Well here i am again continuing my journey down the Eastern seaboard ..the forum has been great agan and now I need advice and suggestions after i leave washington DC and heading to Dollywood..I am not in a rush and am driving a 23 foot Class C towing a 49cc scooter...never been anywhere on this side of the coast so i like hiking, waterfalls, nature and neat stuff.....any help please Les
Take I-66 west from the DC to the beginning of Skyline Drive. Take it south as far as you like. It connects with the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fall colors are at their peak right now. Stop early to get campsites.
Skyline and BRP have lots of hiking, etc. Peaks of Otter Hotel has a good seafood buffet on the Friday nights. Campground about 1/2 mile south of there.
It's about 10-12 miles from Peaks to Bedford and the D-Day Memorial. Well worth the stop. Little town of Bedford lost 23 men on D-Day.
When you get bored hop on I-81 and continue south.
Second the stops on the Skyline Drive & Blue Ridge Parkway - too beautiful to miss. However, if you do take 81, there is a good stopping spot about 300 miles from the DC area - Ft. Criswell RV Park in Max Meadows, VA - right off 81, therefore noisy, but a good place just for the night - very clean and full hookups - helpful staff, at least when we were last there in 2008! Happy, safe travels.
Just got back from Pigeon Forge. If you are planning to spend some time exploring while visiting Dollywood, I would definitely suggest taking the Roaring Fork Motor Tour out of Gatlinburg. There are several hikes you can do from the ride and I know at least one hike Rainbow Falls goes to falls! You can also hike to Clingmans Dome. We like to picnic at Chimney Tops. If you stop in at the park's visitor center they can tell you all about the hiking and some times they have programs you can attend or go on a hike with a ranger. There are also two caves in the area that are worth seeing. Most people recommend Cades Cove also. It is nice, not our favorite place, but worth a visit.
If you've go time, you can take the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to Cherokee, NC, then take US 441 thru the Great Smoky Mtn's NP to Gatlinburg. It's not even a hop and a jump to Dollywood then. But you are getting close to closing date for the P'way CG's, and they don't have hookups; nights are dropping to near or below freezing.
My must-see's on this end of that route for someone primarily interested in the outdoors would be Linville Falls, Mt Mitchell SP or the short walk up to Craggy Pinnacle, maybe a walk around downtown Asheville, and Devil's Courthouse. Short but good side trips, Sliding Rock & Looking Glass Falls on US 276, DuPont SF's Triple Falls just south of Brevard. Maybe a hike to the top of Looking Glass Rock or Mt Pisgah. All depends on how much time you've got.
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Assuming you've done your research and you know what you want to do when arriving at Dollywood and the area the only advice I can give is the route coming into Gatlinburg/PForge area. Check the map and when I-81 meets I-40, go south on 40 and turn east onto hwy 411 which will bring you into Sevierville on the north end of the parkway to Dollywood. You could also continue south on 40 and take hwy 321 east which runs into Gatlinburg. If you take this route, it passes Twin Creek RV Park which is a popular area we use frequently. 321 avoids the traffic mess coming in from the north end of the parkway.