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Old 10-05-2014, 08:11 AM   #1
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Blue Ridge Parkway - Anyone know it well?

Looking to hop on to Skyline Drive -- drive it for a few hours and hop off and continue south on 81. Anyone know a good place to jump back on 81?

Just trying to make a drive from NJ to Florida a bit more interesting...
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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Fort Royal to Waynes Burgoh (?sp), do the whole thing.

Both are going to require driving 45 mins east from 81. No getting around that. 81 is down in the valley on the west side of the Blue Ridge there.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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Don't know how far down 81 you are going but you could stay on the parkway to Ashville NC. Go to 26 to 85 south thru Atlanta and you really have not gone out of your way plus the parkway drive is beautiful.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:33 AM   #4
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I wanted to pick up 77 south actually. Any idea how long of a drive it is from front royal to fancy gap via the blue ridge parkway? Google maps won't cooperate and give me a route via the blue ridge parkway.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:46 AM   #5
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The parkway doesn't start until outside of charlottesville and to the fancy gap exit is 199 miles. TRUST ME YOU DON'T WANT TO TAKE THE FANCY GAP EXIT to get to 77. Trucks are not allowed on that road and there is a reason, would not be an enjoyable pull with a camper.
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Old 10-05-2014, 08:51 AM   #6
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try adding a location along the middle of the BR parkway. next week i'm going to try the 81s>roanoke,va>florence,sc route but i'll be towing. 77 has a bunch of hills. it does seem to be the fastest route.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamdreamn View Post
The parkway doesn't start until outside of charlottesville and to the fancy gap exit is 199 miles. TRUST ME YOU DON'T WANT TO TAKE THE FANCY GAP EXIT to get to 77. Trucks are not allowed on that road and there is a reason, would not be an enjoyable pull with a camper.

On our way back, we'll be staying one night at the fancy gap KOA. We'll be coming up 77 to get there. See any issues with that? We will have our 28' in tow
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:06 AM   #8
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There is one big hill on 77. It's a long grade and I've pulled it many times with and without my trailer. Just watch yourself going down so things don't get away from you. By the time you get there you'll have a lot of up / down driving but this one will probably be the longest grade. It's interstate wide so there's lots of room. There is a by-pass around Charlotte that is real nice. Southbound it is on the north side of town and makes a loop to the west towards the airport. Take it. You won't be sorry. Unless your GPS and/or maps are current it may not show up.

Drive carefully. See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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I live about an hour south of Fancy Gap. I've been traveling the parkways since I was a child. I have traveled the entire length of both the Skyline and Blue Ridge many times. I drive on the BRP at least 2-3 times per month during summer, but only occasionally on the Skyline.

The times I'm going to tell you do not include time you will spend stopping at overlooks and using facilities.

Driving the entire length of Skyline straight through from Front Royal to I-64 is about a 2.5 hour drive. Towing might be slightly slower. At the end of the Skyline you can hop over to 81 by going on I-64, about 15 minutes away.

The BRP continues southwest where the Skyline ends. Driving straight through on the BRP from I-64 to US-220 near Roanoke normally takes a little over 4 hours, towing maybe 4.5. You can get back on I-81 by going north on US-220, through Roanoke, about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.

From US-220 continuing southwest to Fancy Gap is about 2 hours, towing about 2.5. When you get off the parkway at Fancy Gap go north on US-52 then left when you see the I-77 sign. It's about 5 minutes to the interstate. I recommend that you do not go south on US-52. It's steep, curvy, not pleasant towing going down. Towing up is ok. I-77 is steep also, with heavy traffic, but way better than US-52.

If I knew which way you were traveling and when, I could recommend camping places.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:32 AM   #10
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I also drive from my home in NC to just south of Orlando two or thee times per year. I started traveling these roads to Florida to take my parents to their winter home 25 years ago when they could no longer drive, so I know those roads well. PM me if you want, I'll be glad to help if I can.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomotomoto View Post
On our way back, we'll be staying one night at the fancy gap KOA. We'll be coming up 77 to get there. See any issues with that? We will have our 28' in tow
I was typing before so I did not see this post.
In mid November you could, there's a very good chance you will, get into very cold uncomfortable conditions on the BRP. It was below freezing up there last night. The elevation changes abruptly upward about 2,000 feet from the piedmont to the Blue Ridge.
The term "gap" means a low spot in the mountains, so the BRP will be going upward from any gap in both directions. If there happens to be freezing rain, sleet, or snow the gates to the BRP at the Fancy Gap entrance could be closed during the inclement weather.
It is very common for the temperature to be 10 to 15 degrees colder on the BRP than it is at the bottom of the mountain. That's why I go there in the summer.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I also drive from my home in NC to just south of Orlando two or thee times per year. I started traveling these roads to Florida to take my parents to their winter home 25 years ago when they could no longer drive, so I know those roads well. PM me if you want, I'll be glad to help if I can.
Thanks A W Warn -- we are traveling mid november from Orlando up to NJ.

On the way down, we won't have the trailer, so no too stressed there.

On the way back. Plenty of STRESS!! This is my planned route from Florida:

1. 95 North to 26 (think it's west)

2. 26 to 77

3. 77 to 81

We'll be spending one night in Hilton Head, One night at Fancy gap KOA and on last night at a horse farm in Virgina. From there back to NJ.

Looks like the fancy gap KOA is pretty much right off 77 and I won't have to mess with 54.

Think that's a good plan?
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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Sounds like fun! Those locations are some of my favorites!

I'll be going south about the same time you are. But not the same route. My Excella is already in FL. I winterized the Safari yesterday. It stays in NC for the winter.

You might want to fill up the propane tanks and get some antifreeze before getting up north into the mountains. Though, I hope these warnings I'm giving of cold weather turn out to be all wrong. (but be prepared, just in case). There can also be good travel days on the BRP in the dead of winter!

add edit: At the FG KOA you are about 15 minutes from the Andy Griffith museum at Mt Airy (Mayberry, if you are an Andy fan).
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I was typing before so I did not see this post.
In mid November you could, there's a very good chance you will, get into very cold uncomfortable conditions on the BRP. It was below freezing up there last night. The elevation changes abruptly upward about 2,000 feet from the piedmont to the Blue Ridge.
The term "gap" means a low spot in the mountains, so the BRP will be going upward from any gap in both directions. If there happens to be freezing rain, sleet, or snow the gates to the BRP at the Fancy Gap entrance could be closed during the inclement weather.
It is very common for the temperature to be 10 to 15 degrees colder on the BRP than it is at the bottom of the mountain. That's why I go there in the summer.
Yes, I was afraid of that! On the way down, we won't have the trailer -- so I'll drive the skyline to 64 --> 81

On the way home to NJ from Florida, I won't be using the Blue Ridge Parkway at all. From my understanding the Fancy Gap KOA is only a few minutes off 77. Is there a chance that we won't be able to access the fancy Gap KOA from 77?

Thanks again for all the help!

You'd think we would have picked an easier first trip with our airstream!
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