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Limey Visiting western N.C. - Trip Advice

668 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Woodman

My wife and I are staying in a cabin near Bryson City, NC, for 2 weeks in late Aug/early Sept. We are having a 'general' holiday (a bit of cycling, hiking, touristy stuff etc), but we are going to bring our hardtails in two bike bags as we would have liked to have done more riding on our last visit to the area.

I would be very grateful for local advice on riding. Last time we rode at Tsali for a day, which we both enjoyed and plan to do again.

This time I have earmarked:

Fontana Resort
Trail behind NOC
Pisgah (I have ordered the recommended guide to do some research prior to arrival). Any route recommendations gratefully received.

We (my wife...) would also like to do a bit of road/scenic stuff and I have heard the Cades Cove toursit loop is quite good, as well as the 'Road to Nowehere' (out of Bryson City).

Is there anything else anyone recommends (preferably within a short drive). Anything over the hill in Tennessee?

Also, I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on car hire firms from Atlanta airport? I am looking up prices etc online, but it is not always easy to compare like for like. We need to get a bigger wagon this year to carry the bikes around, as we will have the bags but no bike rack, and we won't be able to fit all our luggage within a regular sedan.

Any thoughts on the above or any must see tourist desitnations will be much appreciated.
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I would definitely add Dupont State Forest to the list - great riding but overall less technical than Pisgah - depends on how much you want to challenge yourself.

As for a car rental, I have always had good luck with this site for travel, although there are others. Thay all seem to have the same prices, though.

Enjoy the trip! You could stay for a year and not get bored with the riding.
Thanks for the advice. My Jim Parham book arrived from the USA today and it has a section on Dupont in the back. I am looking forward to reading up over the next few weeks. Thanks for the link.
As far as the Fontana Village Resort goes:

This is a nice place to stay. You can choose a cabin or room at the Inn.

There are several loops of biking trails that encompass the resort area, but they can be a bit tricky to ride. Tsali is nearby and a fun place to explore. If you plan on sight-seeing by car, I would highly recommended you avoid Route 129 (Deal's Gap/Trail of the Dragon - look it up) and opt for the Cherohala Skyway.

The Nantahala Outdoor Center is also an option. Take a guided river ride or rent kayaks and paddle around in Lake Fontana.

Chime in Duckman...
I got a rental car(Mazda 6 w/250 miles on the odometer) for $14.95/ day last summer at the San Francisco Airport. It was just over $100 for the week. I had made a hotel reservation for the day of our arrival through I bid for and got a room at the Hilton downtown for $89. As I was confirming the payment, the site offered the car rental at $14.95/ day, so I jumped on it. The lady at the Hertz counter said it was the best rate she had ever seen. If you need a room that first night, try them for some ridiculously low price on a hotel like $49 for a three star and see what happens.
The JP book is possibly out of date on some trail access. Quite a bit has happened in the past two years. Check here for local details.

Thanks all for your advice.
Try to rent a minivan. They have tons of space.

For a scenic drive take the Blue Ridge Parkway. But it's a slow road so don't expect to get any place fast.
Awe mate,

I just spent 3 weeks over the pond riding in Scotland, northern England and Wales. Lots of good riding, and the folks were very friendly.

If you have not found it yet, the PAS has some good info:

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