Author Topic: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour  (Read 3554 times)

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Offline grog8797

Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« on: January 13, 2010, 10:11:28 am »
Some friends and I are planning a May ride of the entire Blue Ridge Parkway/Skyline drive route beginning in Cherokee and ending in Front Royal. Logistics are tough as train and bus service is very limited. I did find that Greyhoud has a stop about 20 miles from Cherokee, but my friends don't want the hassle of packing our bikes and dependence on the bus. Two of us are coming from Ohio and the other two from Virginia/DC area. The tentative plan is for all of us to drive to Front Royal and leave one vehicle there. We will then drive together to Cherokee, leaving the other vehicle there and bicycling back to Front Royal.

I'm aware that Skyline Drive cyclists are being encouraged to park at the relatively new Eastham park/Front Royal boat landing as they have a gravel lot, but I'm not aware of policy for long term as I'll be parked there well over a week. I plan to make some calls to verfiy but any info on that lot or others would be helpful.

As far as parking around the southern terminus of the BRP, I see there are several parking Great Smoky Moutain Nat Park lots located along route 441 hardly a mile from the start of the BRP near Cherokee. Closest to the start of the BRP is the goal, so this area would be ideal, but not sure about leaving a vehicle there for over a week. I plan to inquire with someone with the NPS to get the OK first. I understand there are risks for leaving vehicles in public for long periods, but we will take small measures to minimize risk plus are planning to use 'expendable beater' vehicles, and don't park hikers use such areas too? Any input from my biking brethern is appreciated.

Grog

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 08:10:37 pm »
I have parked on three occasions for week-long tours at the Front Royal PD. Call to arrange in advance. There is no safer place than this, in sight of the PD front door.

Fred

Offline briwasson

Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 11:51:29 am »
I would think Shenandoah National Park would allow you to park long-term at one of their lots if you let them know that you are doing so. I've done multi-day backpacking trips in SNP and always leave my car in NP lots. The only difference is that they know I'm doing so because I get a backcountry permit. Call a SNP ranger station and inquire. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, for example, is about five miles from Front Royal (all uphill!). You could probably long-term park there.

Also consider a shuttle service for hikers. One I've heard recommended is "Mountain and Valley Shuttle Service" (I've never used them myself). See http://www.mvshuttle.com/ Have them pick up the drivers in Front Royal at the end of the trip.

Finally, you could check into renting a car one-way to shuttle drivers back to the start point.

Offline trout

Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 09:13:21 pm »
Hey grog,
I live near the southern terminous of the BRP, about 45 minutes from Cherokee. I don't see why you couldn't leave your vehicle at the Oconoluftee Visitor's Center very near the start of the BRP. Check with them, see what they say. If not, I've got friends in Cherokee, send me a PM, I'll see what I can come up with.

Offline grog8797

Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 09:13:34 am »
Thank you for the good advice everyone, and Trout, thanks for the offer. I like the police station idea for Front Royal but have options there. Oconalufteee center is a good location but will make calls in the weeks before to confirm.

Offline Atilla

Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 08:49:13 pm »
I am planning a solo ride of the Skyline Drive/BRP starting at Front Royal and ending at Mt Mitchell/Asheville. I too will be seeking week long parking at the Northern end of Skyline.  My start date is around mid Sept '12. I will call the Front Royal PD, and I will also see if the hotel I am staying at my first night will accommodate me, as I will stay another night there on the return trip in a one-way rental car.

Any input is appreciated

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 06:24:43 am »
I have twice left a couple of cars at the Front Royal PD after calling in advance. They put us right across the driveway from their front door. Talk about security!

Fred