The Beautiful Diamondback

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.

Stop for a meal along the route. The Fowl Play Pub and Chalet Restaurant will be open in April. Stop in. Drink in the views and stay a while.

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.