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      06-19-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
Wellardmac
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Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway

I'm heading up into the mountains on the weekend before July 4th and figured I would take some time to drive the Tail of the Dragon and throw in the Cherohala Skyway for good measure. I've not driven the skyway before, but heard good things, has anyone here driven it? Any comments or guidance?

Thanks!
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      06-19-2012, 10:11 PM   #2
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Lots of fun. You'll love it! Be safe.
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      06-20-2012, 05:23 AM   #3
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Thanks! The Cherohala doesn't look as much fun as the tail, but I have heard good things, so I figure I should check it out.
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      06-20-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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Both roads are amazing but quite different. You will get a lot of motorcycle traffic on both roads so be advised. The TOTD has more turns than you have ever seen; you effectively have to drive the route from the campground and back, so you get to drive it twice. Please note; several people die on that road each year. The skyway is very scenic with a lot of turn outs for pictures. It is 72 miles of road, no crossroads, no gas stations. Again, you will probably drive it over and back from Robbinsville. Have a great time. Watch out for the police!!!
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      06-20-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteZ4 View Post
Both roads are amazing but quite different. You will get a lot of motorcycle traffic on both roads so be advised. The TOTD has more turns than you have ever seen; you effectively have to drive the route from the campground and back, so you get to drive it twice. Please note; several people die on that road each year. The skyway is very scenic with a lot of turn outs for pictures. It is 72 miles of road, no crossroads, no gas stations. Again, you will probably drive it over and back from Robbinsville. Have a great time. Watch out for the police!!!

Thanks! I've driven the TOTD several times, but have not driven the skyway before. I was curious as to whether it had any technical driving sections,such as those on the TOTD and whether it was a good driving road, rather than a tourist road. I have heard that the skyway is one to drive, but it's not clear to me looking t it on the map as to what makes it fun.

The TOTD is a nice road, but a little touristy. There are other roads around there that I actually rate better than the TOTD, but I figured that I might have fun driving the Skyway, as I had heard recommendations to do it. Any recommendations of other roads I might try for a challenging drive?
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      06-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #6
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I'm going to try and meet up with you guys. I need some new footage to work with. This is a link to my last Skyway visit.
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      06-27-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Nice video! Looks like we're in for a good drive. I would be happy to have others join us, just drop me a note and once I know specifics I can let you know what time to meet us at Deal's Gap.
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      06-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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I have been there many times. I have a count of over 50 runs on the Dragon. Some suggestions...

EDIT I just reread that the OP has done the Dragon but I'll leave this for others...
See this map for a loop with the TOD and Cherohola. Its a nice drive but note north of Telico Plains is a hard to spot turn. Missing it adds a lot to the loop, or if you have a GPS you'll be OK. http://www.tailofthedragonmaps.com/m...tlet_loop.html
The http://www.tailofthedragonmaps.com/m...tlet_loop.html web site has tons of info.
The TOD is unique among any road I've been on. 318 turns in 11 miles, with no cross roads, driveways, or businesses. Do out and back on it early in the morning (7-9) to avoid crowds, law enforcement, and get some speed without traffic. You can run hard but there is ZERO run-off either direction and no guardrails. Note radar gives little warning due to the limited site lines and cliffs on the one side. ABSOLUTELY stay in your lane. Not only a fun challenge but safer. There are 150 blind curves each direction. You don't want to meet someone on the wrong side of the road. And hopefully they stay on their side. There is a gas station ending the NC side and a big parking lot ending the TN side. We go back and forth between the two. Note the official 11 miles are just the TN portion. There is a nice overlook at mile 8 but few other pull offs, none bigger than 2-3 cars.
There are photogs taking photos you can buy off a web site such as killboy.com. See the photo below. The other is one of the few times I stopped along the road.

The Cherohola has big sweeping turns, and has several overlooks along the way some with great views. Its straights allow speeds far beyond the 40 and 45 mph limits. Because of the climb from 1000ft to 5000ft, a lot of cyclists are on the road. Do keep an eye out for them. There are gas stations and some decent restaurants in Telico Plains, TN. Rt 129 from the ToD to the Cherohola is a good country road too. Head to the Cherohola at a big new gas station or go a few more miles to Robbinsville, NC for gas and restaurants.
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      06-28-2012, 07:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips.... I'm all shined up and ready to go and play.
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