DAY RIDE TO THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY AND SOCO FALLS

Pamo is ready to ride!

Pamo is ready to ride!

 

On Wednesday, August 13, 2014, we took another Day Ride. Our destination was the Blue Ridge Parkway and Soco Falls in North Carolina.

 

Jeff talks about our plan in this short video:

We left our home in North Knoxville at 9:45am. It was cool and the skies were blue. We both wore light weight jackets and half helmets.

We took Alcoa Highway to Maryville, then 411 south. We stopped to fill our tanks and get a snack, then proceeded south on 411 to Madisonville. In Madisonville, we took 68 heading through Tellico Plains and into Coker Creek. We stopped along the way for a few photos and to layer up on this cool August day.

Beautiful Coker Creek community.

Beautiful Coker Creek community.

We said hello to some sweet donkeys while we were there.

We said hello to some sweet donkeys while we were there.

Jeff talks about our ride so far in this short video:

We continued south on 68. Just before Turtletown we took 123/294. 294 took us to Hiwassee Dam. Hiwassee Dam is yet another spectacularly beautiful site with beautiful well kept grounds. Here are some photos from our visit:

The parking lot at Hiwassee Dam.

The parking lot at Hiwassee Dam.

The dam. Amazing engineering!

The dam. Amazing engineering!

View of other side of dam.

View of other side of dam.

The water here is breath taking.

The water here is breath taking.

Here’s a short video at the dam. The audio isn’t good, but it’s gives you another view of the surroundings.

Put Hiwassee Dam on your ‘to visit’ list. It’s gorgeous!

After our stop at the dam, we continued on 294 which took us to 64/74 just west of Murphy. We then rode through Murphy stopping briefly for a few photos:

Downtown Murphy.

Downtown Murphy.

Historic site in downtown Murphy.

Statuesque building in downtown Murphy.

We then took 64 east. 64 is a beautiful road that winds through the Nantahala National Forest and eventually into Franklin.

Overlook off 64 looking down toward Franklin.

Overlook off 64 looking down toward Franklin.

Scenic view from the overlook on 64.

Scenic view from the overlook on 64.

When we reached Franklin, we were 165 miles into the ride and it was just before 3pm. We found the Kountry Kitchen and stopped for a late lunch.

Kountry Kitchen in Franklin, NC.

Kountry Kitchen in Franklin, NC.

Nice setting with friendly service.

Nice setting with friendly service.

The food here is GREAT! Be sure to check out the Kountry Kitchen next time you're in Franklin.

The food here is GREAT! Be sure to check out the Kountry Kitchen next time you’re in Franklin.

After lunch, we rode through Franklin, then took 441 north into Sylvan and then to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It’s always fun to photograph the signs.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is spectacular with some of the best views of the mountains.

Jeff starts us out with these two short videos:

Here are some photos of the Blue Ridge Parkway:

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Our second stop.

Our second stop.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Jeff is speechless!

Jeff is speechless!

Video from the Waterrock Knob Visitor Center:

Overlook at the Visitor Center.

Overlook at the Visitor Center.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Selfie on the Ridge.

Selfie on the Ridge.

After our stop and gawk at the Visitors Center we traveled a short way to 19 to see Soco Falls.

Entrance to Soco Falls.

Entrance to Soco Falls.

Soco Falls is just 1.5 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Parking at the head of the trail is a very small gravel pull off with room for seven or eight cars. We hiked the short distance to the falls overlook.

Hike to the overlook is steep.

Hike to the overlook is steep.

Jeff shoots video of our trek to Soco Falls:

View from the overlook deck.

View from the overlook deck.

Soco Falls.

Soco Falls.

Another view of Soco Falls.

Another view of Soco Falls.

After Soco Falls we took 19 into Cherokee where we stopped for a snack and break.

Outdoor area in Cherokee. Beautiful spot for a break.

Outdoor area in Cherokee. Beautiful spot for a break.

After our brief stop we took 441 out of Cherokee and came across a bunch of folks pulled off to the side of the road. They were watching a small group of fifteen or so Elk located only a few yards off the road. We pulled over to gawk too.

Elk grazing and lounging.

Elk grazing and lounging.

Another view.

Another view.

This is the king!

This is the king!

A closer view of this beautiful creature.

A closer view of this beautiful creature.

Jeff is so happy to see these Elk!

Jeff is so happy to see these Elk!

Standing so close to these beautiful creatures was an amazing moment for us and everyone else along the road. Friendly Park Rangers were there keeping the Elk away from the crowd. We felt very fortunate to get to view these grand creatures.

After visiting with the Elk, we continued north on 441. It was getting late in the day with cloud cover and downright cold. We pulled over again at the Newfound Gap overlook to layer up.

Newfound Gap parking lot.

Newfound Gap parking lot.

View from Newfound Gap.

View from Newfound Gap.

After layering up with heavier gloves and fleece face masks we took 441 over the mountain and back into Tennessee. We took 73 through the mountain to Townsend where we stopped for gas and to shed a few layers.

Heading home.

Heading home.

From Townsend we rode through Maryville and back to Knoxville. We got home at 9:15pm and our total ride was 328 miles. What a great day!

We wrap up the day in this video:

You can see our entire list of Day Rides HERE.

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2 Responses to DAY RIDE TO THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY AND SOCO FALLS

  1. janbintn says:

    That was Classic! You two are living the Life!! Good job of showing those of us less adventurous folks how it should be done!!!

    • Pam Huggins says:

      Jan- you are too kind dear one. Thank you for following along!
      It was a terrific day and even better when we get to share it with folks like you.
      Have a great rest of the weekend.

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