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For riders in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and western North Carolina, I am hoping for some suggested routes that I and a small group of riders can use as we travel this late spring from northwestern Illinois down to the Tail of the Dragon. (I did the Dragon, once, years ago but had traveled from Milwaukee via Interstates all the way to that area.) We would be heading east from IL to Indiana, then south through Indiana, south through Kentucky and Tennessee and then to the area of North Carolina around the Tail of the Dragon. Coming by bike we want to take local and ideally good riding roads rather than the Interstate. We have several days for this trip so we don't need to find the fastest route. I am hoping that those of you in the states we are going through know of some nice roads we can use. I would stitch the route together based on the recommended roads and use it as our guide to get to the Tail area, then likely use the fastest, i.e., interstate roads for our return. Thanks in advance to any of you who would share your local recommendations for this trip.
 

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Sorry I don't have any 1st hand road tips, I've never been to those areas before.. Just wondering though, do you use a GPS device for navigation? They make traveling so easy, and in the preferences section if you select the "avoid interstates" option, the device will take you from A to B using only smaller roads.

Hope someone can help guide you to some nice specific roads in your trip :) and consider using GPS to get you to the starting points of those nice roads.

Next summer we're also exitedly planning a trip from Ontario Canada down to perhaps Tail of the Dragon area or Maggie Valley area. GPS will guide us!
 

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I wouldn't want you to miss Brown Ridge, if I know where you are coming into Ky I can direct you, there are many good routes to get to SE Ky, I do prefer 23 from Louisa, it is well used but not like the Mnt Parkway, and the parkway you'll miss out on some really nice roads, but from the parkway you can get to Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge......Once you're over the border you're in TennesseeZ country.
 

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A few years back I drove from central Illinois south on Hwy 51 to the river road and then followed it east to cross the river at the last minute into Louisville KY. In fall colors that river road was spectacular. It winds along following the river so it has plenty of interesting twisties.
 

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This site has listings of thousands of roads all over the country. Lots of details and photos. I have listed, displayed photos, or commented on 50, or so, of the routes listed, so I use it all the time.

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I ride around western NC quite a bit. What you may like depends on the kind of riding you like to do: challenging twisties with a chance to do a lot of leaning or taking your time and taking in the scenery.

For the first type I like (starting from the west): SC 130/NC 281 north from SC 11. The run north up US 178 past Caesars Head (stop there for a look) up to US 64. NC 215 from US 64 north. US 276 north from Travellers Rest SC. NC 209 nnorth from !-40 (west of Asheville) to Hot Springs. NC 80 north from US 70 (east of Asheville) up to (and maybe past; I haven't gone that far though) to the Blue Ridge Parkway (This one is among my favorites). So far I've avoided TotD because of the crowds (although US 28 from Franklin into the area is nice). US 441 north across the Smoky Mountain National park I would avoid for the same reason. Same goes for US 64, although all three of these would be great without traffic.

For the second type, my favorites: Cherohala Skyway (nice to take on your way into the area starting at Tellico Plains, TN; my favorite so far for scenery). Of course, the Blue Ridge Parkway.For more sedate riding but with beautiful views, SC 11 (Cherokee Scenic Highway, which runs pretty straight along the NC border but offers great views directly to the north. Aunt's Sue's Country Corner, just below Caesars Head and Table Rock, is a nice lunch stop.

Don't ya'll forget to stop by Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC, while there.
 
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