190 Climbing Curves To The Blue Ridge Parkway
The Diamondback is a newly designated motorcycle/sports car route with more than 190 steep, climbing curves in just 12 miles. It is the ultimate fall drive for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts.
One of western NC's last great mountain roadways, the Diamondback, runs along NC's 226A through a heavily wooded trek, from Marion in McDowell County to Switzerland Inn, on the edge of Mitchell County, NC. It is an exciting and challenging drive with two-lanes of smooth, well-marked pavement flanked by rocky outcroppings, shear drop-offs and quick, tight hairpin curves loaded with switchbacks looping almost 360-degrees. Runs of S-curves climb and twist sharply as they snake through lush green forest to the Blue Ridge Parkway just above Spruce Pine, NC.
It's not just about the journey – the destination is the one-block town of Little Switzerland which exudes authentic mountain charm. Turning 100 this year (25 years older than the adjacent Blue Ridge Parkway), the isolation of this tiny town, at an elevation of 3,500 feet, has shunned the passage of time and change. The summer visitors from Charlotte to Charleston at the turn of the century would find Little Switzerland in 2010 just as they left it.
The eight-room cabin, Diamondback Lodge, at Switzerland Inn, (also turning 100) is an ideal base camp for motorcycle or sports car groups.
For those continuing their fall drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one-stop at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center (located at Milepost 384 in Asheville) will provide all the assistance required to plan a detailed trip along the entire Parkway, from Shenandoah National Park in the north to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south.
Inside the center, is the I-Wall, a 22-foot interactive map of the entire Parkway which provides multi-media information on places to visit on and near the Parkway. As you scan the I-Wall, video, music, pictures and stories pop up to tell you all about the special places along the Parkway.
Finally, fasten your seat belt for a wild journey in the 70-seat theater that features a new film, "The Blue Ridge Parkway-America’s Favorite Journey." Shown in high-definition surround sound (similar to the I-MAX experience), the 24-minute film captures a father-daughter motorcycle trip along the Parkway that incorporates Parkway history and the region’s cultural and natural sights and sounds. You’ll feel as though you are on a helicopter ride, twisting and dipping in and out of the Blue Ridge.
added: September 24, 2010
updated: September 30, 2010
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