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Old 07-02-2011, 03:57 AM   #1
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Which route to Asheville from Chattanooga?

Hi Guys,

We're heading to Asheville, NC for a long camping weekend soon. Should we stick to towing the interstates 75 and 40 or take google maps suggestion of route 74 out of Cleveland, Tn? The interstate route looks a bit further but the scenic route may be a challenge towing a trailer. Any thoughts or recommendations appreciated


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Old 07-02-2011, 05:22 AM   #2
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Take the scenic route along 74. We did in May. It is a bit slower, hilly, much more interesting. Jack

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Old 07-02-2011, 06:48 AM   #3
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To Asheville

Second opinion:

bit slower = traffic, lights, intersections

hilly = slow, more gas, lots of low gear

much more interesting = this part I agree, there is stuff to see, not generic US interstate

Depends if you are wanting to get were you are wanting to go, or whether you are wanting the experience of getting there.

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Old 07-02-2011, 08:28 AM   #4
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I traveled Chattanooga to Asheville - with a jog over to Hiawassee, Georgia for the Springstream Rally - this past March. This was along 74 and some other such non-interstate roadways.

The ride over the mountains Georgia to Asheville was exhilarating, to say the least. My rig is heavily loaded and I was slowed down to 15mph on one climb. Some of those long 10% grades down are white knuckle exhilarating too.

They probably do a better job of smoothing out mountain grades on the interstates but things are more interesting the back country way.

If you have the time take the scenic route.

I was on the road for 173 days and your state and these parts of Tennessee and North Carolina are about as beautiful as anything your country has to offer.

Here's another recent thread on Asheville. Note my post at #12:

Mama Gertie's, notwithstanding the name, was the best park I stayed at during that 6 month southern travel.

Asheville is a very cool place. Enjoy.

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Old 07-02-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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74 is a good road. There are fair stretches of the highway that are divided-4 lane. I *think* all the steep areas have passing lanes, but I cannot remember for sure.

BUT... You will have to transit the Nantahala Gorge east of Murphy and the Occoee River area west of Murphy. All of the Nantahala Gorge is two-lane and some of the Occoee River area is two-lane.

This being the summer season, there will be heavy vehicle and foot traffic, especially in the rafting areas. The rafting companies use school buses to transport rafters and the on-the-road walkers are often completely oblivious to their surroundings.

It is beautiful this time of year there. Just be careful and provide some extra time and patience if you chase the beauty.

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Old 07-03-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
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Thanks Folks,

I will tow the interstates and save the local two-lanes for when we unhitch.

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Old 07-03-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
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Have you thought about going up one way and coming home the other. I used to go mountain biking around Asheville and Bryson City a couple of times a year and would usually go one way and come home the other just to mix it up. The route thru Murphy is really pretty and not too steep, should be not problem with the Caravel. On weekends here will be a lot of bus traffic from the rafting companies but it usually moves along about as fast as I want to drive anyway.

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