The Loops

All loops begin and end in Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains Loop

The last two days made for a trip that will get filed under the category of “my most unforgettable ride”. This long loop offers some of every type of riding desired by most bikers, and no Interstate. Not every Bikers’ Dozen participant will choose to ride this overnight trip, but for those who do, I believe it will be one of the most unforgettable rides they will ever make. This trip took me on the Foothills Parkway, over the Great Smoky Mountains, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, through the Cherokee Indian Reservation, by the Fort Mountain State Park, through the Nantahala, Chattahoochee, Pisgah, and Cherokee National Forests, plus some of the most popular motorcycling two-lane mountain roads in the country. At the beginning and end of the trip I was able to cruise on some relaxing two-lane state highways through the countryside with the mountains riding in the middle. I spent the night in Cherokee NC, which is on the eastern edge of the Smoky Mountains and the western edge of the Nantahala National Forrest. Cherokee is the perfect stopping point for my first day since it offers ample motel options, a good selection of restaurants, and is the beginning point of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I particularly enjoyed the cool breezes cascading down from the mountain peaks above and the awe of the clear sky loaded with brilliant stars as I spent the night in the mountains. It was fantastic two-day voyage that gave me a stronger sense of how magnificent our creation is. I would encourage Bikers’ Dozen participants to consider taking advantage of this option if they have room for overnight gear on their bikes and they think they are able to make the 433-mile trip. Sit back and ride with me for the special trip I call “The Great Smoky Mountain Loop”, but one you may call “unforgettable”.

Altitude Map for The Great Smoky Mountains Loop

Download full loop description and directions (PDF)

Loop Stats
Route Length: 433 miles
Lowest Elevation: 721'
Highest Elevation: 6095'
Elevation Variance: 5374'
Fatigue Factor: High
Starting Point: Kangaroo Convenience Store
Maps (Downloadable PDFs)*
Files (Downloadable Zip Files)*

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