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Old 01-27-2020, 01:45 AM   #1
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Great Smokies

We wish to see some of the Great Smoky Mtn. NP and also drive the famous route which I assume is the Blue Ridge Parkway. We know nothing of the area and I am finding Google Maps to be singularly unhelpful.

I would like some tips about routes and things to see along the way. The departure point, for purposes of this discussion, is most likely Fayetteville, NC

Along with the Smokies, we wish to wander through Kentucky and Tennesee. Again, we have little idea of the major sites and sights and would like your help. My wife would like to tour horse country, but no ideas beyond that,

Thanks for your help and suggestions.......
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:27 AM   #2
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There are several 'drives'. Blue Ridge Pky is certainly one. If you want to get away from the crowds the Foothills Pky is worth the drive. Then there's the Tail of the Dragon. Do this with caution, definitely not towing. It's beautiful, but serious.

As for horses: The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington (https://kyhorsepark.com) is most famous, but I'm not an expert.

Enjoy.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:57 AM   #3
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the 'drive' you refer to may be from Cherokee, NC over the mountain and state line into Gatlinburg....a great drive, some steep grades, a tunnel, and great VISTAS!
(RVs do it everyday...wonderful)

The Blue Ridge Parkway will also take you there, if you'd like to hop on it somewhere in the Asheville area, off I40...all the way to Cherokee, which is the 'start' of the Blue Ridge PKWY, or the 'end' depending on which way you look at it...and runs into the very road that turns right and over the mountains to Gatlinburg.
While the Blue Ridge has it's lowest tunnels in the whole of the parkway within the last 20 miles of the end of the parkway at Cherokee, you'll have no issue with your truck and trailer - my 12' motorcoach had no issues, other than if the weather has been rainy or heavy fog and the tree limbs along the route tend to hang lower than normal - we just drove in the middle of the road for those situations, no issues, especially if you are early in the day before it gets busy.


enjoy!
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:57 AM   #4
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If your Wife likes Horses... Right next to HWY 74 on your way to Asheville.... And have a campground on site. Lake Powhatan campground is nice for visiting Asheville
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:20 AM   #5
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Then there's the Tail of the Dragon. Do this with caution, definitely not towing. It's beautiful, but serious.
Driven this many times. Every once in a while, I'll see somebody trying to tow something. So irresponsible, and irritating with the traffic jams they cause. Blue Ridge Parkway is beautiful, but there are many sections of it I would not want to be towing on. You'd have to be pulling over at every turnout to let traffic by (which is proper protocol on this road). There are always drivers that are "it's all about me" though, and refuse to yield the road, resulting in a string of vehicles full of homicidal rage.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:07 PM   #6
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We like it so much up there we are looking for land to buy for retirement. Do drive the parkway, but like they say, not with the RV for some of it. There are many places to pull over and get out to hike to waterfalls and just hikes on the parkway. If you are going to be in the area a few days do try to take the train ride, the Great Smokey mountain railroad. I always have trouble finding full hookups, so this past trip we stayed at Moonshine Creek campground and it was pleasant. Biltmore is always nice, but a bit pricey, if you want water activity try Natahala outdoor. Anything I can help with, do let me know. Also, make sure you stop at a parkway visitor center early, you can grab a map with all the available activities and places to stop.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:47 PM   #7
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I strongly recommend that you do not drive the Dragon (also known as Deals Gap) with your RV in tow. The Dragon is frequented by bikers and muscle/sports car drivers. To them the speed limit is a joke. I've driven it twice in a Mustang GT convertible and in my opinion, that's the type of vehicle to use there. I've also driven it in a half ton pickup truck and it was not an enjoyable experience. Yes, you'll see large vehicles on that road, but it won't be a fun experience for those doing it.

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Old 02-27-2020, 11:30 PM   #8
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I know a bit about horse country, central KY and the bourbon trail around Frankfort and Bardstown, KY.

There is so much I could share on each of these topics... If you would respond either with a PM or on this forum asking about specific areas I would be glad to share...

For instance, horse country centers around Lexington, and Keeneland Race Track on the outskirts of Lexington. Central KY, up I-65 for instance has Mammoth Cave NP and close-by the Corvette Museum, plus a restaurant that has been voted a state favorite for a number of years. The bourbon trail centers around Frankfort, Louisville and Bardstown and includes many old and new distillery tours and famous bourbon bars.

Again I could go into more detail... just ask.

Roger
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rsdata View Post
I know a bit about horse country, central KY and the bourbon trail around Frankfort and Bardstown, KY.

There is so much I could share on each of these topics... If you would respond either with a PM or on this forum asking about specific areas I would be glad to share...

For instance, horse country centers around Lexington, and Keeneland Race Track on the outskirts of Lexington. Central KY, up I-65 for instance has Mammoth Cave NP and close-by the Corvette Museum, plus a restaurant that has been voted a state favorite for a number of years. The bourbon trail centers around Frankfort, Louisville and Bardstown and includes many old and new distillery tours and famous bourbon bars.

Again I could go into more detail... just ask.

Roger

I agree. Plan two days minimum for the Kentucky horse park They have a nice campground there and staying there gets you an admittance discount at the museum, etc. You can also go horseback riding there. Another must see is The Ark, just north of Lexington. An excellent day trip from the campground at Kentucky Horse Park.
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Old 03-15-2020, 10:32 PM   #10
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A good resource is

https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/tunnels/

If you plan to drive the parkway, know the height of your rig. You may need to divert from the parkway to pass by a tunnel or overpass.
A recommended place to eat with beautiful views is the Pisgah Inn, recommended for lunch.
So much to see. Have fun.
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