Motorcycle Friendly – Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Deals Gap

Photo - Iron Horse Lodge Sign

Ok, so the flash washed out the sign lettering - it's really easy to see, evidently reflective, so also at night.

I found myself back in Deals Gap today making another run on The Dragon. For the first time in a long time I did not see any troopers on the road, though I behaved myself nonetheless. It was a nice day for it, hot, dry, and the road was clean making for some nice carving. Stopping at the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort, I ran into Bill Kneigge leading a group for Edelweiss Tours – that guy gets around.

Photo - The Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge

The Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge

On the way home I stopped in at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge near Stecoah. As I live so close, I’ve never had the need to take a campsite on my motorcycle vacation to ride the Dragon, and I’ve always ridden by in the past. It was mid afternoon and I had time to spare so I decided to check it out for myself.

Photo - Grounds at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge

The stream in back of the lodge building.

The turn off NC 28 is well marked and it’s easy to find the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge on Lower Stecoah Road. First impression as you enter is the place is it’s really nice. I pulled up in front of the main building and found it to be even nicer inside. Large open comfortable roomy lodge building to hang out in. Well manicured grounds with a rushing creek through the heart of it. Everything is in top condition, looks new, and it’s a very pleasant atmosphere. I found the bathrooms clean, the showers looked nice, nothing out of place. It appears to be a very well run motorcycle resort and campground.

Photo - inside view of the Lodge building

A view of the Lodge interior. It's huge with several rooms you can group into.

Yet it’ so much more than that – there are some really nice cabins and rooms available, RV hookups, a store and cantina, and breakfast and dinner meals available for the campers with something special like prime rib on Saturday nights. I met Charlene Powell, one of the owners, and spoke to a few patrons. Everyone was very happy regardless who I ran into, even what must have been the hired help were smiling.

Photo - Check in and store at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge

Check in and gift store at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge

While I’ve not actually stayed there, I’m impressed enough from a quick visit to recommend the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge as a good place to stay near Robbinsville and base out of to ride the Dragon or any of the hundreds and hundreds of miles of great motorcycle rides in the area. Icing on the cake was discovered when I turned left out of the driveway instead of right (back to NC 28) and enjoyed a really nice little loop ride that returns to NC 28 a couple miles north of NC 143.

Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge –
Phone: 828-479-4589

John and Charlene Powell
1755 Lower Stecoah Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771


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 –



Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Vacation Touring – Rider’s Roost

Rider’s Roost Motorcycle Resort & Campground is located not far from Boone, NC, near the midpoint of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It offers the motorcycle touring rider an affordable and comfortable place to bed down for the night, whether it’s in a tent or rental cabin. It’s an exclusively motorcycle resort so you won’t be dealing with blaring RV generators or throngs of kids running through your camp, and it could make a great place to spend part of your motorcycle vacation.

It’s more than just another motorcycle campground, for some it’s a must stop touring destination. Comedy nights, pig roasts, live entertainment, a central pavilion with a game room offer lots of ways to shake the kinks out after a day on the great roads in the surrounding area. Take a dip in the river or just settle down to watch the sunset, get into touch with home via wifi.

It just off NC221, and while I haven’t stayed there yet, it’s been highly recommended. I’m planning to visit next time I’m staying up that way on my motorcycle tours. Texas Ron has a nice testimonial in one of his blog posts –

“Riders Roost was a great Bike Campground, No cages, no kids, no hassles. Uncle Roy and Mary really know how to take care of “motorcycle pilots”. “The Road goes on forever and the party never ends.” I think that’s the Roosts motto or it should be. There’s a perfect little river that runs through the camp ground and in the rocks is a place that is like natures recliners, complete with moss to scratch the back. The water temperature is cool but after riding all day in the sun and heat….man what a refreshing way to relax and wash the road off ya. Most gather at the party headquarters located under the pavilion/game room. There is a pool table and darts to keep one entertained. This is also where the midnight auction is held too. What a way to start an adventure.”

Get more info at the Riders Roost web site at

For the most detailed motorcycle ride maps of the area see