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Old 04-30-12, 08:55 PM   #1
Bikeisdusty
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Good paths in NC/SC/TN? Vacation planning

My wife and I have the envious time coming up where the kids are going to "camp grandma" for a week this summer. The wife and I thought about doing some active vacationing without the tykes during this time. She is not a strong rider, but is ok on the bike. So road riding may not be the most comfortable to her. Living here in the DC area and close to the W&OD we are a bit spoiled to path riding. The camp will be in western NC, so ideally, we would stay somewhat close them them for sake of minimizing windshield time.

Is there any good places to consider in the eastern TN, anywhere NC/SC that could provide good "path like" riding that would be fun or have good views?
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Old 05-01-12, 08:36 AM   #2
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I don't know if these will help you but here are 6 links to information about biking in Tennessee, 2 links to information about bike touring in South Carolina, and 6 links to information about bike touring in North Carolina.
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Old 05-01-12, 09:39 AM   #3
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I'm not aware of trails of any distance in North Carolina. Raleigh has a nice network, but it kind of spiderwebs around the outskirts of the city. Interesting to explore if you live here, occasionally useful to get around, but not something I would go out of my way to experience on vacation. There are a few "rails-to-trails" paths, but nothing of a length that would keep you biking for more than an afternoon at a time, I think. I think the longest stretch is the American Tobacco Trail, 22 miles, near Durham. Here's some info on NC's rails-to-trails: http://getgoingnc.com/2012/02/north-...rails-escapes/

The article also mentions two Virginia trails, New River and Creeper, that are somewhat longer and just over the border in Western NC.
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Old 05-01-12, 09:54 AM   #4
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Check out the New River Trail and the Virginia Creep Trail, both just over the state line in SW Virginia. I have ridden much of the New River Trail and it is fantastic. Your wife would do just fine. The trail is essentially flat with only bikes, hikers and perhaps horses allowed. Scenery is incredible. It also has places to camp along it. I would recommend tires at least 32 mm wide and at least a little bit of tread as it is not paved, but surfaced with fine gravel and dirt.

See ride report here:

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/com...va-254143.html
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Old 05-01-12, 09:12 PM   #5
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I would like to suggest the Virginia Creeper Trail http://www.vacreepertrail.us . There is a shuttle that takes you to Whitetop from either Abingdon or Damascus. It is downhill all the way from Whitetop to Damascus. The scenery is fabulous. It is 34 miles total length with Damascus about halfway. If you're lucky you might run across the gentleman that rides from Abingdon to Whitetop and back every day.
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Old 05-01-12, 09:34 PM   #6
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What is recommended for bike needed/tires for the creeper? Seems to push mountain bikes. Is it mostly hard pack gravel or is it paved? I need to decide on what is needed for my wife as she has a basic hybrid with road going rubber. I think I would have to dust off the ole Stumpjumer for this one, mostly ride road now. I guess we may have to rent or borrow a bike from a friend for her.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bikeisdusty View Post
What is recommended for bike needed/tires for the creeper? Seems to push mountain bikes. Is it mostly hard pack gravel or is it paved? I need to decide on what is needed for my wife as she has a basic hybrid with road going rubber. I think I would have to dust off the ole Stumpjumer for this one, mostly ride road now. I guess we may have to rent or borrow a bike from a friend for her.
You should be OK with anything except a road bike. I rode it a couple of times with a mountain bike with no suspension and tires that were slicks in the middle of the tread (Continental Travel Contact). The other bike(r)s will cause you more concern than your bike. Some riders don't have very good trail etiquette. Go to Virginia Creeper website. There is a picture of Mr. Dye and his bike. Look at his bike. He is the man that has ridden it daily since the beginning of time.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikeisdusty View Post
What is recommended for bike needed/tires for the creeper? Seems to push mountain bikes. Is it mostly hard pack gravel or is it paved? I need to decide on what is needed for my wife as she has a basic hybrid with road going rubber. I think I would have to dust off the ole Stumpjumer for this one, mostly ride road now. I guess we may have to rent or borrow a bike from a friend for her.
I've ridden the Creeper with a touring bike (32 tires) and rigid MTB. Either is fine. Your wife on her hybrid may have a bit of slipping in (make up a number...) three spots if it's rained that day.

Further south, there's the Cades Cove loop on the Tennessee side of the Smokies, closed to cars until 10:00 Wednesdays and Saturdays. (Also usually light or no traffic until 9:55 other days of the week, too.) And one of these days I'm going to try the 17 mile road on the southern side of the Smokies outside Bryson City.

There's some beautiful riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but the only flat spaces are between the uphills and the downhills. Avoid on weekends, holidays, and July through middle of August.
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Old 05-03-12, 08:52 AM   #9
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In Greenville, SC is the Swamp Rabbit Trail. http://greenvillerec.com/parks/swamp-rabbit/. The link describes it as 17.55 miles but only about 13.5 are contigious at the moment. From Travelers Rest to Greenville, it is a rail trail conversion, from Falls Park through Cleveland Park it follows typical park paved pathways. It is a very pleasant and easy ride.
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