Maggie Valley NC Hotel - Lodging in the Smoky Mountains at the Abbey Inn Motel

hotel motel in Maggie Valley in the Smoky Mountains near the Blue Ridge Parkway

SCENIC TOURS -- All tours start and end at the Abbey Inn

DEAL'S GAP/NANTAHALA GAP TOUR

     Turn left out of our driveway and stay on Hwy. #19 through the Cherokee Indian Reservation and BrysonCity.  While in BrysonCity check out the "Road to Nowhere", a road started by the Government that dead ends in a tunnel on the top of a mountain. Walk through the tunnel, which ends in a little plateau with nowhere else to go, except hiking.  Get back on #19 and continue on into the Nantahala Gorge, home of many whitewater rafting companies.  You'll follow the NantahalaRiver, which switches over and under the road a couple of times.  Stop for lunch at Relia's Garden , a funky little restaurant with great specialty sandwiches on the grounds of the NantahalaOutdoorCenter.  The Center is where most of the US Olympic kayaking team practiced for the 1996 Olympics.                                                                                                                     Continue on #19 to Hwy. #28, and continue to Hwy. 129 which is the Gap.  Turn right, and enter Deal's Gap, a favorite of most bikers for its 318 curves along 11 miles of road, and ride to Hwy. #411.  Head NE towards Maryville, TN and go through Gatlinburg to #Hwy. 441. Turn onto #441 and ride across the Great Smoky MountainsNational Park.  When you exit the Park, turn left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and follow it to the MaggieValley exit (milepost 455.7) and come down 2 miles to the Abbey Inn.   Approximately 180 miles and 5 hours.  Does not include side trips or meal stops.

FOREST HERITAGE TOUR

           Take Hwy.19 north (turn right out of our driveway) and go 9 miles to the 2nd light (Hwy #276) and turn right. Stay on #276 through Waynesville; follow it past the Cradle of Forestry and Looking Glass Falls (paved parking).  At Hwy. #64 go towards Brevard, a charming, old fashioned town full of little shops and restaurants.  Have lunch at one of the fun restaurants in town.  After lunch continue on #64 to Hwy. #215.  Turn North (right).  For the first eight miles you'll follow the French BroadRiver, and then meander through the PisgahNational Forest on this winding mountain road.  In Woodrow, turn onto Hwy. #276 West (left). If you have time, check out the wonderful shops of Waynesville's Main Street then retrace your way to the Abbey Inn. Approximately 100 miles and 4 hours.  Does not include side trips or meal stops.

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY TOUR.

           Take Hwy. 19 south (left out of our driveway) 2 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway and head towards Asheville. 4 ½ miles after entering the Pkwy take a short detour left to the Waterrock Knob parking area, where you will see a 360-degree panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There is a ½ mile gravel-hiking trail with some beautiful views, if you'd like a little exercise (rated moderate).  Continue on to the Pisgah Inn, where you can eat a delightful lunch while looking down at mountaintops.  Keep riding past Asheville to the Folk Art Center to experience mountain arts and crafts at their best.  Local artisans make all displays and merchandise.  Most items are for sale.  Continue on the Pkwy to LinvilleFalls and Linville Caverns (milepost 316.4).  There are lots of scenic overlooks and hiking trails all along the way.               To return, backtrack on the Parkway to milepost 382.6 then take Hwy #70, right 5 miles to Oleen then on to Asheville, left 9 miles to BlackMountain.  Get onto I-40 West and stay on until exit #27.  Follow signs to MaggieValley, and go 11 miles to the Abbey Inn.  Approximately 170 miles, 6 hrs.  Does not include side trips or meal stops.

HOT SPRINGS TOUR

            Turn right out of our driveway and stay on Hwy. #19 until it merges into Hwy. #19/23/74.  Get off at the 1st (LakeJunaluska) exit, turn left at the light and go under expressway.  You're now on Hwy. #209.  Stay on #209 through the tiny towns of Hope and Trust.  Check out the old fashioned store and restaurant in Trust.  Continue along this beautifully scenic and curvy mountain road to Hot Springs, home of Western NC's only natural hot water springs/baths.  Take Hwy. #25/70 to Asheville, our only "BIG" city.   In Asheville get on Interstate 40 West and go to exit #27, then get on #19/23/74.  Take exit #103 and go 11 miles until you reach the Abbey Inn.  Approximately 150 miles, and 4 hours.  Does not include side trips and meal stops.

WATERFALLS TOUR

             Turn left out of our driveway and go 2 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Head towards Asheville to Hwy. #276 (milepost 411.9).  Turn right on #276 and go towards Hwy. #64 (Brevard). On your way you will pass the Cradle of Forestry Museum then Sliding Rock, then Looking Glass Falls both with paved parking.  Just a tad after Looking Glass Falls, you will see the PisgahRangerInformationCenter to your left.  They have lots of maps, information, and clean restrooms. Turn right on #64 towards Brevard.  Stay on 64 until you see the sign for WhitewaterFalls, turn left and follow the road 10miles to the Falls. It's a ½ mile hike, but well worth it, WhitewaterFalls is truly awesome.  ($3. parking fee)   Backtrack to #64 and go all the way to Franklin.  Along the way check out Bridal Veil and DryFalls.                                                                                     Once in Franklin, take Hwy. #441 through Franklin to #23/74, which is a pretty, scenic divided highway.  Take #23/74 to exit #102 to MaggieValley.  Follow the signs back to the Abbey Inn.  Approximately 200 miles and 6 hours.  Does not include meal stops.

CADE'S COVE TOUR

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         Turn left out of our driveway on Hwy #19.  Go 2 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway, get on the Parkway and head towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Cherokee) After 2 miles, you'll see Balsam Road on your right. This is a 9 mile 2 black topped spur road which ands at Hinetooga Overlook and the 1 1/2 mile long Flatcreek Falls trail. Once back on the Parkway, continue to the end, then turn right onto Hwy #441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Near the top, there will be a road to the left marked Clingman's Dome, the highest elevation in the Smokies.  At the end of the road there is a large parking lot with miles of panoramic views, and a paved but steep 1/4 mile trail. If you make it to the top of the trail and the day is clear, you can see seven states from the rotunda at the top.

     Just past the Clingman's Dome spur road is Newfound Gap parking area and overlook.  Be sure to take a few minutes to stop and check out the view.                                                                        Continue across the mountain to the Tennessee side.  At the Sugarland's Visitors' Center turn left on Little River Road and head towards Cades Cove.  A couple of miles into the ride you will come to the parking area for LaurelFalls, a truly magnificent double falls at the end of a 1 mile paved hike.  Continuing on Little River Road will bring you to Cades Cove, and the11 mile paved, one way loop road showcasing restored pioneers' homes, church, schoolhouse, and more. Of course the roads are all full of curves, and the valley scenery is beautiful all the way.  Be sure to look for black bear, deer and fox while you're there                                                                          Start back on Little River Road and turn left at the 1st intersection toward Townsend, TN.  Turn right on Hwy. #321 and either pick up #441 back across the Park, or stay on #321 to Interstate 40 East.  Exit #20 in NC will put you on Hwy. #276 to Hwy. #19.  Turn right on #19, and make your way through Maggie for 6 miles to the Abbey Inn.    Approximately 200 miles and 6 hours.  Does not include side trips or meal stop. Just past the Clingman's Dome spur road is Newfound Gap parking area and overlook.  Be sure to take a few minutes to stop and check out the view.                                                                                                                                                            Continue across the mountain to the Tennessee side.  At the Sugarland's Visitors' Center turn left on Little River Road and head towards Cades Cove.  A couple of miles into the ride you will come to the parking area for LaurelFalls, a truly magnificent double falls at the end of a 1 mile paved hike.  Continuing on Little River Road will bring you to Cades Cove, and the11 mile paved, one way loop road showcasing restored pioneers' homes, church, schoolhouse, and more. Of course the roads are all full of curves, and the valley scenery is beautiful all the way.  Be sure to look for black bear, deer and fox while you're there.                                                                          Start back on Little River Road and turn left at the 1st intersection toward Townsend, TN.  Turn right on Hwy. #321 and either pick up #441 back across the Park, or stay on #321 to Interstate 40 East.  Exit #20 in NC will put you on Hwy. #276 to Hwy. #19.  Turn right on #19, and make your way through Maggie for 6 miles to the Abbey Inn.    Approximately 200 miles and 6 hours.  Does not include side trips or meal stops.

CATALOOCHEE VALLEY TOUR

           Turn right out of our driveway and stay on Hwy. #19 to the second stoplight (6 mi). Turn left at the light on Hwy. #276 and go about 6 miles.  Just before #276 merges into Interstate 40, you will see Cove Creek Road to your left.  Turn on Cove Creek Road and keep riding until you come to the entrance of CataloocheeValley.  The 1st 1½ miles of Cove Creek Road are paved, the next 6 miles are hard packed dirt. (Not recommended for motorcycles after heavy rains).  After this drive you will see a wide, paved road, dead ending to the right, but offering access to the left.  Take the left turn for a beautiful scenic drive showcasing unimproved homesteads, a school, church, and barn.  Lots of hiking trails and waterfalls (must hike to see them).  Take a picnic and relax.  There are several gas station/convenience store combinations in Maggie where you can fill your tank and by picnic supplies.  Some of the roads in the Valley are paved, some are packed dirt, so take your time and drive carefully.  To come back, simply reverse your route to the Abbey Inn.  Approximately 20 miles and 45 min. riding time each way.  How much time you spend in CataloocheeValley is up to you.  (NOTE:  The packed dirt road continues as a rough all terrain vehicle type path for approximately 28 miles ending in Cosby, TN.)

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