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Ocoee/Tellico/Cherohala Skyway/The Dragon(129)

Ride Rating:

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 215 miles / 346.0 km
  • Ride Time: 1 day
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $16.34
  • States Visited: Tennessee, North Carolina
Submitted by:
cra0980

Starting out on Old Copper Road (74) will run you right through the Ocoee river, plenty of rest areas to watch rafters and kayaks going down the river, a few plaques to read some history along the way about the dams that were built here. This road has sweeping corners and lots of forest to look at as well (very scenic) usually heavy traffic during the weekends due to the rafting business the area is famous for. Next you will turn onto HWY 68 North at Ducktown. This road gets a little more curvy, lots of blind corners through wooded areas and farmland, speed limit is best observed on this road as you cant see what might be around the next corner you may run up on a tractor or two, not much traffic anytime of the week. Follow this road all the way up to Tellico Plains. Once you are at Tellico plains you will want to take HWY 165 East, this is a very beautiful ride that take you thourhg part of the Tellico and then up and over the Cherohala Skyway, this is the part you wont want to miss, The Skyway takes you up the mountain 5280+ feet with lots of pull offs and overlooks, there is alot of history around the area, take your time and enjoy a few of the higher up overlooks the views are amazing, nothing but mountains and sky as far as you can see. Eventually you will wind your way down the other side and onto HWY 129 (better known as The Tail of the Dragon. After following the route up to this point you will be ready for 129. It is the hardest section of the ride, it starts off mild then it really lets loose with corner after corner. Make sure you stop off at Deals Gap resort for the best burgers you'll ever eat. buy a souvenir or two, and then take on the Dragons 318 curves in 11 miles, this is a really mind blowing and extremely fun but tricky road, be very careful stay in your lane and dont pass unless you just have to. Once you have made it through the Dragon its you choice whether you want to stick around and ride back up and down a few times,either that or head on out and back for home. There are two ways best to get out once through the Dragon, you can follow the route on my map and stay on 129 until you hit 411 (recomended for the scenic riders) or a shorter way out which is to look for 72 and turn onto it which will take you out to 411 faster. I take 411 back down because by the time i have ridden through all the corners on the way up im wore out and ready for a relaxing, straight easy going ride back home, 411 provides just that, nothing but a straight ride. Plenty of rest spots. 411 wil bring you right back down to where the adventure began just on the outskirts of Cleveland, TN.

This is a motorcycle ride in the states Tennessee, North Carolina. This motorcycle route has 9 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by cra0980 in July. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by cra0980

Rider Photos:

No Photo's Available

Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesParksFall ColorsLakesForestMountainsRuralRiverFarm Land

Best Time to Go

Spring, Summer, Fall

Road Characteristics:

Straight RoadSweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadRolling HillsLight TrafficSmoothAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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Previous Comments from other Riders:

mmurphy21 says:

This route includes three great rides. The Dragon is as good as it gets with its 318 curves in 11 miles, twisties heaven. The Skyway is a little more relaxed with sweeping curves that are fun to take at 45 mph but they also have some twisties which will slow you down some. Highway 68 is not quite as twisty as the Dragon but more so than the Skyway. If slowing down for hairpen turns is not your cup of tea and sweeping curves in not enough of a challange then Highway 68 will be the perfect ride for you. The road conditions are great for this ride. Enjoy!
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Top says:

I recently had the amazing opportunity to experience all of these routes in a day. We left from Clarksville, TN at around 530 in the AM and heading straight for the Tail of the Dragon. I'll admit that after seeing videos of US129 on YouTube, I was a little intimidated. Speed limits on the Dragon are posted at 30; which if you ride a large bike like mine are fine and sometimes a neccessary thing. We wound up going back and forth between TN and NC on the Tail 3 times before heading further south to take the Cherohala Skyway for the return trip home. The skyway is breathtaking and does put you up near 5000ft. Something that I will never forget is the humongous black bear the 3 of us encountered about 14 miles from Tellico Plains. Luckily for us it was a peaceful meeting. My advice to anyone planning on stopping for a picnic along the Cherohala is to stop only at the rest and scenic look areas.
There are a couple of outfits set up along the Tail and the Skyway that take professional grade photos of you, your buddies and your bikes (killboy.com and US129photos.com). You can then go to these sites and view all your pics and pay for downloading or CD roms if you so choose.
We put over 650 miles on our one day tour through these routes and despite having a case of excessive monkey butt(which was worse than what terrorists experience in Guantanimo); it was worth every second, and I'll always be ready to make the run again if given the opportunity.
Keep it between the lines!
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM






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