Bicycling the Blue Ridge A Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-05-10
  • Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press

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There is no ribbon of highway more ideal for cycling than the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway – they both entice the senses and physically challenge the body. The new edition of Bicycling the Blue Ridge continues as the definitive guide to this cyclist’s dream road, offering completely updated information on lodging, bike shops, campgrounds, road crossings, points of interest, bed and breakfasts, panoramic views, groceries, and more. Written with racers, touring cyclists, and recreational cyclists in mind, this milepost-by-milepost guide covers every inch of the 574-mile path between Front Royal, Virginia, and Cherokee, North Carolina.

Author Biography

Elizabeth and Charlie Skinner have spent the last 18 years bicycling, hiking, and exploring the Piedmont, foothills, and mountains of North Carolina. After a few years of awkward adventures with very young children, their two daughters, Caroline and Katie, can now cycle without training wheels. So, if readers are cycling on the Parkway and they see the Skinner caravan, they should say "Hello." The Skinners live in Pfafftown, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface ix
Part 1: An Introduction to Bicycling the Blue Ridge
The Ultimate Bicycling Road
Weather in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Camping versus Lodging
Gearing Up: Special Equipment and Clothing
Part 2: Point-by-Point Descriptions
An Explanation of Our Point-by-Point Descriptions
The Skyline Drive
Front Royal to Thornton Gap
Thornton Gap to Swift Run Gap
Swift Run Gap to Rockfish Gap
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Rockfish Gap to James River Visitor Center
James River Visitor Center to Roanoke Mountain
Roanoke Mountain to Mabry Mill
Mabry Mill to Cumberland Knob
Cumberland Knob to Northwest Trading Post
Northwest Trading Post to Linville Falls
Linville Falls to Craggy Gardens
Craggy Gardens to Mount Pisgah
Mount Pisgah to Cherokee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Part 3: Appendices
Appendix A: Bicycle Shops
Appendix B: For More Information
Appendix C: Major Elevation Gains
Index 155

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Craggy Gardens to Asheville
Get ready for some fun! You have a solid ten miles of spectacular downhill into Asheville. You'll gain it back if you are cycling on to Mt. Pisgah, but for now, enjoy. Pisgah National Forest spreads its lush blanket of green as far as the eye can see. The Swannanoa River Valley and the town of Black Mountain are to the east.

Known as "The Land of the Sky," Asheville is the quintessential city of the Blue Ridge. With a population of 160,000, it has become an urban center in its own right. Its burgeoning size warrants some careful directions on how to get around. We suggest you take one of two routes to reach the inner city. Town Mountain Road leads to downtown Asheville and two bike shops. The route through Biltmore Forest situates you best for the Biltmore Estate. A third route is best for reaching the airport. We outline each route below.

Of modern design in wood and stone, the Folk Art Center sits serenely in its mountain setting. If you appreciate fine handicrafts, you will want several hours to spend here. Bring your credit card, because the artsy jewelry, hand-loomed fabrics, and original pottery are expensive. The Folk Art Center also has an extensive selection of books on the southern highlands.

There are numerous tourist attractions in Asheville. The Biltmore Estate, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and home, and the seasonal festivals held in Asheville are all reasons to spend some time in the city. If you plan on touring Asheville, you may want to write the Asheville Travel and Tourism Office for detailed information.
365.5 Craggy Flats Tunnel (400 ft.)
374.4 Tanbark Ridge Tunnel (780 ft.)
377.4 Craven Gap (elev. 3,132 ft.)

Excerpted from Bicycling the Blue Ridge, 4th: A Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway by Elizabeth Skinner, Charlie Skinner
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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