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For an adrenaline-fueled ride like nothing you’ve ever done before, try the Tail of the Dragon in the Smoky Mountains! This 11-mile road has become extremely popular among motorcyclists and sports car drivers. To help you learn more about this road and why you’ll love it, we’ve made a list of the top 4 reasons you should ride the Tail of the Dragon.
1. America’s Top Motorcycle Road
The Tail of the Dragon has been named the top motorcycle ride in America, so motorcycle enthusiasts won’t want to miss the chance to try it! The best time for riders to visit is between the months of April and October when temperatures are mild. It’s a challenging, two-lane highway that stretches from the North Carolina/Tennessee border to Chilhowee Lake in Tennessee. Riders love it because of all the twists and turns!
2. Over 300 Curves in 11 Miles
If twists and turns are what you’re looking for, the Tail of the Dragon is the ride for you. You’ll wind through 318 curves in 11 miles! This is definitely not a road you want to sight-see on. The attraction is riding the road itself, not the views it offers. With curves like these, you want to keep your attention on the road at all times! Some of the sharpest curves you’ll experience have been given nicknames by previous riders, like “Gravity Cavity” and “Copperhead Corner.” You’re in for the ride of your life when you whip around these curves!
3. Near Other Great Rides
Another great part about riding the Tail of the Dragon in the Smoky Mountains is that you’ll be near some other great rides too. After you try this 11-mile stretch, go for a ride along the Foothills Parkway, which offers a more scenic route. With completion of the “Missing Link” in 2018, motorcyclists can now enjoy a 33-mile stretch from Chilhowee Lake to Sevier County. The two rides together are part of what some people call the “Great Smoky Mountain Loop” an all-day tour that takes visitors to some of the best spots in the Smoky Mountains! The Loop also includes Newfound Gap, Clingmans Dome, Bald River Falls, and more!
4. Featured in Many Movies
When you ride the Tail of the Dragon, you’ll be riding along a road that’s been featured in some popular movies. Several feature films have included scenes that were filmed at the Dragon, including “Thunder Road”! The most famous film that was shot on the dragon was “Two-Lane Blacktop” in 1971, which is about a cross country trip that turned into a challenge between two men to race to Washington, D.C.
Opportunity to Drive the Dragon
If you want to see what all the excitement surrounding the Tail of the Dragon is about but don’t have a motorcycle, you have the opportunity to drive the road! It’s not a difficult road to drive, as long as you follow safety precautions, and it will turn out to be an unforgettable experience. If you want to enjoy some of the sights, there are many paved pull-offs, as well as the Calderwood Dam Overlook where you can stop and take in the views. Experts recommend driving the road several times — the first to go slow and get a feel for the curves to calm your nerves, and the next few times to have fun!
Learn More About the Tail of the Dragon in the Smoky Mountains
We bet you can’t wait to visit the area to try the Tail of the Dragon! Before you go, make sure you know where you’re going and what safety tips to keep in mind while you’re riding. Read our blog, “The Tail of the Dragon: The Most Thrilling Drive in the Smoky Mountains,” for your guide to everything you need to know!