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Old 05-03-2010, 01:17 PM
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Default Local TN driving info

In a couple of weeks, Younger Tom and I are planning to cross the ridge for 3 or 4 days and explore some new waters on the TN side of the Park. We plan to take most of a day off from fishing and bike the new and improved loop road in Cades Cove, then drive over to the NOC outpost near Cosby for an afternoon of paddling on the Pigeon. And therein is my question.

How long should we allow to drive from Cades Cove to Cosby on a Wednesday morning? Part II is which way should we go? Should we stay on the dreaded Little River Road and fight the tourists and the madness in Gatlinburg? Or should we jump out of the Park at Townsend and go around? This part of the trip is not a sight-seeing adventure - we're trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Google Maps gives three options, all of them within 6 minutes of each other. But I'd trust some local knowledge more than Google.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:41 PM
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Smile I'd stick to the Little River Rd

Take it to 441 where i would head the dreaded short distance in Gatlinburg to 321 which I would take towards Cosby to the foothills parkway to I-40 to Exit 451 to Waterville Road to NOC. Might want to check with NOC's new Gatlingburg store. They might have people drive from there although it might cost you in time.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:13 PM
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I agree with DP on his travel plan. I travel Little River Rd almost every Wednesday...traffic is light.

I went by the NOC store yesterday...yawn.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:56 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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GrouseMan77--I take it that the NOC store isn't exactly poised to provide any competition to Little River Outfitters (grin)? I stopped by their fly shop in the Nantahala Gorge last year and was seriously disappointed. J. E. B. Hall, who is a Bryson City boy and a really nice fellow, is trying to do good things with their fly-fishing program, but I don't think the head honchos have it figured out. I'm suspecting you saw lots of pricey stuff of the tree-hugging genre which you could buy cheaper elsewhere?
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:33 PM
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Take LR road... If you want to get on 321 heading east from Gatlinburg, take the bypass around Gatlinburg and come into town from the north side. This is much faster than driving straight through town and dealing with the tourists...
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:27 PM
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Seems the locals all agree. I really don't hate Little River Road or Gatlinburg. But they're both a pain when you're in a hurry. And I think I can remember how to get around town on the by-pass. Thanks to all.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:53 PM
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Jim Casada - I don't think that our LRO pals have anything to sweat about. I quickly looked at the fly fishing section and found it lacking. I'm not being mean but, I could open a better fly fishing store out of my house.

Their "backpacking" and "hiking" departments were also lacking. Lots of North Face shirts and visors.

Overall I guess I was a little disappointed. I have been to their NC store and thought it was pretty nice. I think that the head honchos have the store setup to cater to the folks who are staying in Gatlinburg and like the idea of fishing or hiking. That is the best way for them to profitable and I hope they succeed.

Old Tom - Watch for the other guy. My wife and I came very close to bagging and motorcycle rider yesterday. The guy came around a tight curve and was well over into my lane. He barely saved it. Those guys are usually just around of the weekends this time of year.
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Last edited by GrouseMan77; 05-03-2010 at 08:59 PM.. Reason: To tell Old Tom something.
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