• Lake with mountains reflected in water Little Switzerland, North Carloina
    Lake with mountains reflected in water
  • largest privately owned house in the USA Biltmore Estate, North Carolina
    largest privately owned house in the USA
  • Curving road through mountains Blue Ridge Parkway
    Curving road through mountains
  • Open views down valley Cherohala Skyway
    Open views down valley
  • Broadway in the downtown area Nashville, Tennessee
    Broadway in the downtown area

Blue Ridge Parkway USA adventure - A Guided Motorcycle Tour

Bryson City, North Carolina, USA

Varied accommodation, 4 star hotels to self catering lodge

A 16 day USA mororcycle tour from Illinois to North Carolina and Tennessess
On this guided tour you will ride some of the best motorcycle routes starting from Bryson City, North Carolina
We have not set dates for this tour yet and there may have added a new variant, so, check our tour diary. If you are interested in this tour or something similar then please contact us and we shall set a date, alternatively, browse our upcoming tours to see what's new.

Contact us to discuss your bespoke tour requirements.
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Rick Lavers has taken several tours with McTours visiting the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland on these trips. Rick wanted to show Brian and others he had met on our tours some of the best riding available in the USA.

For ease those arriving from the UK and Europe, Chicago was chosen as the starting point being close to Rick's home in Indiana, offering direct flights from many European airports and having good motorcycle rental facilities.

This 16 day motorcycle adventure is primarily focused around the Blue Ridge Mountains, and traverses great twisty backroads in North Carolina and Tennessee and some interesting roads and places to see and we make our way there from Chicago and back.

Look at this itinerary and discover some of the most interesting motorcycle routes in usa

Chicago to Merrillville ~ 66 miles ~ 1.5 hours riding

Some riders will arrive at Chicago airport in the early afternoon, and should be able to collect their luggage and clear customs by 3 pm. The rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to picking up rented motorcycles and taking a short shakedown ride to Merrillville Indiana. This ensures we evade the morning Chicago traffic the next day.

Those setting off from other locations in the USA will make their way directly to Merrillville. All riders and their pillions will rendez-vous in Merrillville for a get acquainted dinner, and to decide our exact route for Tuesday from several options. Overnight and breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Merrillville to Story IN ~ 215 miles ~ 5 hours riding

We take the I-65 to Lafayette, where we will stop for coffee. From here we have options:

  1. Tour the Tippecanoe Battlefield Monument, where an Indian coalition was defeated to secure Indiana for settlement; take backroads south through Wabash Valley coulee country and picturesque covered bridge country through Rockville and Greencastle, skirting Indianapolis to the west,
  2. Go straight through Indianapolis down Meridian Avenue and the Circle.

Either way, we will then ride through Bloomington, home of Indiana University and one of the prettiest campuses in the country. From there the riding gets really interesting over the hills and curves East on SR 46 to artsy-crafty Nashville.

We hope to stop in the ghost town of Story for dinner, bed at the Story Inn subject to availability otherwise we will spend the night in Nashville.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Story to Winchester KY ~ 200 miles ~ 6 hours riding

We will travel Southeast from Nashville/Story through the Hoosier National Forest on SR 135, take US 50 to Brownstown, SR 39 to SR 256, and SR 256 East to Madison, a historic little port town on the Ohio River. We will follow the North bank of the Ohio on SR 56/156 toward Warsaw, KY and cross into Kentucky on the Markland Dam Bridge on SR 101 to KY SR 1039, and then South to Frankfort on US 127.

This is the heart of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and we have our choice of several distilleries to tour tour - Neely Family, Bulleit, Woodford Reserve, and Whiskey Thief – but we may need to consider a reservation in advance if that’s what we choose to do and remember no alcohol when riding so take samples away for later consumption!

From Frankfort, we will head East through Bluegrass country on KY 460 to Paris, and South on KY 627 to Winchester or as the group decides, through Lexington to visit the Kentucky Horse Park, home to thoroughbreds, and/or to Fort Boonesboro State Park. Either way, we will spend the night in Winchester at the Best Western Winchester.

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Winchester to Dandridge, TN ~ 250 Miles ~ 6 hours riding

This will be a long day so we will start early. We might start with a coffee run to Fort Boonesboro for a short look-see if we did not do it the day before – or not. Either way, we will ride famous KY89 South through the Daniel Boone National Forest to 420, then over to I-75 at Livingston to London for lunch.

From London we will take four lane US25E touching on the end of the Cumberland Gap (unless we find we have time for a more circuitous route) to TN63 and jog Southwest over to US 25W at La Follette, and then to I75 for short stretch.

We then take a short detour to see Norris Dam because Rick's father built it and he has never seen it! Then down US 421 to I640 and blitz around Knoxville over I40 East to Dandridge and the Mountain Harbor Inn on Lake Douglas for a 5 pm sunset cruise, included with our stay at the lodge, followed by dinner and cocktails from our balconies overlooking the lake!

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Dandridge TN to Bryson City NC ~ 150 miles ~ 4 hours riding

This is a leisurely day with lots to see.

We start South on 66 /92 to cross the lake and meet Hwy 411/Newport Hwy SW to Sevierville. Then we wend our way South on 71 to Gate Rd, New Era Road to 321 to Townsend, Right on State Hwy 73 to the west entrance to the Great Smoky Mtn National Park. We might consider packing sandwiches etc. for a picnic lunch.

In the park, we will visit Cades Cove, and we can take stops at Laurel Falls, Meigs Falls, and Clingman’s Dome as we cross the park on US 441. There is a settlement/museum at the South entrance park before we exit to join US 19 at Cherokee, on the /74 through Cherokee Indian Reservation to Bryson City NC.

For the next four nights, we stay at a complete house, with hot tub and stunning views, a short distance from town, where we can cook breakfasts and a few meals on our own or go to local restaurants, as we choose. Information on the property will be shared privately.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Round trip, Bryson City NC ~ 175 miles

This and the next 2 days can be adjusted to capture the best weather. Some might also wish to take a rest day.

We will start out East on 74 to Sylva, then ride South on 107, right on Tilley Creek Road, which becomes Ellijay Creek Road. When we hit 28 (the Moonshiner), we turn right ( South) to Highlands, then left (East) on Cashiers. From there, we will head East on 64 to through tony Cashiers to Rosman, then North on scenic Highway 215 all the way to US 19 at Canton, then West past the "Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum", Maggie Valley, and through Cherokee to Bryson City.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Round Trip, Bryson City NC ~ 150 miles

We will set out Southwest on 19/74 through the famous Nantahala Gorge to Wayah Road, then take US64 East to NC 69 South into Georgia to Hiawassee GA, where we can stop at Ricks sister’s house for lunch and a boat ride around Lake Chatuge (and swim for those inclined).

In the afternoon, we will make our way back to US64 and East to Franklin, where we head North again on NC28 aka "The Moonshiner" back to Bryson City.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Round Trip Bryson City NC ~ 160 miles

Today we do a loop of the big ones, saved for Monday when traffic should be lighter.

We head West on 74 to 28 West (the Moonshiner) to Stecoah to Fontana Dam. At Deal’s Gap we take US 129 (The Tail of the Dragon) to Chillowee, then 72 to Vonore, S on 360 to Tellico Plains, West on 165/143 thru Robbinsville (the famous Cherohala Skyway), with side trip to Bald River Falls. Then at 28, East to US74 back to Bryson City.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Bryson City to Little Switzerland ~ 116 miles

Today is a light riding day, set aside to visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. Before and after, easy cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We start North on19 to the Blue Ridge Pkwy; stop at Biltmore Estate in Asheville; and then continue on Blue Ridge Parkway to NC 80, where we will leave the parkway and head North to Micaville, then turn left (West) on US19E to Burnsville, NC, where we will spend two nights at Terrell House B&B within walking distance to restaurants.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Round Trip Burnsville ~ 150 miles

MORNING: Lake James Loop +/- 90 miles. Back down 80 (the Devil’s Staircase”) crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway down to US 70. Turning East (left), cross US 221 at Marion and turn left on NC226/Bus. 221 North to Hankins Road (1501), left on Lake James Road to follow shore; becomes/turn right on South Mtn. Institute Burke Road (1236) to NC 126 – turn left (East) ; across Linville River turn left on Fish Hatchery/Pea Ridge Road (1254); Left on Rose Creek Road past the Fish Hatchery (DIRT ROAD FOR 2 MILES); Left on NC 181to NC 183, turn left to Blue Ridge Parkway, head South on BRP to 10 miles to/from Little Switzerland. LUNCH.

AFTERNOON: "The Diamondback" Loop. +/-50 miles. South on 226A, turn left (North on 226) to Blue Ridge Parkway; South on BRP to 80, North on 80 back to Burnsville.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Burnsville NC to Knoxville (Powell) TN ~ 200 miles

West on 19 out of Burnsville to US19W, North on "Spivy Road" to I26 at Rocky Fork; either NC 352 South to NC 212 to US25/70 to Hot Springs; or, I26 South to Mars Hill NC213 to Hot Springs; then South on 209 (Betsy Gap Road, The Rattler) to I40; I40 West to Knoxville, TN.

Stay at Holiday Inn Express Knoxville North

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Knoxville TN to Nashville TN ~ 240 miles

North via 140 to Lake City, then on TN 116 through Rosedale (The Devil’s Triangle) to TN 62 to Monterey at US 70. That's roughly half way to Nashville.

From there we continue on some backroads to Nashville.

Taxi to dinner and music bar venues in downtown Music City USA.

Stay at Fairfield Inn and Suites at Opryland.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Nashville to Bloomington IN ~ 260 miles

There are very limited places to cross the Ohio River. In the interest of time, we will take I65 North to Bowling Green, the swing NW on I-165 to Owensboro KY and cross at Rockport. That should take about 2.5 hours riding, plus a coffee break. From there we can continue along US 231 to Bloomington (shortest), or more likely, take a more leisurely pace along the river and through the Hoosier National Forest up IN66 to Sulphur thence North on 237 with a short stop at French Lick.

As mentioned before, the IU campus in Bloomington is beautiful, and the town is easy to walk and full of interesting restaurants, bars and clubs. Accommodations in Bloomington TBD. (IU has an away football game that weekend.)

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Bloomington to Merrillville ~ 190 miles

We will ride through downtown Indianapolis, around the Circle and up Meridian Avenue.

From Indianapolis we may split into two groups, some heading more East to Elkhart/Goshen or Detroit. The rest will proceed on to Merrillville where we will stay at the same Hilton Garden Inn where we first rendezvous-ed.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Merrillville to Chicago ~ 66 miles

In the morning, we can zip up to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan for a short look-see, or ride straight into Chicago. Either way, for those flying out, there will be plenty of time to turn in the rental bikes, and do sightseeing. In the evening we might take roof top for cocktails overlooking the Chicago Skyline, find an interesting place to enjoy a farewell dinner, and finish off at an iconic Chicago blues bar.

Accommodations in Chicago TBD.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Chicago to home

Fly Home to Scotland (or wherever). As most flights to Europe are overnight, leaving in the later afternoon, there will be plenty of time to get sorted before departure and perhaps even do a little more sightseeing. BON VOYAGE!!

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Route Variation

Please note that maps are indicative because it is not always possible to enter all the waypoints and on the day of departure as we need to review our routes based upon the latest traffic and weather information available making changes as and when necessary.

Ask for more details about this Tour Provisionally Book This Tour Learn about our group discounts

Further details

Parties interested in this tour should get in touch now to intimate interest via our Enquiries Form or email hi@mctours.eu or phone +44(0)141 416 0230