Author Topic: Connecting to TransAm from Waynesville/Asheville NC area  (Read 750 times)

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Offline sclarke

Connecting to TransAm from Waynesville/Asheville NC area
« on: April 04, 2013, 10:48:53 am »
Hi all, I'm planning a cross country trip mostly on the TransAM. I'm flying to a brother's house in Waynesville, NC, and from there I'm looking at routes to Damascus, VA. From google maps I see two basic routes:

1) Parallel the 40 to Marion, then take a bit of the Blue Ridge Pkwy and go north more or less on the 421 and 91.
2) Cut northwest from Waynesville, take the 23 to near Johnson City, 91 and then 133.

The second one is 20 miles shorter, elevation gain/loss about equal for both, although the second one seems to have steeper grades.

From what I saw of street-level view didn't look like any shoulder on most of this, although I'm not sure if much traffic or not.

Can anyone give any feedback on a good route to Damascus?, or alternatively another point on TransAm further west.

Offline DanE

Re: Connecting to TransAm from Waynesville/Asheville NC area
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 11:45:28 am »
I would suggest taking the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Doughton Park/ Sparta, NC area where the Parkway intersects with NC Bike Route 4. Follow bicycle route 4 west where it will end at the Va state line near Mouth of Wilson, Va and US 58, it's about 1000 yards from the VA border to the US 58 intersection. Follow US 58 west for about 40 miles and you will be in Damascus, Va. Somewhere before you get to Damascus the Trans Am route will join US 58.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is difficult but a wonderful place to ride. Bike Route 4 maps are available from the NC DOT: http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/mappubs/bikemaps/default.html and the routes are usually signed but signs can be missing.

US 58 is very rural in this area and if you wish you could follow the Virginia Creeper Trail, a rail trail conversion at Green Cove, VA and follow it into Damascus.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Connecting to TransAm from Waynesville/Asheville NC area
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 02:01:27 pm »
Dan's suggestion of the Blue Ridge Parkway is viable, but it's going to be tough -- you'd start by going over the highest point of the BRP, a bit over 6,000'.  A hard way to get started!

Do a search for Mark Boyd's tours, as he's done a fair number starting out of Asheville.  I'd get a brother to drive to Asheville or preferably Mars Hill if you're going over 23 or 19.  The direct route from Waynesville to Hot Springs is way curvy  and hilly, from what I hear -- 5 hours drive for 30 miles!?  I-40 west is a no-go unless you hitch a ride to Tennessee; no shoulders, heavy traffic, and BTW it's illegal on a bike (for good reason).

19E can be a bit busy for my taste, depending on day of week and time of day, but it is beautiful.  Avoid NC 226 unless you're a glutton for punishment.

(Disclaimer: I haven't gone over 23/19W since they started interstate 26, though I'd expect low / local traffic on 23.)  If you take 23 or 19W into Tennessee, TN 91/133 through Shady Valley is quite pleasant after you get out of the Elizabethton suburbs, and takes you straight into Damascus.

Offline sclarke

Re: Connecting to TransAm from Waynesville/Asheville NC area
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 01:20:41 pm »
Thanks for info! Really helpful to have some local perspective. The "get a ride from my brother" part sounds like the most appealing option, at least to get over the first set of hills, but it's a work day I'm starting on.

I'm aware the 40 is not available, I'm referring to local roads that parallel it. That particular part I'm actually kind of familiar with, I lived in Asheville for about a year.

Right now I'm thinking more of the second route, hilly but I don't think there is going to be any route that isn't, for obvious reasons. It looked like a bit more pleasant ride overall from the scenery perspective.