Great Smoky Mountains | Weekend Wander

Destination

Places like Graham County, North Carolina, don’t always make it onto our editorial radar, but they should. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains lies an old favorite of ours: The Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort.

The “Gap” is open March through November and serves up everything you’d need for a comfortable overnight or a quick fuel stop before getting back on the twisties. With the infamous US 129 (Tail of the Dragon) literally outside their doorstep, you’ll have access to one of the country’s best motorcycling roads—all 318 curves of it.

The Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge and Campground is also a favorite two-wheel oasis. The motorcycle-biased 39-acre resort is tucked away on Stecoah Creek in western North Carolina, surrounded by the Great Smokies. Some of the best riding anywhere is mere minutes away, including Deals Gap, the Cherohala Skyway and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Accommodations include cabins, lodge rooms, campsites and more.

‘Course, if you’re already in the area, make sure you swing by The Wheels Through Time Museum in western North Carolina. The “Museum that Runs” is home to a premier collection of rare American Vintage Motorcycles, and it’s just 5 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. With over 300 of America’s most historic classic motorcycles on display, including Harleys, Indians and Excelsiors, it’s a must-see.

If you’re going hard-core touring, you owe it to yourself to load up with info on the area. The 2011 version of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Adventure Maps has it in spades, with all “the information to discover the magic of these mountains.”

June promises a full slate of events along the Gap, so if you’re reading this, it’s not too late to roll on down.

Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort
www.dealsgap.com

Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge and Campground
www.ironhorsenc.com

Wheels Through Time Museum
www.wheelsthroughTime.com

Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Adventure Maps
www.motorcycleadventuremap.com/index.shtml