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Touring the Cherohala Skyway and US 129 are popular rides for motorcycles, bicycles, and automobile clubs, due to the scenic beauty of these mountain roads.
Tellico Plains is a popular destination to begin and end your road tour. You'll find everything you need in our vintage mountain town; including lodging, camping, cabin rentals, restaurants, cozy ice cream shop, friendly bakery, cafe, motorcycle shops, motorcycle lodging, and more.
Make Tellico Plains your Touring Headquarters!
Tour the "Cherohala Loop": Leaving Tellico Plains heading east on the Cherohala Skyway (TN 165/NC143) to US 129; left onto Hwy 72, to US 411. In Vonore, turn left onto Hwy 360 back to Tellico Plains.
Visit our Cherohala Skyway page for lots of detailed information about the Skyway!
Buck Bailey has created a touring map called 5 Great Rides!
You can download this map as a PDF for free! It is also available in printed form in many locations throughout Tellico Plains. The five rides featured are:
Cherohala Triangle, Three Rivers Loop, Nantahala Loop, Wayah Bald Loop, and the Dahlonega Loop ride.
Annual Cherohala Cycling Challenge The Cherohala Challenge is held on the third Saturday in June. Start and finish at the Tellico Plains Visitor’s Center. This 115 mile road race takes riders up The Dragon (with its famous 318 curves over 11 miles) and up and over the Cherohala Skyway. Scenic, rolling, country roads in Tennessee and North Carolina create an unforgettable epic ride with over 9,000 feet of elevation gain. All riders taking on the Challenge are expected to have the fitness and experience to finish an epic ride.
The Dragon is a two-lane stretch of US Rt. 129 in at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line, whose 318 curves over 11 miles make it a popular destination for motorcycles, bicycles, and cars. The road earned its name from its curves being said to resemble a dragon. Since the road is the southwestern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Alcoa Aluminum owns a large forested area on the south side, there is no development along the 11-mile stretch. It mostly travels through forests, with a few scenic overlooks and pull-offs.