Fall color is now showing up on most mountain slopes in the High Country. The hills are still mostly green, but just driving on the roads, you can see the beginnings of fall color dotting the slopes. The best color is at the higher elevations, especially above Stack Creek on the eastern flank of Grandfather Mountain. Something about that ridge causes the colors to be vibrant every year.
The Linn Cove Viaduct is a 1,234-foot S-curve built at an elevation of 4,100 feet. Seemingly suspended in midair as it hugs the southern face of Grandfather Mountain, this section of roadway was the centerpiece of the last 7.5-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be completed.
The scenery and excellent road conditions of the Blue Ridge Parkway are no secret. However, there are two routes to be explored off the Parkway in Western North Carolina. Not many travelers know about this hidden treasure, but its curves and scenery are too nice to be kept a secret. NC 80 leads to the Blue Ridge Parkway in a series of hairpin turns. Another road off the Parkway, NC 226A, is also unknown to many. Deemed too twisty by many, it has been all but abandoned by car drivers. These two routes offer everything a biker could want—good scenery and fun roads. Points of interest: The views of Lake Tahoma; the curves of NC 80 and NC 226A; views from Black Mountain Overlook, Three Knob Overlook, and Deer Lick Gap.
Ride your bike along the Diamondback (226A) and Route 80, enjoy the scenery and stay with us at the Switzerland Inn. The Switzerland Inn has a wonderful Friday surf and turf buffet that is not to be missed. Ask about our Blue Ridge Parkway Room Special.
Memorial Day weekend is coming up. Plan your weekend getaway in the mountains of NC. Little Switzerland is the perfect place for a long weekend getaway. Sweeping curves, amazing scenery and cool mountain breezes make the Diamondback, NC 226A, one of Western North Carolina’s last great mountain roadways. Riding your bike along the Diamondback with friends or having a romantic weekend with your significant other. The Switzerland Inn has a wonderful Friday surf and turf buffet that is not to be missed.
Little Switzerland offers relaxation, great mountain activities and beautiful views. Visit us this Memorial Day.
The Diamondback – NC 226A leads from Marion, NC to the Blue Ridge Parkway with numerous switchbacks and steep twisting turns. There are approximately 194 curves in the 12-mile loop. There are absolutely incredible sweeping views of the Catawba River Valley and Blue Ridge mountain ranges. The route has a smooth road surface; most of the curves are slightly banked, and absolutely beautiful scenery! It climbs significantly and has many sharp corners. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the ride:
Keep your motorcycle under 45 mph, ride slowly and carefully, and heed any warning signs. The smoke-belching, view-obscuring truck is mostly absent from the road. Obey all safety laws about riding your motorcycle, like wearing helmets and keeping the headlight on.
Pull over for the scenic overlooks. It only takes a minute to pull over, enjoy the view and continue on down the road. Make additional stops for wildlife. The smaller size of your motorcycle means you can do this just about anywhere.
Stay overnight. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a mixture of campgrounds, but you might not have the cargo-carrying capacity for a full set of camping gear. At the top of the ride, The Switzerland Inn is one of the best places to stop for the night.
If you are planning a Spring ride, the Diamondback – NC 226A has a smooth road surface; most of the curves are slightly banked, and absolutely beautiful scenery! If you need a place to stay, the Switzerland Inn has delighted NC’s Blue Ridge Parkway visitors since 1910. Sweeping mountain views and a variety of recently remodeled rooms, suites and private cottages provide the perfect destination for your NC mountain trip.
There is plenty of space for motorcycle touring groups at the Diamondback Motorcycle Lodge. The Switzerland Inn is the ideal location for a casual, fun and friendly NC mountain getaway.
On the Parkway at Milepost 334, just above Spruce Pine and Marion in Little Switzerland, NC
In this series of articles, Ron and Nancy from Tail of the Dragon travel the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in western North Carolina. Great photos with views from The Switzerland Inn, Grandfather Mountain and overlooks along the NC route.
Ride along with Jackie (from America Rides Maps) as she careens down the Diamondback Motorcycle Route. Accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Diamondback is one of the big three motorcycle rides in North Carolina, joining the Snake and the Dragon in the short list of top NC motorcycle rides. Included are scenes from the Switzerland Inn, one of the top motorcycle and sports car friendly destinations on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Switzerland Inn in Little Switzerland, NC, is just at the peak of 226A (The Diamondback) at Parkway Milepost 334. The Inn’s Chalet Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy amazing gourmet specialties or a sandwich and salad served at the edge of the panoramic view of the valley below.
Stop at The Fowl Play Pub for a glass of wine or a frosty beer and stay a while to visit The Switzerland Inn shops. From ice cream to gem stones and hand-crafted collectibles to Diamondback t-shirts, decals and patches, the shops at Little Switzerland have something for just about every interest.
It’s unusual to find such a nice resort that actually invites and enjoys motorcycle travelers. You can live it up and get some fancy accommodations or get an affordable room in the Diamondback Lodge bunkhouse. Don’t be fooled by the lower prices, it’s still really nice and you can access the bars and restaurants to enjoy the full experience of the Switzerland Inn. The views are free to all and they are priceless. Read more and see a great series of photos from SmokyMountainRider.com.