What is the best motorcycling season of the year? Many touring riders are convinced that it is Autumn, especially in regions that experience the milder weather and changing foliage colors associated with that season. It has been several years since we offered an Autumn tour through the Appalachian states. So, we feel like we're long overdue for one of these adventures.
At the suggestion of several of our Tour Members, we have built a new tour that combines many of the best elements of two previous FC Tours: the long-time favorite, Appalachian Autumn Adventure (2009 - 2015) and the popular Great Eastern Divide Expedition (2021). And this new tour (again, at the suggestion of our tour members) is longer in duration than any Autumn/eastern U.S.A. tour we've ever offered, at 13 nights total. This tour also includes four (4) Free Days/Nights, where we spend two consecutive nights at the same location.
The overall plan of this trip will allow us to explore a vast, incredibly scenic region of the western/central Appalachian Mountains, from the Mountaineer State, known as West Virginia, to the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains states of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Believe it or not, we have already received reservation deposits from Tour Members. So, if you are interested in joining us for this trip, you may want to consider sending in your deposit before too long, because as always, our spaces are limited, and sometimes these trips can fill up quickly. Deposit information is listed further below.
By the way, we would have had this tour announcement sent out to you much sooner, but let's just say that it is extremely difficult to book and lock-in many of the nicer lodges we prefer to use throughout the Appalachian region during Autumn. Even more than a year in advance! But we finally did.
Although we will provide additional information, including pricing and details in an upcoming email and on www.fcmototours.com, here is a quick overview and itinerary of the The Ultimate Autumn Motorcycle Adventure tour plan:
Arrival Day - Morgantown, WV - We have an excellent, full-service hotel that will be our starting and ending point for this tour, conveniently located at the crossroads of major interstate highways. Morgantown is also a short distance from Pittsburgh, which features a major airline hub and motorcycle shipment/delivery locations. Our hotel in Morgantown offers nearly every amenity, including onsite parking for anyone who needs to park a toy hauler there during the tour.
Day 1 - Morgantown, WV to Snowshoe, WV - We'll explore many miles of scenic, WV backroads on our way to the well-known Snowshoe Mountain ski resort, where we'll spend two nights at a modern lodge right on the nearly 5,000' summit!
Day 2 - Free Day at Snowshoe, WV - This will be the first of four (4) Free Days we are planning for this tour. Today we get a full day to explore some great routes in the scenic mountains and highlands surrounding Snowshoe. Our lodge is located in the midst of the ski village, offering shops and restaurants to check out for some nice, off-the-bike experiences. Maybe even take in the scenery from one of the Snowshoe ski lifts?
Day 3 - Snowshoe, WV to Peaks of Otter, VA - This day takes us eastbound into Virginia, where we will connect with the famous Blue Ridge Parkway at its northernmost point. We will follow the Parkway southbound to one of our favorite BRP lodges: Peaks of Otter. If you've never experienced it before, it doesn't get much more beautiful, peaceful and secluded than Peaks of Otter!
Day 4 - Peaks of Otter, VA to Blowing Rock, NC - We get the privilege of spending a full day riding our motorcycles (and trikes, Spyders, sidecar rigs, etc...) heading southbound on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a road built for riding and touring. Hundreds of scenic overlooks and not a traffic light or stop sign the entire way. We'll end up at a long-time favorite resort in Blowing Rock, where we will spend two nights. But will two nights be enough?
Day 5 - Free Day at Blowing Rock, NC - This will be the second Free Day on this tour, and we have some excellent riding options available today. Plus, there's plenty to see and do right in the Blowing Rock/Boone, NC area. Or... Maybe just kick-back and relax at our beautiful resort?
Day 6 - Blowing Rock, NC to Bryson City, NC - We get another full day southbound ride on the BRP, taking it to its southernmost point at Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We'll continue a short distance beyond the park to our wonderful lodge in Bryson City, not far from the Nantahala River Gorge, where we will spend the next TWO nights.
Day 7 - Free Day at Bryson City, NC - The location of our lodge gives us easy access to some of the top motorcycling destinations in the eastern U.S.A., including Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the famous Dragon/Deals Gap route (318 curves in 11 miles), the fabulous Cherohala Skyway, and so much more. This is our third Free Day of the trip!
Day 8 - Bryson City, NC to Bristol, VA - Some of the best motorcycling on this tour happens today, as we tackle many secluded mountain backroads, including one route that, like the Dragon, has its own cool nickname: The Snake. When you ride it, you'll know why. We'll spend the night in Bristol at a new (for us) lodge that promises to be pretty cool; we hope you'll like it too.
Day 9 - Bristol, VA to Roanoke, VA - Another great riding day northbound on roads that most motorcyclists never experience, including endless miles of mountain and valley roads through southwestern Virginia. We end this day at another of our favorite locations, an amazing, historic hotel in the heart of Roanoke, VA, where we'll stay for TWO nights.
Day 10 - Free Day at Roanoke, VA - There's great riding to be found in the surrounding mountains and highlands near Roanoke, which is on the western flank of the Blue Ridge. Roanoke itself is a great place to spend some free time strolling around, being a great, southern "city" with a small town feel. Maybe you'll spend our fourth Free Day doing a combination of riding and exploring the town?
Day 11 - Roanoke, VA to Shenandoah National Park, VA - Continuing northbound, more scenic and secluded mountain and valley motorcycling roads connect us with Shenandoah National Park's famous Skyline Drive, the northern sibling and extension of the BRP. Another road designed for riding, Skyline Drive brings us to our historic, Shenandoah National Park lodge, where it feels like we've gone back in time. The night sky views and gazing out at the distant valleys below our lodge are unforgettable.
Day 12 - Shenandoah N.P., VA to Morgantown, WV - Aiming our machines westbound, we'll roll down the slopes of the Blue Ridge, then climb back up into the western/central Appalachian Mountains and highlands of West Virginia. Awaiting us back at our starting/ending point lodge in Morgantown is the fun and fellowship of our farewell dinner reception. Have West Virginia's foliage colors become even more brilliant since we left Morgantown? For sure!
Please note: The Ultimate Autumn Motorcycle Adventure is for experienced motorcyclists only. Many of the roads on this tour are very challenging. You need to be comfortable with and capable of riding on twisty, lower speed mountain roads that require your full attention. Your machine needs to be properly maintained prior to its use on this tour.
Motorcycle Rental - We recommend and have used EagleRider, which is one of the largest motorcycle rental companies in the world, and has a location in a few towns in MT and surrounding states. Visit: www.eaglerider.com for more information. However, feel free to research and utilize any other rental company that you wish.
Motorcycle Shipping - We recommend and have used Federal Motorcycle Transport. They are the premier motorcycle shipping company in the U.S.A., and they have shipped dozens of motorcycles used on our tours. They can be reached at: (800) 747-4100, x2217, or visit: www.funtransport.com. Federal can suggest various motorcycle pick-up and drop-off locations that are suitable for your specific needs. You can also research and utilize any other shipping companies that work best for you.
Vehicle Parking in Morgantown, WV - Our hotel in Morgantown offers ample, free on-site parking for your motorcycle hauling vehicles/trailers.
Hotels: 13 nights of accommodations.
Dinners: The following five (5) dinners are included in the price of the tour: Arrival night in Morgantown; first night in Snowshoe; first night in Blowing Rock; first night in Bryson City; final night in Morgantown. Dinners are a mix of buffets and plated dinners.
Breakfasts: 12 breakfasts, which are a mix of buffets and plated breakfasts.
Trip Resources: Professional tour leaders, custom-designed Official Tour Packets, state highway road maps, selected travel literature, and commemorative apparel are all included in the cost of this tour. Your tour leaders will handle all applicable lodging and meal arrangements, as well as evening dinner meetings and ongoing communication of trip information to participants. Chase vehicles are NOT available on this tour.