Going to School in Knoxville
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Tennessee Motorcycle Roads and Trips
Tennessee is home to a remarkable array of scenery specializing in lush forests, abundant bodies of water, and breathtaking mountains and resulting in some truly great motorcycle rides. The Volunteer State also offers lively cities and towns with rich histories and colorful amenities that draw visitors year round ... places like Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, as well as access to the Appalachian mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Tail of the Dragon
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap is America's number one motorcycle and sports car road. There are 318 curves in 11 miles. The Dragon crosses the Tennessee/North Carolina state line at Deals Gap. The speed limit is 30 mph. You might have to deal with bears, turkeys, deer, and wild boars in the road, trees down, ice/snow, and tractor-trailers taking up both lanes in the curves. The views are awesome and there are some pullovers; however, the object is to keep your eye on the road.
Begin your journey in Maryville, TN by turning onto Highway 129 off Highway 411. Drive 29 miles to The Dragon. Before beginning your journey along one of the most desolate and challenging roads in America, enjoy lunch at the Tennessee entrance at The Dragon Pit barbecue restaurant or wait until you have completed your drive in North Carolina and have lunch at your choice of several great restaurants.
Several films have been made along The Dragon. The first feature film made was Thunder Road. This 1958 Robert Mitchum film about backwoods moonshining actually had scenes filmed on the Dragon. The Fugitive (1993) Harrison Ford jumps off Cheoah Dam at Tapoco. It is now commonly known as Fugitive Dam.
Driving Time: From Pellissippi Parkway at Alcoa Hwy; 58 miles one way; does not include stops.