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sport car clubs touring at Bald River Falls
Touring Cherohala Skyway & Bald River Falls by motorcycle
Make Tellico Plains your Touring Headquarters!
Plan your trip around us...
Stay Here, Eat Here, Shop Here!

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, bakery, cafe, motorcycle shops, motorcycle lodging, and more.

Touring Tellico River by motorcycle
motorcycle ride touring tellico plains back roads
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 second 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.

For more info:

Cherohala Skyway
Highlights by mile markers (see below)
Note: the mile markers run from Mile 43 in Tellico Plains TN to Mile 0 in Robbinsville, NC

Cherohala Challenge bike cycle race
  • Santeetlah Gap (Mile 0) - junction with Kilmer Road, which accesses Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
  • Hooper Cove (Mile 2) - picnic area
  • Shute Cove (Mile 3) - picnic area
  • Huckleberry Knob (Mile 9) - short trail to the summit of Huckleberry Knob (elevation 5,560ft)
  • Hooper Bald (Mile 10) - short trail to the summit of Hooper Bald (el. 5,429ft)
  • Santeetlah Overlook (Mile 11) - 5,390-foot view of the upper Santeetlah Creek watershed
  • Big Junction Overlook (Mile 12) - View south from the 5,235-foot (1,596 meters) gap between Haw Knob and Big Junction
  • Stratton Ridge (Mile 16) - picnic area; Benton MacKaye Trail access
  • Unicoi Crest (Mile 18) - Tennessee-North Carolina state line, view of the Tellico River valley
  • Falls Branch Falls Trail (Mile 21) - short trail through a patch of old growth forest to a 55-foot (17 meters) cascade waterfall
  • Lake View Overlook (Mile 25)
  • Turkey Creek Overlook (Mile 27)
  • Forest Service Road 345 (Mile 29) to Indian Boundary Lake campground
  • Forest Service Road 210 (Mile 39) to Tellico District Ranger Station and Bald River Falls
  • Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center and Charles Hall Museum (Mile 43)
touring the Cherohala Skyway by bicycle cycle
Visit our page about the Cherohala Skyway for lots of detailed information.
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.

For more info & maps visit: and "Tail of the Dragon" is a Registered Trademark

mountain biking at Indian Boundary Lake

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Tellico Plains Visitor’s Center Pick up brochures, flyers, maps, at
Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center
225 Cherohala Skyway (Route 165), Tellico Plains, TN 37385
Various photos courtesy Monroe County TN, Department of Tourism

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