Alternative Routes to Fontana Village

Discussion in 'MINIs on the Dragon 8 (April 28 - May 2, 2010)' started by Snooter, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Snooter

    Snooter Club Coordinator

    May 6, 2009
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    For those of you not aware, there is rockslide that currently has "The Dragon" section of US129 temporarily closed down. We are hoping that everything will be cleared by our event. But just in case it is not, several folks have asked about how is the best way to get to Fontana Village without using the Dragon. I've created a new page on the Dragon Website HERE with some helpfull hints. And of course feel free to pm or email with any specific questions.
     
  2. kgdblu

    kgdblu Active Member

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    Excellent job! :Thumbsup:
     
  3. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

    Jun 24, 2009
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    Thanks Barry!
    Hopefully this won't even be an issue, but who knows :rolleyes:
     
  4. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    For those of us coming from the west along 40 here is an alternate as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. RoadRoar

    RoadRoar New Member
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    #5 RoadRoar, Mar 24, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
    This year will be my fifth trip down to the MOTD but I've never been able to get away from my vendor activities to drive very much of the other fine roads the area has to offer. Guess
    this is the year! I've heard others tell of some nearby backroads that almost equal the Dragon. I will email the Gov. also to see if there's any hope of speeding up the work.
     
  6. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2009
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    This is the way I am planning to come from Ohio. Gotta get that Cherohala drive in every time I go to the Dragon! This way, I'll just stay on I-75 thru Knoxville, get off at Sweetwater and come on over to Fontana! YAY!
     
  7. FranticFreddy

    FranticFreddy Drive-N-Eat
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  8. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

    Jun 24, 2009
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    Thanks!
    That may work for me coming from PA :Thumbsup:

     
  9. Sir Tyne

    Sir Tyne Club Coordinator

    Mar 21, 2010
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    Good scenic route if you want to enjoy some twistys and a very pretty ride through Maggie Valley and Cherokee on the way.

    However, if you are running a little late on your trip and want to shorten it up by 1/2 to 3/4 hour, stay ong US-74 when getting off I-40 at exit 27. This will put you on the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway all the way past Bryson City to the turn on SR-28 to Fontana.
     
  10. Mol

    Mol New Member

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    For what it is worth...

    Folks coming from the North.

    I see that GPSs and Google Maps is suggesting the route 441 thru Gatlinburg as an alternate route since 129 is closed. From personal experience I know the traffic on this road (Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg) is horrible. GPS units and Google maps don't know about tourist traffic. After a long drive no one wants to sit in traffic so I asked my East TN Rider peeps:

    "Which route would be fastest coming from north of Knoxville to the Dragon: The Cherohala Skyway or 441 ?"

    100% of those replying recommended against 441!

    Here's a couple responses I got:

    "I really don't know which would be fastest but 441 has always been a pain with all the traffic to me. I would use the Cherohala anytime I had the chance."

    "Skyway for sure. Splatlinburg sucks."

    "My first trip to the Dragon from here in Ohio, I came in through Gatlinburg and 441. I couldn't believe how much traffic I ran into through Gatlinburg... crazy...and I happen to be in the wrong lane for 441 and nobody would let me over..finally made it on to 441 heading to Cherokee and it was bumper to bumper thru that very twisty and scenic section of 441. I've also come down from the Sweetwater area and across the Skyway... much better way to go IMHO."


    ALSO:
    I noticed on the official MOTD map for coming across the Cherohala Skyway:
    Exit 60 on 75 is Hwy 68 to Telico Plains...165 to 143...

    Then is has you making a left onto 129 and heading up to the Dragon and then taking 23 (Hellbender) to Fontana.

    A much better way is to
    Turn RIGHT on 129 towards Robbinsville (fill up on gas, it's gonna be the cheapest you'll find while you are in Dragon territory)
    Turn left at second light onto 143 (stop at Ingles for groceries and beer if needed).
    Turn left at the stop sign onto 28.
    Turn left at the second stop sign. Into fontana you go.


    Squirlz and I will be taking the route I describe above (we are bring both MINIs).

    We can all cross our fingers they get the one lane of 129 open by the time we all head home so we don't have to detour out of Fontana as well.

    I hope this is of help to you.
     
  11. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

    Jun 24, 2009
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    Thanks.....
    Google Maps had me on 441 to 74.
     
  12. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    Cherahola Skyway is a really nice drive too...I'm looking forward to coming in this way.
     
  13. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    May 4, 2009
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    For those coming from the north on I-81, here's an alternate route that let's you sample "The Snake" (US 421 through Shady Valley, TN) on the way. It's an extra hour... but The Snake is thought by many to be the equal of, or better than, The Dragon.

    Wytheville, VA to Fontana Village, NC - Google Maps

    I drove it the past few days and it really is a spectacular road.
     
  14. kgdblu

    kgdblu Active Member

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    Thanks for the heads up about 441. That's the way we were planning to go. I guess even on a Sunday the traffic would be bad...Looks like it's gonna have to be I26 to 74 to 19...
     
  15. Mol

    Mol New Member

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    Especially on a Sunday the traffic will be bad. It's all tourons.
     
  16. Sir Tyne

    Sir Tyne Club Coordinator

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    All good except for the Beer stop at Ingles in Robbinsville. Graham County is dry, so you need to get the alcohol before you get there, or go to Bryson City.
     
  17. Mol

    Mol New Member

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    Really, I could have sworn I bought beer there before. I know for a fact that you can buy beer at the general store at Fontana and the Hellbender store/gas station right on the edge of Fontana.
     
  18. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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  19. Mol

    Mol New Member

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    ah... right , right... a "resort" can sell liquor. Which is why Thr Deals Gap resort put in a tennis court and "stables" last years so they could sell beer. To be an official "resort" you have to have a tennis court or pool or stables.
     

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