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Old 04-14-2019, 09:46 AM   #1
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wanted trip advice route planning Greensboro NC to Pigeon Forge TN

We will be traveling from Central NJ to Greensboro NC for a two day event at a hotel. We will be leaving Greensboro Saturday morning but can't check into our site at Up The Creek in Pigeon Forge until Sunday noonish.

I think it's only like 5 hours away so we are looking for suggestions on a scenic route to take with a place to do an overnight. We are members of Harvest Hosts but don't know the area and would like to combine a great scenic route with a nice overnight before we get to Up the creek. We don't need to use Harvest Hosts and were thinking of maybe staying in a national park in the smokies.

I have read through posts here going years back but would love to hear opinions of anyone offering one. Route preferences, what to see ? any info really.
It will be my wife and I and our two girls 16 and 11 and our dog in a class C. We plan to drop the dog off at daycare during the day and do Dollywood at least one day, don't know if it's worth two days there. Thinking of doing the Titanic exhibit and maybe one of the coaster rides. Any suggestions? we are only there until Thursday noon. We will rent a car to shuttle the dog back and forth to daycare.

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Old 04-14-2019, 10:37 AM   #2
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You might try Mayberry campground. Pilot Mountain and also downtown Mount Airy
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:45 AM   #3
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Cadeís Cove is always nice in the Park, a good place to eat breakfast is Old Mill Restaurant. Check out the Apple Barn, they have a great restaurant too. At the Apple Barn we always get the apple dumplings with ice cream or the apple turnoverís with ice cream. There is always a line but there is plenty of parking. Always tour buses there too. I buy the unpasteurized apple cider
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:19 PM   #4
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Maybe we will try and get into Cades Cove for the night, thanks for the restaurant advice.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:21 PM   #5
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thanks, those campgrounds are closer to greensboro it seems. We will leave Greensboro in the morning so I guess I should be looking more towards our destination. I think we will prefer to just boondock overnight somewhere than stay at a campground just for the night.
Should I take the Blue Ridge Parkway down to TN fron NC ? I have never been on it and everyone says how scenic the views are. Is it worth it?
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:12 PM   #6
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Pigion forge

Do not go down blue ridge parkway. The southern part has many tunnels with very low clearances. Some you will have to ride down the center. You can get a list of tunnels on website. I know you can get it at the southern visitor center. I think a path coming in from South would avoid some of the major mountains. Hope the kids have fun at Dollywood.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:12 PM   #7
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thanks, those campgrounds are closer to greensboro it seems. We will leave Greensboro in the morning so I guess I should be looking more towards our destination. I think we will prefer to just boondock overnight somewhere than stay at a campground just for the night.
Should I take the Blue Ridge Parkway down to TN fron NC ? I have never been on it and everyone says how scenic the views are. Is it worth it?
See this page.

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Old 04-15-2019, 03:09 PM   #8
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thanks, those campgrounds are closer to greensboro it seems. We will leave Greensboro in the morning so I guess I should be looking more towards our destination. I think we will prefer to just boondock overnight somewhere than stay at a campground just for the night.
Should I take the Blue Ridge Parkway down to TN fron NC ? I have never been on it and everyone says how scenic the views are. Is it worth it?

As someone else said: NO!! Besides, the only way from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Pigeon Forge is across Newfound Gap via Cherokee NC and past Clingman's Dome to Gatlinburg TN on US 440. That road is length restricted. And it is definitely not for the faint of heart. You might could take I40 to Wilton Springs NC and take US321 to Pigeon Forge past Gatlinburg. Should be plenty scenic without tunnels to help scrape your roof off your RV!
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:52 PM   #9
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As someone else said: NO!! Besides, the only way from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Pigeon Forge is across Newfound Gap via Cherokee NC and past Clingman's Dome to Gatlinburg TN on US 440. That road is length restricted. And it is definitely not for the faint of heart. You might could take I40 to Wilton Springs NC and take US321 to Pigeon Forge past Gatlinburg. Should be plenty scenic without tunnels to help scrape your roof off your RV!
Thanks for the input. Ill have to check the maps to see where I should get off but I would like to travel some of it since I don't know if I'll ever be back. I'm only 24 ft long 11'3" tall and from reading the website I think there are only a few tunnels that I would have to go through the center of but I don't need to beat up my transmission or brakes in the hills if it's that bad in that area either. I'll look where to get on and off to avoid beating the truck up and ride some of it at least.

Looking at the map I was thinking of taking rt 421 from Greensboro to the Blue Ridge Parkway and take it down to 40 and then take 40 in. Do you not think it's worth it? Like I said I have never been there and don't know any of the roads. I do have time to kill though since I can't check in until 12 or 1 on Sunday.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:38 PM   #10
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Be aware that I-40 in the vicinity of MM 10 (NC side) near the Tennessee line is down to single lanes due to a mudslide several weeks ago. All lanes are expected to reopen in mid to late May.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:39 PM   #11
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A good route would be to leave Greensboro and travel west on I-40. Take US 52 north in Winston-Salem which will take you through Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy (time permitting you may want to hike at Pilot Mountain or stop in Mt. Airy the home of Andy Griffith). Pilot Mountain and Mt Airy are only about an hour and a half from Greensboro.
Continue up 52 to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fancy Gap Va. You can pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway and travel to Boone NC without encountering any tunnels. From Boone you can take US 421 North to I-81 and then I-81 South to I-40 over to the Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge area. If you spend any time in Mt. Airy and then go up US 52 to pick the parkway a good stop over would be at the Parkway in Fancy Gap. There are a couple of good campgrounds there. Links to the campgrounds are below You could then travel the next day to Boone and pick up US 421. If you travel straight through a good stopover would be in Boone.
Fancy Gap
Utts Campground | Fancy Gap, Virginia
http://koa.com/campgrounds/fancy-gap/

Boone:
https://flintlockcampground.com/

The DW and I are blessed to live on the Blue Ridge Parkway about 25 miles from Fancy Gap. You will not regret taking the time to travel this beautiful scenic by-way, just bail out at Boone because you will start to encounter tunnels about 30 miles South of Boone on the parkway
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:36 PM   #12
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Blue Ridge Parkway is a two lane highway with a top speed of 45 mph. Most of the time you will be doing less than that. I would not recommend towing anything that I had to center a tunnel, remember you will encounter traffic coming from the opposite direction and if your in their lane and have to move over, then your RV is going to suffer. If I were you, I would take I-40 from Greensboro to Tennessee and do my sightseeing after putting trailer in a park.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:10 AM   #13
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Blue Ridge Parkway is a two lane highway with a top speed of 45 mph. Most of the time you will be doing less than that. I would not recommend towing anything that I had to center a tunnel, remember you will encounter traffic coming from the opposite direction and if your in their lane and have to move over, then your RV is going to suffer. If I were you, I would take I-40 from Greensboro to Tennessee and do my sightseeing after putting trailer in a park.
I appreciate the reply but like I said in my original posts I have time to kill leaving Greensboro.I have read about the speed and some details on their website. It seems there are no low bridges where I would have to even get out of my lane until exit 458. I should be well off of it by then.
Once we get to Pigeon Forge we have plenty to see there, so there would be no time to drive all the way back out to to the BRP. And once we leave we need to head back to NJ for an event, so it's either on the way there or not.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:18 AM   #14
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A good route would be to leave Greensboro and travel west on I-40. Take US 52 north in Winston-Salem which will take you through Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy (time permitting you may want to hike at Pilot Mountain or stop in Mt. Airy the home of Andy Griffith). Pilot Mountain and Mt Airy are only about an hour and a half from Greensboro.
Continue up 52 to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fancy Gap Va. You can pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway and travel to Boone NC without encountering any tunnels. From Boone you can take US 421 North to I-81 and then I-81 South to I-40 over to the Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge area. If you spend any time in Mt. Airy and then go up US 52 to pick the parkway a good stop over would be at the Parkway in Fancy Gap. There are a couple of good campgrounds there. Links to the campgrounds are below You could then travel the next day to Boone and pick up US 421. If you travel straight through a good stopover would be in Boone.
Fancy Gap
Utts Campground | Fancy Gap, Virginia
http://koa.com/campgrounds/fancy-gap/

Boone:
https://flintlockcampground.com/

The DW and I are blessed to live on the Blue Ridge Parkway about 25 miles from Fancy Gap. You will not regret taking the time to travel this beautiful scenic by-way, just bail out at Boone because you will start to encounter tunnels about 30 miles South of Boone on the parkway
Wow that's a very detailed and helpful post. I will study your suggested route on the maps later but what do you think of taking 421 all the way to the BRP and taking the BRP down to 40 and 40 into Pigeon Forge? I am not at all concerned about tunnels since the only ones I would have to even get out of my lane would be way further down by exit 458. Is it that you just prefer the scenery of that stretch or is the route you have suggested just a better drive and nicer. Thanks again for your thoughts.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:39 PM   #15
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Cadeís Cove is always nice in the Park, a good place to eat breakfast is Old Mill Restaurant. Check out the Apple Barn, they have a great restaurant too. At the Apple Barn we always get the apple dumplings with ice cream or the apple turnoverís with ice cream. There is always a line but there is plenty of parking. Always tour buses there too. I buy the unpasteurized apple cider

Cades Cove and the Apple Barn are of course in the Townsend TN area on or off Hwy 321. Both are good suggestions. BUT, if you go up 321 into Pigeon Forge there are a few sharp curves going up hill and traffic could be a bummer. From Townsend you may want to consider going back to Maryville and catch Hwy 411 back towards I 75 and Pigeon Forge. Just my opinion and what I would do.
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