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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hartley

Top of The Roan Ride

Hello, hope all of you are enjoying the warmer weather. As I told you last week for the next few weeks I will be talking about the Southern Dozen as they are listed in their handout. Last week was The Snake Ride, so this week is Top of The Roan Ride, (102 miles). This ride takes you through historic Elizabethton to the top of Roan Mountain. There you will find breath taking views of East Tennessee, the world’s largest natural stand of Catawba Rhododendron. This is a place where you can enjoy peace and quiet, a cool breeze, the smell of wildflowers and let your mind rest and wonder.

Top of The Roan Ride

Here are the directions as it is listed in the Southern Dozen Handout:

Turn right onto North Roan Street, then turn right on highway 11E North 9.4 miles, turn right on highway 19E South/321 south 27 miles, then turn right on highway 143 south Roan Mountain 12.6 miles, Highway 143 changes to NC 261 – 12.8 miles, turn right on highway 226 North 16.3 miles, highway NC 226 changes to TN 107 west 10.5 miles, turn right on highway 173 west 0.6 miles, then turn left on highway 173 – 09 miles, turn right on I-26 west 12 miles, take exit 20 Roan Street.

Along your route there are many things you can do, places to eat or just stop a take a picture. Here are few things you might enjoy.

1. Cherokee National Forest. It has a world class aquarium, riverfront park, riverboat rides, numerous theatres, and restaurants.

2. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Gorgeous fort, educational bliss, & artistic achievement.

3. Elizabethton Covered Bridge. People do not appreciate the covered bridge except for those that grew up here.

4. Blue Hole Falls. Where you can take a hike and go for a swim.

5. Veterans' Monument

6. Corner Nest Antique Mall

7. Off the Grid Mountain Adventures

8. Stop by Jiggy Ray’s in downtown Elizabethton for a meal and a cold brew

9. Hike on to the top of Roan Mountain

The best part of this ride is the top of Roan Mountain. The view will take your breath away and if you are willing to go for a hike there are places where can walk and see the mountains of East Tennessee for miles. A place where you can get back in tune with nature.

Always remember to wave at your fellow bikers. A wave is a prayer that their ride ends safely, and they arrive back home to the ones they love and to those who love them.

As always ride safe and keep your knees in the breeze.

Useless Facts:

1. All blue-eyed people have single common ancestor who lived near the Black Sea six to ten thousand years ago.


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