Southeast, U.S. 421. Both twisty and scenic, low traffic density.
good road condition. Picking up US 421 south from the Daniel Boone Parkway
(toll road), the road is good two-lane blacktop down through Hazard
County and coal mining country all the way to Boone, North Carolina and
the Blue Ridge Parkway. The scenery runs from pleasant mountain valleys
to spectacular ridgetop views. Curves run from+gentle sweepers in the valleys
to switchbacks where a trailer-pulling rider could easily check the brakelights
on the trailer without the hassle of dismounting! At times, the road follows
mountain streams through the valleys. Plenty of small towns and diners
along the way. Traffic levels are low, but watch out for slow moving vehicles
and the occasional loose cow. This road is best experienced at a relaxed
pace and definitely worth the time. For the folks coming down to the Smokies,
it's an excellent route to the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you have several
days, go south on the Parkway from Boone, around the southwest tip of the
Park on US 129 through Deal's Gap to Maryville where a great breakfast
can be had at the 411 cafe.
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