch your speed.. It's a Federal Ticket and the ranger that gives it to you can determine the fine up to something like $500.
 

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Amen, Roy. As an Ex-NewEnglander I definitely miss the Fathers Day weekend run up to the Lake Winnepasukee region and over to NHIS. Heck... maybe it'll stop raining there in time for bike week at Loudon.
 

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If you ride the south leg of the BRP, you'll want to check out the Hot Springs, NC area (neat little town, by the way). 212 (north of Hot Springs) and 209 (south of Hot Springs) are nice, twisty roads, with some good views.

Others have mentioned Deal's Gap and the Cherohala Skyway, both of which are fantastic roads. That said,that area is littered with excellent roads and beauty. Ride through the Nantahala Gorge area; nice sweepers and it follows a river that has rapids, rapids, rapids. Much to ride, much to see in terms of natural beauty.

Don't miss northern GA, either - the good stuff is only a few hours of twisties away from the Deal's Gap area... US129 over Blood Mountain, Warwoman Rd to Clayton, Wolfpen Gap Road (180) near Suches, Richard Russell Scening Parkway, Hwy 60, Hwy 107 (actually in SC), etc., etc., etc. are all awesome roads. Heck, all you need to do is point your bike in any direction and you'll find fine, fine roads. Suches is where Two Wheels Only is located, a nice little motorcycle resort. Great food, great company. Book in advance if you want to stay there. You'll very likely meet some very intersesting people. Beautiful morning light, there is in northern GA. Here's a few snapshots near Suches:







And, if you get far enough south, say, just east of Birmingham, AL, You MUST check out the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. If you've not been there, you'll be overstimulated by the hundreds of bikes (that run!) that reside on display. Including some very, very nice Ducatis and every other make in the world. The riding near there isn't nearly as beautiful or fun as northern GA, western NC, and eastern TN, though.
 

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1upDuc said:
My Wife and I are taking a week off in June and want to do a nice ride. Anyone got any ideas of where to ride to if the starting point is Washington DC. We would also like to do some hiking once we get to one or two different places. We are both photographers and are looking for great places with great scenic views.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. The only place that comes to mind is the Carolina's or West Virginia....
Grab a copy of the April '06 issue of Road Runner magazine. They have a nice write up of a route around Va and WVA using Charlottesville as a base.

I entered it into MapSource and it comes out to approx. 450 miles. They have a short write up on their web site:

http://www.rrmotorcycling.com

Just click on the "March/April 2006" issue.

-Bob
 

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My wife and I stayed at Mountain Brook Cottages, Silva, NC. There are many great roads: Dragon, Cherohala, Rt28. Also, hiking, Biltmore Estate, The Highlands, etc. Sounds like it is relatively close to you.

Oh yeah, the Blue Ridge Parkway is there too and a nice North South convenient route. There is the Wheels Through Time museum along the way South.

Dave Harhay
 

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sperho said:
And, if you get far enough south, say, just east of Birmingham, AL, You MUST check out the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. If you've not been there, you'll be overstimulated by the hundreds of bikes (that run!) that reside on display. Including some very, very nice Ducatis and every other make in the world. The riding near there isn't nearly as beautiful or fun as northern GA, western NC, and eastern TN, though.
+1 on the Barber Museum. I managed to squeeze in a few hours there during a biz trip, but could easily have spent an entire day looking at the 850+ bike and car collection. What's more, a riding group had booked a track day, so I was able to watch (and hear) them screaming around the Barber course through the museum's glass 'wall' overlooking the track. Fantastic!
 

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I liked RT 6 in PA - it runs east-west across the northern part of the state. It was labelled one of the "most scenic drives" in the US by National Geographic.

Not too much traffic, but not too technically challenging, if that's what you're looking for.
 

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PookaDog said:
I liked RT 6 in PA - it runs east-west across the northern part of the state. It was labelled one of the "most scenic drives" in the US by National Geographic.
Then take US 219 south thru PA and WV.
 

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Consider going North and riding along the St. Lawrence to the Gaspe Peninsula. Connecticut, Mass, New Hampshire (White Mt.), Quebec, NB, PEI (Confederate Bridge), Maine, etc. Beautiful ride. Beautiful country for photographs. One of the best rides I have ever taken.

Happy travels,
 
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