Originally Posted by Wildwood Danny
We are planning a trip to Franklin NC and need info on what is the best route with a 30' TT. Was wondering about grades and types of road and driving conditions, mainly coming in from the North via SH 28. Any info will be helpful.
When crossing through the western NC mountains there are no straight or level roads!
US74 is a very good road and 4-lane now in many places, but it has some steep inclines all along the route. That is unavoidable in that part of the state. But US74 doesn't really get you to Franklin except as you noted taking SR28 south just before Bryson City. SR28 is twisty and narrow and not the best place for a TT.
If coming directly from Nashville (I took almost this same trip last year BTW), I'd recommend the interstates through Chattanooga, to Cleveland, then take US64/74 east to Murphy, then US64 to Franklin. I'd like to say this is the perfect route, but nothing is perfect.
There was a lot of construction going on between Cleveland and Lake Ocoee and from the looks of it then I'd doubt it is finished. But this is a truck route and the road is wide enough to handle semi traffic accordingly. But there are plenty of twists and turns and few places to pass or allow others to pass. It is probably the best route for towing a trailer.
Lots of absolutely stunning scenery though. One stop along the way that we enjoyed was the Ocoee white water center which was used for the Atlanta Olympics.
Now I must add, to the east of Franklin I would NOT recommend a trailer on US64 unless you have a specific campground destination. It is VERY narrow, twisty, with many hairpin turns and white-knuckle travel all the way to Brevard. Don't let the designation "US Highway" fool you! Yes, there are some nice towns along that route like Highlands and Cashiers but they are famous for being remote hideaway resort areas for good reason. If that's what you want, drop the trailer and take your car.
To get out of Franklin heading east, the preferred route is US441 back to where it reconnects with US74/23. Much of that route is a major 4 lane highway all the way to I40.
Trust me, it's easy to get yourself in a jam driving in the NC mountains. Start early and figure that however you go it's going to take 3 to 4 times longer than what you might think looking at a map. On my trip last year it took me about 9 hours (with breaks and sight seeing stops along the way) to go from Chattanooga to Asheville.