Best 1000 Mile Motorcycle Ride You’ll Ever Do

If you’re looking for that epic ride this is one of the best ever!

Motorcycles at overlook in Smoky Park

Enjoy an overlook in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When you link these mountain roads together you’ll spend almost all your time on 2 lane roads, most of it National Parks or on scenic parkways, and you’ll experience some of the best motorcycle rides in the USA.

Skyline Drive – 105 Miles
The Skyline Drive runs the crest of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It starts at Front Royal and runs seamlessly into the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway – 469 Miles

Blue Ridge Parkway View

Blue Ridge Parkway in NC

The Blue Ridge Parkway follows the highest ridge lines of the Blue Ridge Mountains through Virginia and North Carolina. It ends at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – 47 Miles
The most visited National Park in the nation, ride across on US 441 passing from North Carolina into Tennessee at the crest, then turn west on Little River Road. Follow through to the Foothills Parkway.

Foothills Parkway – 17 Miles
Continue west on the scenic Foothills Parkway to reach US 129

The Dragon – 15 Miles

Springtime motorcycle ride on the Cherohala Skyway

The Cherohala Skyway in TN

Turn south on US 129 to enter the Dragon. Pass through and back into North Carolina. Continue south to Robbinsville, NC to head west again on the Cherohala Skyway.

The Cherohala Skyway – 52 Miles
Climb back up into the mountains and return to Tennessee near the mid-point of the ride. Turn south on 68 when you reach Tellico Palins, TN and follow this wonderful road into Georgia.

GA 60 – 23 Miles
Work your way east on GA 60 to Blue Ridge, GA, then continue on one of Georgia’s best motorcycle roads.

The Gauntlet – 133 Miles

Georgia

The Gauntlet ride in GA

Wrap it all up with a loop around the Gauntlet. You may continue on GA 60 or veer north on Skeenah Gap Road to start the loop.

Of course, this is just an overview. It’s a great introduction to riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, still it only scratches the surface. It’s pretty straightforward to navigate, but you’ll want to do some planning. There are many variations and additions to make it even better.

9 map setYou’ll find this region covered in detail with America Rides Maps. In addition to these well known roads, almost 500 more are highlighted on a series of easy-to-read durable maps that will fit in your pocket with the info you depend on like out-of-the-way gas stations, mileage, and how to best link them all together.

The are more great motorcycle rides in the Blue Ridge Mountains than anywhere else. Any one of America Rides Motorcycle pocket ride maps is a vacation adventure in itself. With the full set you’ll have the freedom to point your wheels in any direction and know you’re on the best rides. Take a look here and see how easy it is – http://shop.americaridesmaps.com/Full-Southeast-Package-All-9-Maps-SE9.htm

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wayne busch - Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Rider.com

Wayne Busch

– 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

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Motorcycles Celebrate Anniversary at The Lodge at Copperhead

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The Lodge at Copperhead near Blairsville, GA sits on the Gauntlet Motorcycle Ride

While riding through north Georgia on our motorcycles, Jackie and I stopped in at The Lodge at Copperhead in Blairsville  yesterday. It was their anniversary and quite a celebration – a car show / bike show, poker run, live music, loads of prizes, and a healthy turnout.

Photo-the-Lodge-at-Copperhead-Dining

Jackie and I had lunch in the dining room. It was after 2, the crowd had thinned.

We’d spent the morning riding the great motorcycle rides that surround the lodge and planned to make it our lunch stop. Probably not the best day to come for lunch, the place was packed with bikers.  It’s one of my favorite biker friendly stops when in north Georgia.

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Jackie makes the turn onto GA 60, one of our favorite motorcycle roads in Georgia.

I’ve recently added nearly a dozen roads to my motorcycle maps of this area and we had a great motorcycle ride as I toured Jackie through a half dozen or more roads she’d never seen -they are there if you know where to find them. Of course, we also hit a few old favorites we never tire of as well.

Photo - View from the Nottely Dam

Riding across the Nottely Dam in North Georgia

Spring is early and the motorcycle riders have been enjoying it! Maybe it’s the high price of gas, but there seem to be less cars on the road – all the better for us on two wheels. It’s a great time to make a trip to the enjoy the fabulous motorcycle rides in north Georgia.

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Georgia holds great riding, historic spots, and wonderful scenery for the motorcycle rider

If you’ve ridden the Blue Ridge Mountains in north Georgia before, you know it’s time to come back. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s worth the effort to get on your bike and ride a day to get here and experience it for yourself.

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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. Isn’t it time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely? It can transform your mountain riding experience.  Total Rider Tech

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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

 

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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

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 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 
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Georgia’s Premier Motorcycle Ride & The Biker Barn

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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

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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

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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

 
 
 
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Best Motorcycle Rides in North Georgia – digital soon?

Wow! It’s taken me 18 months to completely revise and update all my Smoky Mountain / Blue Ridge motorcycle ride maps, but the last of them is done – Map #9 “The Best Rides in the North Georgia Mountains” has been released.

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Roads are really bold, map is easy to and quick to read. Road descriptions on back of map.

If you have one of my Georgia motorcycle maps you honestly don’t need to replace the map you have. I had almost all of the really outstanding Georgia motorcycle rides on the earlier version. I did find a couple more really nice north Georgia motorcycle rides on the periphery of the main area of the map as you make your way to the classic rides  – you’ve got to ride GA 60,  Blood Mountain area, and I love to play back and forth across the North Carolina state line.

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Map #9 - The Best Rides in the North Georgia Mountains

So what’s the big deal? The reason this revision took so long was prepare the maps for digital use! I’ve looked at phone apps but decided the limiting factor in the mountains is reception. Live GPS positioning via phone just isn’t there yet for this region.

A solution I’ve been testing instead is map downloads which can be scaled and used from an ipad, ipod, iphone, or any other smart phone provided you’ve got a decent sized memory card. Got your phone? You’ve got your maps. It worked well on the ipad. I’ll be testing ipod, iphone, etc. next. If it goes well, you can expect to see them available in about 2-3 weeks.

So what about GPS? Next project. I have the software. I need the time.

See more about the new map here – goo.gl/ifTNr

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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 
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A List & Descriptions of More North Georgia Motorcycle Roads

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Map #9 - The Best Rides in the North Georgia Mountains

I’m way late getting back into Georgia. I’d planned to revisit the region in May. Here it is July, and I’m just now wrapping up the revisions to my Georgia motorcycle ride mapThe Best Rides in the North Georgia Mountains.

photo- opossums on sign

Love d'em possums!

I’ve been poking my wheel into the periphery of the region as I’ve been exploring great motorcycle rides in Tennessee, North and South Carolina, but just haven’t had the time to dedicate a full assault on the heart of the best riding area in the Peach State. My motorcycle map business is expanding so fast it’s required far more time in the office and production than I expected. I wish you the same success.

Photo-Clay's-Corner

Clay's Corner in tiny Brasstown. Georgia is full of these little do-it-all pit stops. Lots of history to be discovered too.

There’s no need to revisit the well known rides – Blood Mountain, Wolf Pen Gap, Suches, Helen, etc., but I won’t resist hitting as many of those outstanding roads as I can while I’m there. If you’ve ridden them before, you already know what I mean. If you haven’t ridden the north Georgia mountains on your motorcycle, you’re missing out. Get it on your bucket list.

I found myself with a window of opportunity to get out on the road yesterday as the supplies I need won’t arrive until today, so I dressed for the deluge and headed south. No doubt it was going to rain. I’d hoped for thunderstorms that would come and go, but the torrent was steady from noon till dusk.

North-Georgia-View

The hilly countryside is such a nice mix of rural scenes, wooded byways, and historic little towns.

I’m used to riding in all kinds of weather, and have spent so much of my time on the motorcycle riding in rain it just adds another dimension to the ride for me. I’ve found excellent tires that allow me to keep my usual “spirited pace” when carving through the wet curves, and the principal factor that limits is visibility. You can only go as fast as you can see the road ahead and at times yesterday it was so dark and the showers so heavy I had to yield to the conditions.

I set out with 29 new roads to explore. The focus is not to find the next great classic Georgia motorcycle ride, but to determine better ways to link the already well known great motorcycle rides together with good 2 lane back roads so you have the most flexibility on your travels. I’m not sure if I got to all of them. I’d printed a paper map before leaving and within a few hours it was in useless tatters. I did much of the exploring from memory. Once I review the GPS logs I’ll see if another trip is needed.

Here are a few roads you should know about:

photo-stopped-in-Suches

I paused in Suches at this once popular motorcycle stop - the convenience store is till open, but no gas any longer. I laid my gear out to dry and as soon as I did it started pouring again.

Boardtown Rd / Sugar Creek Rd are west of GA 515 running parallel to it between Ellijay and Blue Ridge. Not an outstanding ride, it does allow you to get off the 4 lane divided highway when passing through. Use Scenic Rd at the north end to go into Blue Ridge or connect to GA 5.

When coming south on GA 60 Spur from US 64/74, Hardscrabble Rd will bring you west of Morganton, Blue Ridge, and Mineral Bluff so you avoid the town traffic. Orton Rd / Johnsonville Rd / Mt. Pleasant Rd! are really twisty ways to access Hardscrabble Rd from US 64 / 74 but the pavement is bumpy and your suspension had better be excellent to fully enjoy these curves.

Connecting GA 60 and GA 5, Curtis Switch Rd takes you to the Taccoa River, then Galloway Rd makes a curvy run to rejoin GA 5 midway between Blue Ridge and Mccaysville. To reach GA 5 closer to Blue Ridge, hop onto Barnes Chapel Rd, though keep an eye open for Dills Rd – it’s much more fun.

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View from GA 60 south of Suches. There are awesome rides through those rainy hills. Come and do them!

Just north of the border in North Carolina, Martin’s Creek Rd snakes south from Murphy. Access it via Hiawassee River Rd on the south side of the river. The north end is devilishly tight with 10 mph curves, then it opens up as you proceed south. At the midpoint, Brasstown Rd is a really enjoyable romp east leading to a knot of great rides near Hayesville.

Finally, south of Suches where GA 60 meets US 19 at Porter Springs, Stone Pile Gap Rd is easily overlooked. A large and fancy “Ranch” sign makes it appear as if the road is a private entrance to the facility. It leads to Yahoola Rd / Black Mountain Rd which loop back towards Dahlonega. All are enjoyable though not outstanding cruiser rides. Don’t be tempted to make a run out Camp Washega Rd – it’s a really nice ride but dead ends at an Army Ranger Camp.

I plan to have the new version of Great Rides in the North Georgia Mountains ready in about a week.

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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 
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Alcohol Vote Great News For The Lodge at Copperhead Motorcycle Resort

Photo - Vote Yes Sign worked

They Voted YES! Alcohol sales are now legal in Union County, Georgia

Emerging from the transition to new ownership, Tuesdays vote to allow alcohol sales in Union County, Georgia, may be just the shot in the arm needed to get The Lodge at Copperhead Motorcycle Resort back up to speed. Located a few miles west of Blairsville just off US 515 / 76, The Lodge at Copperhead couldn’t be better located to serve as a base camp for those looking to ride the best motorcycle roads in north Georgia and I know of no other motorcycle resort in the region which offers the level of service and quality of accommodations found here – it’s simply outstanding.

Easy to reach for motorcycle riders in Atlanta, Charlotte, Columbia, and Chattanooga, and an already popular destination with the throngs of motorcycle touring enthusiasts in Florida, The Lodge at Copperhead sits in the heart of the best motorcycle riding in the Peach State and is within a convenient distance to the Dragon at Deals Gap and the wealth of great motorcycle rides across the border in Tennessee, North and South Carolina.

Photo - The Lodge at Copperhead

The Lodge at Copperhead Motorcycle Resort is under new ownership and ready for your visit.

Both lodge rooms and cabins are available. Specifically designed to serve the needs and desires of those on a motorcycle vacation, The Lodge at Copperhead offers the traveler a comfortable and luxurious setting to relax in after a day of enjoying the fantastic roads through the surrounding hills and mountains.

Look at those porches with the comfortable chairs, the pool table, and the outdoor fireplace, and imagine you and your friends enjoying a relaxing beverage from the bar as you talk of the days adventures and plan for more tomorrow. Take a dip in the pool during the summer heat, or cozy up to the fireplace inside the lodge on the cooler evenings in the big comfortable furnishings. Enjoy a great meal at the restaurant in the evening or stock up at breakfast for a full day of riding fun.

Photo - inside the Lodge at Copperhead

Comfortable, luxurious, and welcoming, relax in the lodge. Dining Room in the background.

Peaceful, relaxing, away from the crowds, traffic, and congestion found elsewhere, The Lodge at Copperhead is located almost square in the center of America Rides MapsThe Best Rides in the North Georgia Mountains“, the most complete map of more than 25 of the best mountain motorcycle rides in the state. Choose any direction and within minutes you’re cruising along the sweeping curves or carving your way through the winding back roads.

Photo - view of the porch at the Lodge at Copperhead

This is the mountains, so count on spending a lot of time enjoying the fresh air and good conversation on the porches. Note the fireplace in the corner.

Photo - porch at the Lodge at Copperhead

Plenty of room on the porches to find just the right spot.

Photo - the bar at the Lodge at Copperhead

The well equipped bar offers yet another cozy refuge.

The Lodge at Copperhead Motorcycle Resort is destined to become the premier motorcycle resort at the gateway to the Smoky Mountains and the thousands and thousands of miles of great two lane mountain roads which begin in the northern corner of Georgia.

Photo - view of the cabins at the Copperhead Motorycle Resort

If you're looking for more privacy ask about a cabin - close enough to walk to the facilities but distant enough to be apart from the activity.

Photo - the pool and stage at the Lodge at Copperhead

Enjoy the pool during the day and entertainment on some evenings. Notice the stage, the decks, and the grassy hill to view and enjoy the shows.

The Lodge at Copperheadhttp://TheLodgeAtCopperhead.com

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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

 

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