2019 Year End Ride

KYwoodsrider

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#1
I love to take a fall ride in late Oct and my favorite area is western NC. This year Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge extended their season to Nov 25. Between family responsibilities and weather
Nov 8-11 seemed like the best time.
Since the temp lows at night were going to be in the mid 20's to low 30's I decided to haul the bike and take my small tent camper.
I felt like the camper along with a small heater and 0 degree rated mummy bag should be sufficient.
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I arrived on Friday afternoon and set up
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Only a few folks here on Friday but enough to talk with and enjoy a campfire on Friday night

On Saturday I decide to ride the area around the Nantahala Gorge. Since I was riding solo I decide to ride the more popular roads.
Leaving Iron Horse I enjoyed a nice view of the Stecoah Valley
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From there I headed down Needmore Road
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Continuing on to Tellico Road
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Tellico Road turns to gravel and heads up over the mountain
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It gets steep and twisty in places
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Tellico Road crosses the AT (Appalachian Trail) then connects to Wayah Road. From there a short distance to FS 711. This is an abandoned forest service road that was paved at one time. Now it is a combination of gravel a broken pavement.
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Some nice views on FS711

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KYwoodsrider

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#2
It connects back on Wayah Road. From there I headed over to Wayah Bald Overlook. It's about a 2 mile side trip on gravel
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A few more pics from Wayah Overlook
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Spectacular views from the tower
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Back down Wayah road to the boat launch on Lake Nantahala
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On to Junaluska Raod and Old River Road
Nice creek and several camping areas along Old River Road
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I stopped at the Nantahala Outdoor Center for some food and then back to Ironhorse
A few more folks here on Saturday. Had a nice campfire as well.
 

KYwoodsrider

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#3
On Sunday I decided to ride the Cherahala area and over to Tellico Planes
Took the road around Lake Santeetlah and stopped at one of the canoe launch areas
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There are several primitive camps sites around the lake. I like this one.
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Stopped at the boat launch for a snack
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From there over the FS81. This road runs parallel to the Cherahala Sky Way with FS81 being in the valley and the Sky Way on top of the mountain
It's probably my favorite road in this area

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A big creek runs along the side

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Some nice campsites along FS81

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FS81 climbs up over the mountain and passes under the Sky Way
From there it becomes North River Road and heads down in the Tellico River basin

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KYwoodsrider

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#4
I continued on North River Road, through a small community called Green Cove and on to FS126 towards Tellico
Several intersections along the way

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Holly Flats Campground

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This section is a lot tougher than the other roads. Lots of rocks and steeper turns

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Some nice views

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One more rest stop before heading into Tellico and back across the Cherahala Skyway before it gets to late

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Down Hwy 28 through Fontana

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Stop at one of my favorite overlooks of Fontana Lake
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Back to Ironhorse.
Another nice campfire on Sunday night with a few folks.

No chance to ride on Monday since the weather was calling for snow on Monday night.
I reluctantly loaded up and headed back to KY
I woke up to this on Tuesday morning

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I'm thankful for the good rides I had in 2019. Maybe a few local daytrips are still possible this year
Looking forward to 2020
 

BaldKnob

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SENC
#5
Nice ride report KY. Makes me want to head west this weekend for one more ride about in ‘19. I’m surprised you would rather travel to NC for gravel and twisties... doesn’t your home State have similar roads and forest areas to explore?
 

KYwoodsrider

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#6
KY has some nice riding however it's about a 2 hr ride from my house to really get into the good stuff.
I do my share of local trips exploring around the KAT and Shiltowee Trace.
What I enjoy about the western NC, TN, north GA area are the motorcycle campgrounds and the number of riders in the area.
 

Scoop47501

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Washington, Indiana
#11
Thank you for taking the time to write up this ride report.
I have been to that area more times than I can count but you showed me some new roads to try next time I get there.
 

MonkeyBut

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Armpit of America, NJ
#12
Like others mentioned, thank you for taking the time to post up pictures and where they were taken. Other people's rides always brings a smile to my face. I've been in that area twice before and it never disappoints. I usually look at these ride reports to get me through the winter. Hopefully we all get a nice day here and there as the weather gets colder.
 

Dirt_Dad

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#13
Great report. Wayah is a fantastic road with so many terrific dirt offshoots.

Iron Horse has always been an excellent base down there. Their new ownership seems to be causing some concerns with the longterm faithful. Hope all that gets worked out. It's an outstanding facility.
 
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