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Bicycling the Blue Ridge, 4thA Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway
By Skinner, Elizabeth
Menasha Ridge PressCopyright © 2004 Skinner, Elizabeth
All right reserved.
Get ready for some fun! You have a solid ten miles of spectacular downhill into Asheville. You'll gain it back if you are cycling on to Mt. Pisgah, but for now, enjoy. Pisgah National Forest spreads its lush blanket of green as far as the eye can see. The Swannanoa River Valley and the town of Black Mountain are to the east.
Known as "The Land of the Sky," Asheville is the quintessential city of the Blue Ridge. With a population of 160,000, it has become an urban center in its own right. Its burgeoning size warrants some careful directions on how to get around. We suggest you take one of two routes to reach the inner city. Town Mountain Road leads to downtown Asheville and two bike shops. The route through Biltmore Forest situates you best for the Biltmore Estate. A third route is best for reaching the airport. We outline each route below.
Of modern design in wood and stone, the Folk Art Center sits serenely in its mountain setting. If you appreciate fine handicrafts, you will want several hours to spend here. Bring your credit card, because the artsy jewelry, hand-loomed fabrics, and original pottery are expensive. The Folk Art Center also has an extensive selection of books on the southern highlands.
There are numerous tourist attractions in Asheville. The Biltmore Estate, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and home, and the seasonal festivals held in Asheville are all reasons to spend some time in the city. If you plan on touring Asheville, you may want to write the Asheville Travel and Tourism Office for detailed information.
365.5 Craggy Flats Tunnel (400 ft.)
374.4 Tanbark Ridge Tunnel (780 ft.)
377.4 (elev. 3,132 ft.)
Excerpted from Bicycling the Blue Ridge, 4th by Skinner, Elizabeth Copyright © 2004 by Skinner, Elizabeth. Excerpted by permission.
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