Motorcycle Friendly Places – The Lodge at Copperhead, GA

Photo - fall at the Lodge at Copperhead

The Lodge at Copperhead - motorcycle friendly, motorcycle centered

The Lodge at Copperhead near Blairsville, Georgia is THE motorcycle friendly gateway to the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.

Located on north Georgia’s premier motorcycle ride, The Gauntlet, The Lodge at Copperhead makes for an ideal base camp to experience the outstanding motorcycle rides in the surrounding mountains in a posh and relaxing setting where everything is focused on the biker’s needs and wants. It’s all here.

While there are many motorcycle friendly places along the road, few rise to the caliber of The Lodge at Copperhead. The entire resort is centered on bikers and their needs.

photo- great room at the Lodge at Copperhead

Quality and comfort wait for you at The Lodge at Copperhead

Motorcycles and riders come first here. Michelle and her crew at the lodge are riders. They know what you like and deliver it.

After a long day on the road you want a nice place to come home to. The The Lodge at Copperhead delivers in spades. Motorcycles get the best parking, right up front. Walk in the front door and you’re immediately struck by the quality of the resort. The great vaulted room with it’s fireplace and comfortable accommodations invites you in, but the huge wrap-around porches soon draw you back outside to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the mountains.

photo - cabin at the Lodge at Copperhead

We stayed in the newest cabin - it was great!

After a quick look around, Jackie and I rode over to our cabin to get settled in. Michelle had put us in the newest of them and we loved it. The bikes went into the garage – how nice – covered and dry! The pine log cabins give you that rustic mountain feel with all the modern comforts you need, ideal for an extended stay. Enjoy the privacy, have a place to get away and just be together. Relax on the screened in porch, sit out on the large deck out back, or pull up a chair on the porch out front to watch the setting sunlight filter through the trees.

photo - Brad Betters tends the bar at the Lodge at Copperhead

Brad betters from The Biker Barn - imagine coming in from a tour and your guide morphs into your bartender. Sweet!

Once settled in, we walked back to the lodge to start the evening at the outstanding bar. Weekends mean entertainment at the lodge and tonight was the Halloween party. There’s always something going on, live music either inside or at the outdoor stage, and costumed characters already stalked the halls.

Brad and Lori Betters from The Biker Barn soon appeared, and Brad, fresh from a guided tour, slipped behind the bar to keep the libations flowing and the glasses topped. As most everyone has something in common, it’s a friendly place where it’s easy to meet others, talk bikes and rides, and enjoy the company of like-minded people. We braved the chill out on the porches for a while where several small groups clustered to share more intimate times with friends, but as it grew dark they migrated inside to join the festivities and a meal.

photo - dinner at the Lodge at Copperhead

Tonights special - a slab of fresh swordfish.

The menu is well rounded with a great choice of fresh seafood. Jackie had the swordfish special, a huge steak, while I went with one of the beef variety. It came cooked to order, and the meals were superb. Service was attentive and quick, without being intrusive – like it should be.

After dinner the Halloween party started in the great room of the lodge. We danced, enjoyed the costume contest, and when we’d had enough retired to the quiet privacy of our cabin the the woods.

Sunday morning brought a heavy frost. We left the warmth of our cozy cabin and enjoyed breakfast in the dining room at the lodge, then headed out to ride the best sections of The Gauntlet once the morning sun warmed things up. The sun was bright, the skies blue, and the last of the fall leaves made the fabulous riding on Georgia’s best motorcycle roads the perfect cap to our weekend.

photo - halloween at The Lodge At Copperhead

Dolly Parton (a.k.a. Michelle) judges the Halloween men's costume contest.

The Lodge at Copperhead is ideally located and easy to get to. It sits at the heart of my map of the Best Motorcycle Roads in the North Georgia Mountains. You’ll feel welcome, well taken care of, be surrounded by people who are excited and enthused about motorcycles and riding.

The resort gives you a feeling of community and belonging. It’s entertaining and relaxing. All your needs are anticipated and met. Whether your looking for a vibrant social experience, a place your group can enjoy time both together and apart, or would like a private couples weekend on the bike, The Lodge at Copperhead delivers.

The Lodge at Copperhead

The Biker Barn

The Gauntlet

Get the map here – http://shop.americaridesmaps.com/9-The-Best-Rides-in-the-North-Georgia-Mountains-GA007.htm

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch - Cartographer

Total Rider Tech Logo

Learn Total Control

– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech

_______________________________________________________________________________

 You’ll find The Lodge at Copperhead and all the other good biker roads on America Rides Maps #9 The Best Rides in the North Georgia Mountains 
Share

Motorcycle Friendly Places – Waynesville, NC

Got to plug my home town. There’s also a reason I live here – the best motorcycle riding in the world is in my back yard. Shot this video early this summer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7jOE6EgZbQ

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch - Cartographer

Total Rider Tech Logo

Learn Total Control

– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech

_______________________________________________________________________________

You’ll find NC 215 and some of the best motorcycle rides in this outstanding area along with a guide to more than a dozen roadside waterfalls on America Rides Maps “The Best Motorcycle Rides EAST of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Share

Georgia’s Premier Motorcycle Ride & The Biker Barn

photo-The-Biker-Barn

The Biker Barn - The Gauntlet Headquarters

I’ve long had an affection for the motorcycle rides of north Georgia and now some of the best of them have been linked into a 133 mile long loop ride known as “The Gauntlet“. As it has gained notoriety, visitors from across the nation, even around the world have begun to flock to enjoy this serpentine romp through the hills and mountains of the Peach State.

Conceived and promoted by The Lodge at Copperhead and The Biker Barn near Blairsville, The Gauntlet strings together such notable rides as GA 60, GA 180, US 19 / 129, and others, routing you near or through Suches, Helen, Hiawasee, and Blairsville on roads which have long been favorite destinations for the two wheeled tourist.

Photo-The-Biker-Barn-road-view

The Biker Barn is easy to find with gas nearby

For those approaching the Blue ridge Mountains from the south on their way to such legendary rides as the Cherohala Skyway and the Dragon at Deals Gap in Tennessee and North Carolina, The Gauntlet adds another classic and outstanding adventure to their touring itinerary. For those who come to play in the Smoky Mountains from the north, the Gauntlet gives them ample reason to make the quick hop across the southern border into Georgia’s motorcycle playground.

Yesterday, I took a ride down meet Lori and Brad Betters at The Biker Barn near Blairsville, the headquarters for your Gauntlet memorabilia and and souvenirs and purveyors of motorcycle gear and supplies. Located at one of the junctions on The Gauntlet loop marked by a traffic light with a convenient gas station nearby, The Biker Barn is one of those must-do pit stops on the challenging ride.

Photo-The-Biker-Barn-inside

The Biker Barn has what you need and what you want

This popular rest stop at The Biker Barn is one of several gathering spots along the ride. There’s a “hang out” for bikers around the back side of the store where you can write your name on the wall with those who have come before you and leave your mark along with others from as far away as Alaska and beyond.

The well equipped store includes several versions of some very nice Gauntlet T-shirts, as well as leather wear, helmets, gear, and supplies. They also have an assortment of quality motorcycle trailers on hand if you’re looking for options to haul your bikes.

Photo-The-Biker-Barn-wall

Ride the Gauntlet and add your name to the wall at the Biker Barn

Of course they have maps and other info, and work in partnership with The Lodge at Copperhead which offers outstanding accommodations in the area.

 

The Biker Barn

The Lodge at Copperhead

 

Download a map of The Gauntlet here – http://www.gauntletga.com/downloads/Gauntlet_printable_map.pdf

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch - Cartographer

Total Rider Tech Logo

Learn Total Control

– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech

_______________________________________________________________________________

You’ll find the roads of The Gauntlet and many more of north Georgia’s finest rides on America Rides Maps #9 – The Best Rides in the North Georgia Mountains

 
 
 
Share

Hurricane Weekend in Maggie Valley on my Motorcycle

Photo-mt-mitchell-highest-in-east

A little cloudy and rainy was as bad as it got atop Mt. Mitchell

While curiousity got the best of me and I did cruise up to Mt. Mitchell to get a close look at the hurricane, the Smoky Mountain weather was beautiful for motorcycle rides and I took advantage of it with a bunch of local favorites. Judging from all the other bikes out on the road, a lot of coastal folks hopped on the hog and ran for the hills. It was a good decision.

Photo-Thunderhawg-motorcycle-rentals

Thunderhawg Motorcycle Rentals, Maggie Valley

Friday found me visiting my friends at ThunderHawg motorcycle rental which just opened at the corner of US 276 and US 19 after my ride north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell. Peggy and Mark rent Harleys and it’s nice to have a local rental place again in Maggie Valley. They’ve got tons of info, maps, and they love to meet and greet motorcycle vacationers to the Smoky Mountains. Stop in and see them when you pass through.

photo-aholiday-motel

A Holiday Motel - Saturday night

Saturday, I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway the other way to Cherokee and Bryson City to stop in at The Gear Head Inn, then hopped on some of the great roads south of there. I ended up at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley to pass the time while my wife ran in the 8K Maggie Valley Moonlight race.  Always popular with motorcycle vacationers, the A Holiday Motel was full of bikers who came to enjoy the splendid weather. The bonfire was going out front and I was able to cheer Jackie on and spend a little time with the riders. Dale from Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum came by with a couple of Australian visitors who had borrowed a couple of his antique Harleys.

The view from Riders Roost Restaurant is awesome

The view from Riders Roost Restaurant is awesome

Sunday, I cruised NC 215 and US 276, then followed the Blue Ridge Parkway back to Maggie Valley to stop in at Riders Roost Restaurant in before we headed back up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the crystal clear evening skies that came in after the storm.

No matter which way you point your wheels from Maggie Valley, you’ll find outstanding riding. The Best section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is right up the hill. It’s a great place to base out of for your motorcycle trip to the Smoky Mountains as so many great rides are within easy reach.

Check out AllRoadsLeadToMaggie.com when planning your visit. Maggie Valley is the heart of good motorcycle riding in the Smoky Mountains.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch - Cartographer

Total Rider Tech Logo

Learn Total Control

– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech

_______________________________________________________________________________

Share

Motorcycle Friendly – Skyline Village Inn, Little Switzerland

photo-skyline-inn

The Skyline Inn, Little Switzerland, NC

Located right at the start of the Diamondback Motorcycle Ride, the Skyline Village Inn offers a scenic stay, good food, a nice selection of beer and wine, and one of the most unique and historic places to stay on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

First of all, the Skyline Village Inn has a story and it’s a great one. (If you want all the details click here and go the their site in a minute). In a nutshell, the Skyline Village Inn was built as a front to cover up a huge moonshine operation which operated out of secret caverns beneath it. When not brewing corn, they used their free time to do intricate stone and woodwork throughout the building and grounds. Some of the wood inlay work on the tables in the lounge belongs in a museum. They give tours of the moonshiners caverns. I didn’t ask if they still sell “shine”, but the beer and wine on hand is diverse and high quality.

photo-skline-inn-woodwork

Those moonshiners used 17 kinds of local wood

The building was constructed in the 1930’s and 40’s, before small roadside motels came into vogue, so it has an authentic historic atmosphere that permeates the entire place. Those moonshiners built with quality and it endures.

The Skyline Village Inn sits high atop the ridge with commanding views. You can see the beautiful stone arch where the Blue Ridge Parkway passes over NC 226 down the road at the Spruce Pine exit at milepost 331 from out front of the Inn. The rooms open onto a porch where you can sit to enjoy the view.

Best of all for the motorcycle rider, the  Skyline Village Inn sits at the head of the Diamondback Motorcycle Ride, one of North Carolina’s most popular rides. Just roll out  of the covered motorcycle parking and you’re on the ride.

photo-motorcycle-NC-226

Rider nears the top of NC 226. Shot from the overlook across from the Skyline Inn

 

 

While the Diamondback is popular, the ride they like to send you on from the Skyline Village Inn is the Murder Mountain Ride. You can do the short version of the Diamondback Loop down 226A then back up 226 in about 45 minutes. The Murder Mountain Ride is much more of a commitment, about 3 1/2 hours minimum, but it includes a traverse of spectacular Roan Mountain and some of the twistiest and most enjoyable roads in North Carolina and a bit of Tennessee. (See Murder Mountain Ride Description / Map here)

photo-room-at-skyline-inn

A room at the Skyline Inn

If you want to stay somewhere you’ll remember and can tell (good) stories about, consider the Skyline Village Inn on your Blue Ridge Parkway motorcycle ride.

Skyline Village Inn

Murder Mountain Ride

Diamondback Motorcycle Ride

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch – Cartographer

Total Rider Tech Logo

Learn Total Control

– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech

_______________________________________________________________________________

Share

Motorcycle Friendly Lodging – Gear Head Inn near Bryson City, NC

photo-blue-ridge-parkway-view-big-witch

View form the Blue Ridge Parkway this afternoon - Big Witch Overlook near Cherokee

Another great motorcycle friendly place to stay in the Smokies and I got you another discount! Read on…

A gorgeous afternoon on the Blue Ridge Parkway with clear blue skies, amazing long range views, and those wonderful, wonderful curves, provided a stark contrast to the touristy mess that is Cherokee as I came off the parkway, passed through town, then pointed my wheel west on US 19 towards Bryson City, NC.

As soon as you’re out of town the pleasant green returns and two lane US 19 winds its way along the pretty Oconoluftee River for several miles as you leave the Reservation. It was easy to spot the Gear Head Inn sign and I pulled into the quiet spot cradled in the hillside along the road.

photo-sign-gear-head-inn

The Gear Head in Near Bryson City, NC

The first thing that struck me was how fresh everything looked. The green metal roofs looked new, as did the paint, in fact everything showed it had been resurrected and restored to a standard that exceeds anything I’d seen in the surrounding properties. The lawns were well tended, the pool sparkled, and the first impression is that the owners have put a lot of time and effort into this making this motel a labor of love. It shows.

Jim was finishing up the last of the renovations to the spacious lobby and the room was both inviting and welcoming. Mary met me at the door and invited me in.

photo-room-gear-head-inn

The rooms are huge at the Gear Head Inn

The cold glass of spring water she brought me was welcome on this hot late summer afternoon, and I spent some time getting to know them and finding out what they had to offer the motorcycle vacationer.

The motif reflects Jim’s passion for performance automobiles, and while he’s primarily a car guy at heart, I think any performance vehicle gets his motor running and he loves the motorcycle visitors. They’ve designed this place for people who love their rides, two wheels or four, and want a place where car and motorcycle enthusiasts feel at home. It’s a great place for people who frequent the numerous custom car and motorcycle shows in the area.

photo-pool-gear-head-inn

The pool - note the lights

Was I surprised when Mary showed me a room! Jeez, they are huge! Totally out of character from what you typically find in these smaller roadside motels. Must say I’m impressed.

They’ve got a bike cleaning station waiting, a nice fire pit centrally located for sharing those stories about the days ride in the evening, and nice level paved parking set well back from the road. Mary even knew of a roadside waterfall I’d yet to discover and she shared its secret location with me – sorry Mary, that was a mistake, I’m a blabbermouth and I’ll be checking it out ASAP (ask her about it).

They’ve got a few motorcycle groups coming in over the next couple weeks, but would love to see a few more. As an incentive, they’re offering a 10% discount through December if you tell them I sent you or bring in one of their cards I’ll be sending out with all America Rides Maps orders this fall.

PS – take a look at the lights by the pool – (They’re giant gear shift levers – how cool!)

Gear Head Inn

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch - Cartographer

Total Rider Tech Logo

Learn Total Control

– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech

_______________________________________________________________________________

Share

Motorcycle Friendly Places – Hampton Inn & Suites, Sapphire, NC

photo-US-64-view-Cashiers

One of my favorite views is just 10 mins from the Hampton.

Few places rival the beauty surrounding Sapphire, NC. The small town and those surrounding it host some of the most expensive real estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Flanked by massive granite balds, host to the Cullasja River Gorge with it’s many roadside waterfalls, and nestled amongst the wilds of several national forests with views that will take your breath away, the area is laced with outstanding motorcycle rides.

Photo-view-from-NC-215

Above the clouds on my morning ride

On any weekend, 2 lane US 64 throbs and buzzes with motorcycles who come to play on the wonderfully twisty and scenic roads. Of course other tourists come as well, and US 64 rarely gives the motorcycle rider the freedom to enjoy its serpentine turns to full delight as they insist you share the road. Few tourists ever venture off the main drag though, and the many back roads which course over the mountains and along the valley streams give the biker what he really came for – great rides with outstanding views devoid of traffic.

Photo-Hampton-Inn-Sapphire-NC

Hampton Inn & Suites, Sapphire, NC

Sitting in the heart of all this, the Hampton Inn & Suites in Sapphire makes an ideal place to base out of for an enjoyable stay while exploring all the region has to offer. Level parking, set back from the road, and close to good dinging and other amenities, the Hampton provides a quiet and relaxing place with a decor and atmosphere that reflects the quality of the surrounding area. I toured 3 different styles of room each of which deserves the descriptor – “posh”. I would be very happy to stay in any of them, it’s the kind of place I seek out in my travels.

Photo-lobby-at-hampton-inn-sapphire-nc

A comfortable place to gather and relax

It looks like an ideal place for those groups of motorcycle riders looking for a time they’ll remember fondly and come back to. 2 meeting rooms are available. The lobby is spacious and inviting, a good place to gather. All the amenities are at hand.

Photo-room-at-hampton-inn-sapphire-nc

Ride hard, rest easy.

The greatest thing about the Hampton is location. Roll out the driveway and you’re on the ride. Go west through Cashiers and Highlands to ride Wayah Bald and the Nantahala Gorge. The roads to the north – well, every time I go though there I come back thinking I don’t get that way often enough, they are so nice. Head east, and you enter my favorite area in all the mountains, home to some of the best rides I know of. To the south, the twisties which lead into South Carolina are outstanding. Whitewater Falls,

Photo-entrance-hampton-inn-sapphire-nc

Put your bike here.

the highest in the east is just a short ride from the hotel. The Dragon at Deals Gap is about an hour away, though the roads which lead you to it will have you all warmed up and ready to go when you get there, then go on to tackle the Cherohala Skyway. The best section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is the closest. As I add all these up, staying here makes a lot of sense.

Photo-Charlies-Creek-Rd

One of the roads I took going home

The sales manager was a rider, so she knows you guys. You’re welcome here. I’ll be adding the Hampton Inn Sapphire to the maps ASAP. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes to plan a stay here. It’s a total immersion in motorcycle rider’s bliss – point your wheel in any direction and the good roads are right there.

SAVE 10% on weekends, SAVE 20% during the week – Call and ask for your Smoky Mountain Rider / America Rides Maps discount.

Hampton Inn and Suites Cashiers/Sapphire Valley, N.C
3245 US 64 East
Sapphire, NC 28774
http://www.hamptoncashiersnc.com

 

Photo-whitewater-falls-nc

If waterfalls turn you on, you'll be in heaven. The Hampton sits at the heart of the "Land of the Waterfalls". Whitewater Falls, the highest in the east, is just a short ride, as are many others.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch
Wayne Busch – Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com 
Share

Motorcycle friendly Blue Ridge Parkway lodging – Fiddlers Roost

Photo-fiddlers-roost-cabin

Our cabin at Fiddlers Roost

Fiddler’s Roost Cabins are just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 214 and offer the motorcycle rider a nice place to stay. Just down the road from the Blue Ridge Music Center, the cabins are small but cozy, well fitted, and comfortable.

Our stay was brief, and it was hot, so we did not partake of the hot tub on the porch. We just needed a comfortable place to pass the night, and thats what we got.

Photo-Fiddlers-Roost-Cabins-bedroom

Bedroom - cozy and comfortable

We also missed out on the breakfast delivered to our door the next morning. While it’s reported to be outstanding, it doesn’t arrive until 9:30 – 10 AM and we had too many miles to go to postpone our journeys for the day.

The cabins are fairly isolated so you have privacy. Access is via a gravel road with a bit of incline which had me wondering about how well it would be negotiated by a fully loaded bike with two riders. The road was in decent shape and we had no issues.

The isolation comes at a price – there’s no food nearby, it’s a 10 minute ride into Galax to get a bite to eat. If you’re packing your own vittles, there is a refrigerator and stove in the cabins.

Photo-Fiddlers-Roost-cabins-kitchen

The Kitchen

We made the ride, grabbed dinner at a Chinese restaurant, then returned to the cabin to enjoy a bottle of Chateau Morrisette wine and some cheese we’d picked up on our way to the cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Overall, it’s a nice place to stay, maybe a little too slow paced for road warriors like us who are up early, ride long and hard, and come in late.

Fiddler’s Roost Cabins

Photo-Fiddlers-Roost-cabins-view

Nice little cabins in a nice setting

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch
Wayne Busch – Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com 

 

Share

Favorite Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Pit Stops – Chateau Morrisette, VA

Photo-Chateau Morisette on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Chateau Morrisette on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The romantic relationship we have with Chateau Morrisette winery on the Blue Ridge Parkway goes back to a motorcycle trip many years ago. Tired and hungry from a long day on the lower Virginia section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, we stumbled in looking for a bite to eat only to find the kitchen had just stopped serving for lunch. Our disappointment must have radiated as the chef emerged from the kitchen, took one look at us, and said, I’ll take care of them”.

photo-Restaurant-terrace-at Chateau-Morrisette

The Restaurant Terrace

We were seated on the beautiful mediterranean style porch with it’s panoramic views of the rolling Virginia countryside. A short time later sandwiches arrived at the table and we devoured one of the best meals we’d had in days. I remember a delicious portabello mushroom  on crustini bread draped in a melted cheese which we accompanied by a glass of Black Dog Red wine and knew we’d found a  heavenly oasis.  I’ve never missed a chance to stop at the Chateau Morrisette since nor ever been disappointed.

Photo-tasting-room-at-chateau-morrisette

The tasting room

Over the years, the winery has grown in size and reputation. In times past it was one of the few landmarks you could easily identify from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Far out across one of those idyllic mountain farm fields, a long low series of signs spelled out the name of the winery in large letters. Gone now, the only way to find  it is to know where it is and watch for it. Success has meant one of the few advertisements along the Blue Ridge Parkway is no longer needed, and the parkway ethic is enhanced by it’s absence.

photo-terrace-at-chateau-morrisette

Live entertainment is common on weekends

While the restaurant remains much as I remember it, the new building at the vinyard is now the hub of activity. The regal architecture hosts the tasting room, gift shop, and is the sales outlet for the wines. The terrace outside is the gathering and resting place where patrons sit and enjoy their glasses of local vintage to the accompaniment of snacks and often live entertainment.

Photo-Chateau-Morrisette-Restaurant

Chateau Morrisette Restaurant

On a weekend visit you’re happy to be on a motorcycle where you can slip into corners in the crowded parking lot. There are frequent events, a stage on the beautiful grounds for concerts and such, it seems there’s always something going on at this popular destination.

Chateau Morrisette winery

Chateau Morrisette is locate at milepost 168.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Tuggles Gap. Look for Black Ridge Road, then spur off quickly onto Winery Road. You’ll arrive in 0.6 miles.

photo-Chateau-Morrisette-Wine

Chateau Morrisette's Black Dog Wines - Tasty

You’ll find Chateau Morrisette and all the surrounding great motorcycle rides in the area on America Rides Maps #3 of the Complete Blue Ridge Parkway seriesNorth Carolina / Virginia Border Rides.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch
Wayne Busch – Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com 

 

 

Share

Motorcycle Friendly Places – Paint Bank General Store, VA

Photo-Paint-Bank-General-Store

Morning at the Paint Bank General Store, Paint Bank, VA

Though it’s only 1/2 hour west of Roanoke, the tiny hamlet of Paint Bank on Highway 311 sits like a jewel surrounded by rolling green hills and pastoral country that makes the busy city seem a million miles away. This is spectacular motorcycle riding country and bikers flock here to enjoy the long winding rides through narrow valleys which lead south towards Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Pembroke. The beautiful wilds of West Virginia lie just over the western horizon, and the roads north twist and turn through forests teaming with wildlife.

Photo-Paint-Bank-General-Store

A for-real General Store! Cool!

Jackie and I came in from the north on VA 615, a ride through woods so wild we had to cruise with care to avoid all the critters in the roadway. Deer and turkey were abundant, a slew of painted turtles awaited their doom on the pavement, a fox, hawks, and all sorts of other animals either watched us pass or darted off into the greenery as we approached.  We paused in Newcastle for a rest, then pointed our wheels west on 311 to make the curvy fabulous climb and descent over Potts Mountain into the valley to arrive at scenic Paint Bank.

Photo-Paint-Bank-General-Store-motorcycles

The lunch crowd has arrived!

Eager to get on to the next curvy climb we stopped at the Paint Bank General Store for a potty break and to top off our tanks, but as the noon hour approached we soon abandoned our ride into West Virginia to return to the Paint Bank General Store, lured back by the promise of tasty locally raised buffalo burgers in the inviting and charming rustic setting of the Swinging Bridge Restaurant.

Photo-Swinging-Bridge-restaurant

The buffalo burgers were great!

In the short time we’d been gone the parking lot at the Paint Bank General Store had been taken over by motorcycles with the same ambitions as us and more arrived every few minutes. “Motorcycle parking only” signs lined the periphery of the  lot and the crowd of bikes spilled over to fill the remaining space. Some milled about on the porch, others hosed the bugs off their chrome with the convenient hose, but most found their way to the restaurant to enjoy the food and comfortable atmosphere.

Photo-Paint-Bank-General-Store

Bikers flock here for lunch

The Paint Bank General Store – A unique place in a beautiful setting with gas and good food surrounding by outstanding motorcycle rides and biker friendly. What more do you need?

Paint Bank General Store

Swinging Bridge Restaurant

Paint Bank info

Photo-Paint-Bank-General-Store

Great food, wonderful riding, the Paint Bank General Store and Swinging Bridge Restaurant was one of the highlights of our Virginia motorcycle riding

Photo-Swinging-Bridge-Restaurant

Great food in a fun and relaxing atmosphere at the Swinging Bridge Restaurant located in the back of the Paint Bank General Store.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Wayne Busch
Wayne Busch – Cartographer
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com 
Share