The Blue Ridge - Asheville to Cherokee
Trip Start Nov 15, 2011
199Trip End Nov 14, 2012
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Where I stayed
Happy Holiday RV Village
We started at Front Royal and drove 105.4 miles on the Skyline Drive to Rockfish Gap. At Rockfish Gap the road becomes the Blue Ridge Parkway, which finishes 469.1 miles later just north of Cherokee. We have driven the whole 574.5 miles, definitely a unique experience.
We had storms yesterday so this morning there was quite a bit of cloud. In some places the cloud added to the views, in others it just managed to obscure it completely. This end of the parkway is even more twisty and mountainous, and at Richland Balsam the road reaches its highest point on the parkway, over 5,000 feet. As ever, some stunning views.
We also drove the Heintooga Ridge Road today which goes into the Smokey Mountains National Park to the Balsam Mountain Road. Balsam Mountain Road is not paved, and is a one-way road which goes around the mountains and back down to Cherokee. The road had gravel on it at one time, but most of that has been washed away and it was just a mud track, full of pot-holes, rocks and tree roots that needed negotiating. After about an hour and a half, having travelled 15 miles, the road became two-way, though there didn't seem any difference in the width or condition of the road, and it was another few miles before we returned to tarmac. Much of the track followed the Oconaluftee River through the forest, and was very pretty.