What is the Tail of the Dragon?

The Tail of The Dragon is one of North America’s most well-known motorcycle and sports car roads. This stretch of highway contains 318 turns in just over 11 miles with no cross-streets. Thousands of drivers come from all over North America and beyond to drive this road every year. The road is covered with professional photographers and nice rides. Additionally, the beautiful Appalachian mountains contains numerous other fun roads including the Cherohala Skyway, Hellbender, Blue Ridge Parkway, The Diamondback, The Devil’s Triangle (TN), etc. within NC along the border with TN. A simple google or youtube search will pull up countless information about the area and all it has to offer.

GenSport United has routinely done two Tail of the Dragon runs each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Additionally, the Fall is always our bigger event with vendors, larger numbers, and fun to be expected. Spring is the more laid back event where we look to try new things and ideas for future inclusion into the event.


8th Annual Fall Run of the Dragon

In just a few short months it will be time once again to cap off the summer and prepare to bring that project car out to truly test what she is made of! That’s right, its time again for the Fall Run of the Tail of the Dragon, 2017 edition.  By and far the largest gathering of Genesis Coupes in the country. From Thursday, September 28th through Sunday, October 1st, we will all converge once again at the Tail of the Dragon (Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, motorcycle and sport car two lane tourism serving Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, Cherohala Skyway, Moonshiner28, Devils Triangle, and Six Gap North Georgia.) on the border of NC and TN to tear up some great roads, meet and have fun with great people, and enjoy the Genesis Coupe platform doing what it was designed to do. We welcome any Genesis Coupe owner whether in GenSport or not to reach out and attend. It is an absolute blast and we have yet to have anyone go home disappointed. We usually stay at a small resort called Fontana Village where we work a group rate for those attending that is just south east of the Dragon along another good road known as Hellbender. all_roads

For more information about lodging, restaurants, entertainment and more please visit our friends at the Tail of the Dragon Store/Website:

Where to Stay, Eat, Visit

Motorcycle and sport car tourism serving Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, Cherohala Skyway, Moonshiner28, Devils Triangle, Diamondback, Blue Ridge Parkway, and more.

Run of the Dragon Event Countdown!

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Watch out for local law enforcement. The map below shows the most common areas for radar speed traps.
REMEMBER:
LEOs on and near the Dragon usually set-up in straights where the unsuspecting driver punches the throttle. They are also watching for passing on the double yellow.
In North Carolina the most likely radar spots are on the 4-lane highways, particularly US19/US74 near Bryson City and NC 28 near the Graham/Swain County line (4-lane).
Also take note that many locals have EMS/FIRE radios in their trucks and will call in high speed/reckless passing.

AreaRadar_2015

Although the event primarily focuses on driving the dragon, we also drive a few scenic routes as well. We routinely have over 50 cars if not 100+ attending a run and we want to make sure everyone knows what to do if you get separated from the group. We will have veterans of any given run leading the various groups and will do our best to keep everyone together. Unfortunately, things happen such as driving through towns with red lights that cause the group to break up a bit, so please familiarize yourself with the routes (noting key points along the drive) in case you get separated.  We will be providing a digital copy of the routes so that you can print them to take a hard copy with you.

The goal of this event is to have fun, make memories, and to simply enjoy the time that you spend with each other while here. Through various group activities and scheduled events, we hope to provide an atmosphere of respect and entertainment. Whether it’s your first time with us or you are a “repeat offender”, we anticipate that all of the planning and effort will help to provide you the best weekend you have ever had. So, whether you are tearing up a mountain road solo or with a group, helping a fellow friend to install that particular mod to their car, or just sitting around a warm camp fire at night enjoying the stars and a drink, please keep an open mind and enjoy your time to the fullest.

Cherohala Skyway

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Cherohala Skyway (TN Hwy 165, NC Hwy 143) is a 43-mile National Scenic Byway that connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, with Robbinsville, North Carolina. Opened and dedicated in fall of 1996, this highway starts at 800 ft. in elevation, and climbs over mountains as high as 5390 ft at Santeetlah Overlook on the state border, with 21 miles of the Skyway in southeast Tennessee and 15 miles in North Carolina. The road crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests, thus the name “Chero…hala.” Travelers on the Tennessee side are treated to mile-high vistas, brilliant seasonal foliage, the magnificent splendor of the Cherokee National Forest and the Tellico River. The rugged mountains, sparse human population and diverse habitats of Tennessee’s eastern border make it home to an amazing variety of wildlife. There is little evidence of civilization from views that rival – or surpass – any from the Blue Ridge Parkway.Cherohala Skyway

Google Maps Link for the Route:  Cherohala Skyway
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute a route that may be different than the planned route.

Approximate driving time – 5+ hours – Longer with stop offs

The Waterfall Run

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Head down Route 28 to take in Dry Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Then head back to the new pavement of Forest Service Road 711. From there back to Robinsonville via scenic Wayah Road for gasoline and food.Waterfalls

Google Maps Link for the Route: The Waterfall Run
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute a route that may be different than the planned route.  

Approximate driving time – 5+ hours – Longer with stop offs

Devil’s Triangle

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The Devils Triangle, just north of Oak Ridge (TN) in the mountains of the Cumberland Plateau, is made up of some of the most unusual two lane twisty roads in eastern Tennessee. This run is recommended for experienced drivers. The adventure ranges from the bucolic rural Tennessee scenery to a view of Brushy Mountain State Prison; from gentle country road sweepers to gnarly steep switchbacks; from serene straights to Dragon like twisties with guard rails of death; from gentle pull-offs to three foot deep rock strewn gullies just inches from the pavement; from peaceful farmsteads to sections of rutted roadway right out of a horror movie.Devils Triangle

Google Maps Link for the Route: Devil’s Triangle
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute a route that may be different than the planned route.  

Approximate driving time – 7+ hours – Longer with stop offs

 

Newfound Gap/Clingman’s Dome

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A very scenic route that starts through the lower 129. Then head down the Nantahala gorge and up US 441 North. On the return trip there will be a stop off at Clingmans Dome (Weather Permitting), the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi at 6,643 ft. This run is similar to the Skyway taken at a slower pace with several areas to turn off and grab photos.Clingmans Dome

Google Maps Link for the Route: Clingman’s Dome
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute a route that may be different than the planned route.  

Approximate driving time – 6+ hours – Longer with stop offs

The Rattler

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Travel to the Pisgah National forest and over the Great Smokey Mountains to Hwy 209 with over 234 twists, turns and curves from I-40 to Hot Springs. NC 209 has a little bit of everything you are looking for – pastoral valley views, challenging mountain climbs, twisty and tight technical sections, and a great little mountain town to visit – Hot Springs, NC. It can be a lazy roll through the scenic countryside or a place to test the edge of your tires.The Rattler

Google Maps Link for the Route: The Rattler
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute a route that may be different than the planned route.  

Approximate driving time – 8+ hours – Longer with stop offs

Blue Ridge Parkway Run

The Blue Ridge Parkway run is an experience is unlike any other: a moderate-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. The Parkway meanders for 469 miles; however, our run will only take us from the Southwestern entrance in Cherokee 57 miles down to Brevard and then a scenic drive back to Fontana

Google Maps Link for the Route: The Blue Ridge Parkway
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute the route and may be different than the planned route.  

Approximate driving time – 6+ hours

Foothill’s Parkway Twilight Run

Foothills-Sign

Head to the Foothills Parkway Look Rock observation deck to watch the sun set in the mountains. (Weather Permitting)Foothills Twilight

Google Maps Link for the Route: The Twilight Run
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute the route and may be different than the planned route.  

Approximate driving time – 2+ hours

Thunder Road Run

Pick up this road on US19 just a few miles north of the 129/19 junction. Follow Wayah Creek up the gorge crossing over the creek several times. The road travels past Nantahala Lake then over the mountain range and into Franklin. The return trip is back on Thunder Road. It’s 56 miles of twisting fun.

Google Maps Link for the Route: Thunder Road
Note: To open the map in your mobile phone’s Google Maps app, you must view this page through your phone’s browser on an Android device.  If you got here through a link from the Facebook app on your phone, the page opened up in Facebook’s browser which will allow you to see the map but not navigate.  If you open this link on an Apple device it will only open the first waypoint; however, there’s a good chance that it will recompute the route and may be different than the planned route.  

Approximate driving time – 4+ hours

Tips for not dying on the Dragon

giphyCaution: Stupidity can hurt!  Don’t be stupid.

 

ms355r-2Cellular reception in the mountains is spotty at best.  Fontana Village has limited Verizon cellular support (at the Main Lodge) and WiFi (if you have calling over WiFi capabilities on your phone).  Our main means of communication at Fontana Village and on the runs is via FRS portable radios.  This is a proven and effective means of getting information out, but it can also become an annoyance.  Unnecessary chatter and “drunk” calls can motivate folks to turn their radios off.  When important information needs to get out, it can’t.  We ask that all participants use some radio discipline and keep your announcements short and to the point.  If you like to have a long conversation with another person or group, have everyone change to a different channel so you don’t hog the event’s communication channel.  In addition, we have compiled a few tips about general radio etiquette:

  • When using your radio, press the PTT (Push to talk) button and hold for 3 or so seconds before you speak. Speak clearly and calmly at least 2 to 3 inches from the mic. on the radio. If you get closer, you may blare or come across garbled.
  • Additionally, if you do not wait the 3 or so second, you may cut off the first half of what you say making the message confusing.
  • DO NOT USE THE AUTOMATED CALL BUTTON! This causes a very loud and long audio page to come across every single radio within distance on that channel including your own to occur. It’s annoying and rude and can cause communication issues between others that could be important. This should ONLY be used in an emergency.
  • When using the radios to relay information, such as debris in the road or a LEO around a corner to be mindful of, be short and sweet with your statements. We do not want to hog the channel and or broadcast garbage that other people outside of our group pickup and disturb them.
  • Understand that we are in the mountains and reception can at times be very short distances, especially when we are actively driving on one of the runs such as The Dragon. In these cases, please help to relay back important information through the group. For example, if I was the leader and there was debris on the shoulder coming up, I would radio “Caution, debris right”. If you can hear this and are a few cars back from the front, please repeat it as those closer to the rear may not have heard me. The last thing we want is an easily avoidable obstacle to cause damage to someone’s car and ruin the rest of their weekend.
  • There are a lot of shortened words used to expedite communications, such as LEO = Law Enforcement Officer. Due to this, please plan to pay attention and learn these the first day or so you are here. It will help everyone to be on the same page to directly and efficiently communicate what needs said.

Damn, I hate it when I forget that!

In case you are wondering about what you should bring with you to the Gensport United’s Dragon run events, we have compiled a list of things that you might find useful.  If you are logged in, the site will remember your list for up to 30 days and there is a link at the end of the list to create a PDF to print.

Print Your List

 

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