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Blue Ridge Parkway, USA – Black Bear Adventures

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Description

Description

OVERVIEW

Black Bear Adventures is the only Tour Company confident enough in themselves and their guests to offer full traverses of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I am in love with this road and have been since I was a young man, as a native North Carolinian I have spent countless hours on what is quite possibly the finest cycling experience in the world!

For 469 miles the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves, rises and falls through the magnificent mountain ranges that make up the Blue Ridge. The Parkway stretches from the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains. On this tour we will climb over 45,000 feet as we cycle the entire length of the Parkway and discover the beauty it beholds.

A quote from Elizabeth & Charlie Skinner’s book Bicycling the Blue Ridge best sums up the experience of cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway – “There is no ribbon of road in the country more ideal for bicycling than the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.”

 

ITINERARY

DAY 1 ASHEVILLE TO STAUNTON, VA

We leave Asheville at 10am to shuttle to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in historic downtown Staunton, VA. The Stonewall Jackson is a wonderful hotel and ideally situated as a place to stage ourselves for tomorrows tour launch.

MILEAGE: 0 Miles

 

DAY 2 THE ADVENTURE BEGINS

We cycle from Rockfish Gap to the Peaks of Otter Lodge. Today’s stage has wonderful long range views of the Shenandoah Valley. After a moderate climb to start the day we roll along this narrow ribbon of road before descending to the lowest point on the BRP, the James River. After the descent comes what I consider to be one of the toughest climb of the entire tour, Apple Orchard Mtn. It climbs 3000+ feet in 12 miles and is the longest continuous climb on the BRP. Tonight we stay at the Peaks of Otter Lodge, which sits on the shores of Abbot Lake and offers wonderful views of Sharp Top Mountain.

MILEAGE: 86 Miles

 

DAY 3 PEAKS OF OTTER TO FLOYD, VA

After a thrilling descent into the Roanoke River Valley we climb out of the city before cresting and rolling through the Virginia countryside. Another long day in the saddle awaits us today but we cycle with the knowledge that ahead is the welcome oasis of one of my favourite communities on our journey, Floyd, VA. If we arrive in time we can stroll the streets and listen to some live bluegrass at the Country Store. Tonight’s inn and meal is sure to be one of the highlights of the trip.

MILEAGE: 86 Miles

 

DAY 4 FLOYD, VA TO SPARTA, NC

We leave VA and cross into NC today at mile marker 217, along the way we pass a number of notable points of interest today; Mabry Mill (mm 176), the Blue Ridge Music Center (mm 213) and Cumberland Knob (217.5) to name just a few.

MILEAGE: 90 Miles

 

DAY 5 SPARTA TO BLOWING ROCK, NC

Today’s 62 mile route begins with a beautiful climb through Doughton Park before rolling towards a series of short climbs on our way to the beautiful resort community of Blowing Rock. Tomorrow you are rewarded with a well-deserved day off. This evening we will relax at the luxurious Chetola Resort, which is within walking distance of the many shops and restaurants that make up this popular tourist destination.

MILEAGE: 62 Miles

 

DAY 6 A DAY OF RECOVERY IN BEAUTIFUL BLOWING ROCK

Enjoy a relaxing day at the splendid Chetola Resort and Spa, stroll around quaint downtown Blowing Rock or join your guides for a ride along local cycling routes. A day without schedules, you decide how to spend it!

Optional day of cycling!

MILEAGE: 0 Miles

 

DAY 7 BLOWING ROCK TO LITTLE SWITZERLAND

We leave Blowing Rock and the Chetola Resort in route for Little Switzerland. Along the way we pass over and around some of the most distinctive landmarks of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shortly out of town we begin climbing towards Grandfather Mountain and over the renowned Linn Cove Viaduct. We descend over the Viaduct and down to the Linville River where there is an optional hike to view Linville Falls. After remounting our bikes we climb up to Switzerland Inn, our ridge line host for the evening, along the way we will go through the first of NC’s 26 tunnels.

MILEAGE: 45 Miles

 

DAY 8 LITTLE SWITZERLAND TO ASHEVILLE

Today we cycle into the highest mountain ranges along the Appalachian chain, the Black and Craggy Mountains. We spend most of the morning climbing to Mt. Mitchell State Park where we will tackle the eastern U.S.’s highest mountain. After our descent off the mountain we have one more major obstacle, the climb to Craggy Gardens, before a mostly downhill run into Asheville.

MILEAGE: 60 Miles

 

DAY 9 ASHEVILLE TO THE SOUTHERN TERMINUS OF THE BRP

The final and quite possibly the most challenging day along this special ribbon of road. This remote stretch along the BRP is probably my favourite section and is stunning in its display of signature long range views. This is a day to appreciate all that cycling the Blue Ridge Parkway entails; the physical and mental challenge to complete such an endeavour, the magnificent beauty of this wonderful National Park, and the joy and camaraderie of sharing this marvellous journey! The tour ends with a glorious stretch that includes 13.5 miles of descending over the final 17 miles. After the completion of this unbelievable adventure we shuttle back to Asheville to celebrate our accomplishment!

MILEAGE: 62 Miles

 

DAY 10 OUR FINAL FAREWELLS

After our night of celebration we gather to say our farewells and reflect on the experiences of the past week over our final group meal.

– See more at: http://blackbearadventures.com/blue-ridge-parkway/#sthash.3AF0yHLd.dpuf

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Blue Ridge Parkway, USA – Black Bear Adventures
  • By Ryan Kuwertz
  • Email: ryan@techibods.com

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