Foothills Parkway

Discussion in 'MINIs on the Dragon 11 (May 1 - 5, 2013) - TN / NC' started by Nathan, May 7, 2013.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
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    In all the years I've been going to MOTD I'd never driven the Foothills Parkway. What a mistake that has been. This year I went up and back twice. Once on my own to scout the Donuts on the Dragon Run and then again during the event. The Foothills Parkway section we drove is 16.5-mile leg traversing the western flank of Chilhowee Mountain in Blount County, connecting US-129 along the Chilhowee Lake impoundment of the Little Tennessee River with U.S. Route 321 in the town of Walland.

    The road consists mostly of broad sweeping turns that climb, run along the ridge line and descend. Multiple turnoffs are on both sides affording some incredible views. The speed limit is 45 with a short stretch down to 25 near the turnoff for Look Rock. One can easily keep a steady 65 across the entire length of the road and still be well below the capabilities of MINI. We did just that on the return leg of the Donut Run. The pace was nice, at that speed there are no real pucker moments. I had the occasion to lead, mostly because when we pulled off 321 onto the Parkway those in front of me didn't follow the slight right that puts one back on the parkway. You have to see the north end at 321 to really understand how the road ends there. Even at less than Blimey Tour of Terror speeds the road is a hoot. I only had to tap the brakes a few times on some of the downhill section with blind corners.

    If you've not driven the road I highly recommend it. Make some of the stops too, the views are incredible.


    Wiki Article on the road - Foothills Parkway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  2. 05r50

    05r50 Well-Known Member

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    I agree Nathan. That was the most fun I had at MOTD this year. Problem was I was trying to catch the elusive Dave.O :cool:
     
  3. cooperjet

    cooperjet Well-Known Member

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    I agree. We left on Sunday via the parkway. Kids got to drive through the clouds and we even saw some wild turkey crossing the road.
     
  4. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
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    Every time I'm down there I drive that road along with the others that I love. So many great roads in the Smokies. One thing to remember about the Parkway, it is an expensive federal ticket should you get busted.
     
  5. Justa Jim

    Justa Jim Well-Known Member
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    You let the kids drive? No wounder they had a great time. You are the number one dad, for sure. :D

    Jim
     
  6. IMGRFX

    IMGRFX Club Coordinator

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    I love Foothills parkway. And the unfinished part closed to cars is nice for hiking and biking.
     
  7. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2009
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    Next thing, you'll be bringing the horse trailer and your "kids"....:devil:
     
  8. B.A.D.

    B.A.D. Club Coordinator

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    Nick and I ran it on our way back from donuts and it was basically empty. Then again, so was our run on the Dragon.
     
  9. LowCountry S

    LowCountry S Active Member

    May 14, 2009
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    was definitely one of the best runs I've done up there for years! that road is always a blast to drive (I think there might even be video of the run there and back..............(someone was running gopro I do believe)
     
  10. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    That was a great run over the foothills, post donut run. :aureola::D:devil:
     
  11. travellering

    travellering New Member

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    Definitely be aware of cyclists there though! Another great road that may be a little rougher (as in watch out if your mini is "stanced") is Happy Valley Road that links to 129 just the other side of the little inlet from foothills parkway. It crosses the same ridge as foothills parkway, but where Foothills takes 9 miles to climb it, Happy Valley does it in just under 3!
     
  12. zinvestor

    zinvestor Active Member

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    I have been using the Parkway going to and leaving for the last 3 years. I know someone who got one of those federal tickets for doing 50 in a 45 zone and between the fine and court expenses it was over $600. I always peg my cruise to 43 and slow down in the 25 zone whichis about .5 miles.
     
  13. Scotty

    Scotty New Member

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    And it was a pleasure meeting you guys at the dragon scenic overlook after your donut run. Nathan, thanks for the donut!
     
  14. CHKMINI

    CHKMINI Club Coordinator
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    I'm editing those videos and plan to have them ready within the week.
     
  15. versus

    versus Active Member

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    Note to self, must hit the donut run next year.
     
  16. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    ... And if you stay on Happy Valley Road and go UNDER the Parkway, you go back DOWN the mountain in about a mile and a half, and can climb back up... it's epic.

    ScreenShot2012-10-10at105150AM_zps20dda524.png

    And I second the comment about tickets on the Foothills Parkway. Beautiful road... but there are so many good roads up there where you can drive as you wish with no LEO presence... that road is NOT one of them... I know several folks who have had expensive encounters with the park police. I personally won't go more than 9 over on that road...
     
  17. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
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    That's a nice drive Paul. A couple of years ago I took Happy Valley & ended up going down the other side of the mountain. Getting lost can lead one to wonderful roads. :D Remember this old bumper sticker?

    "Discover America Get Lost on a Rally"
     
  18. mrntd

    mrntd Well-Known Member
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    I was a great drive more sweepers than than the tight curves of the dragon. There is an advantage of getting on the road at 0dark30. It's empty.
     
  19. hanyssa

    hanyssa New Member

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    Carol and I drove Happy Valley Rd after the donut run. It made me happy!
     
  20. jgc_tn

    jgc_tn New Member

    Apr 21, 2013
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    Thx........we here in TN are proud of our Parkways :wink:

    Guess it would not be so nice of me to rub it in that I get to drive just about any of them on any given day.........Oh heck!!! I am rubbing it in!!!!! :biggrin5:

    Enjoyed my 1st MOTD & have my room for next year!! :Thumbsup:

    :cornut:

    And yes Nathan, I am a girl!! :lol::lol::lol: Nice meeting you guys! :Thumbsup:
     

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