Harley Fans Reveal Their Favorite Smoky Mountain Rides

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Harley Smokey Mountains

There are so many great riding loops in the Smokies it can be hard to plan out a week’s trip. So, here are our members’ best suggestions.

Without a doubt, the most appealing part of owning a Harley is the ride itself. That wind-in-your-hair, bug-in-your-mouth feeling of freedom that you just don’t get with any other form of transportation. And living in the great old U.S. of A., we’re also blessed with thousands of miles of amazing roads to ride on. Not the least of which are the many miles of twisting tarmac through the Smoky Mountains.

Harley-Davidson Forum member champ198 is preparing to head out and enjoy this national treasure soon. And he’s got a pretty good plan already. But to ensure he maximizes his trip, he went to the forums to ask his fellow Harley fans what roads they recommend. And the answers he receives are an obvious boon to anyone planning a similar trip.

“This year the wife and I are gonna take the bike and head to the Smoky Mountains. I have our scenic route planned out pretty well. We are just gonna hit hotels and motels on the way down and back. We have a weeks worth of time we are gonna take but I was looking for some ideas on some rides down in the Smokies.”

“One I have planned to do is a small loop that I figured out starting in Townsend, TN and heading to US 129 HD. Then the Tail of the Dragon to Cherokee HD to Hillbilly HD in Gatlinburg to Rocky Top HD in Pigeon Forge and back to Townsend. What are some other good loops you all have done?”

Harley Smokey Mountains

Quite a few members, including kojak, recommend staying in Maggie Valley and simply picking up a map while you’re there.

“Lots of great rides around the area. We go every other year in the fall. Always stay in Maggie Valley, a great base to ride the Smokies. Get a rider’s map when you stop at one of the local Harley dealers, it has all the loops marked on it. You could easily spend all week riding and not do half of them. The Rattler is a good ride, Cherohala Skyway is a good ride, too many to list.”

Harley Smokey Mountains

Many, including sire86, point out that you really can’t go wrong in this gorgeous part of the country.

“Just did the Rattler at NC 209 from Hot Springs to Maggie Valley. The Wheels Through Time museum, then Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville, NC. Not a bad road in the area.”

Harley Smokey Mountains

And im gets a little more specific with his recommendations.

“Moon Shiner 28 if you like nice scenic roads, several waterfalls and I think riding over a dam might be cool. If you read about that loop then it makes it even more interesting.”

“Cherohala Skyway if you like next to zero traffic for about 1.5 hours. Wide open scenic views at cloud level, one scenic waterfall, a stop for lunch on a river at a small eatery with a Harley t-shirt store nearby at western end. 
A ride down to Helen Georgia with great roads along the way and an unusual stop at bar/restaurant under the bridge in Helen.”

So far, this thread is chock full of fantastic suggestions. But we want to know what you think. So head over here and tell us what your favorite Smoky Mountain riding loops are. And if you’re planning a trip up there yourself, be sure and check out all the excellent suggestions, too!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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