The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a world-class natural treasure and a favorite destination for motorcycle riders. That makes the surrounding region a perfect place for a motorcycle rally. This year marks the 16th annual Spring Thunder in the Smokies Rally. It’s the oldest and largest rally hosted in the town of Maggie Valley, North Carolina, which proclaims itself as being “Where the Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge”.
The Spring Thunder in the Smokies Rally is headquartered at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds in the center of town. The venue is conveniently located near a wide range of restaurants and accommodations. The town has a long history serving the needs of tourists and welcomes motorcycle riders. The grounds feature a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains, making a nice backdrop for rally fun. Here’s just some of what you can expect:
- Tour ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway
- People's choice bike show
- Bike games
- Free pancake breakfast on Sunday morning
- 30+ vendors
There’s also live music featuring:
- Morgan Riley
- Ali Randolph
- Steve Bryson Band
- Rockie Lynne
Wheels Through Time Museum
Another treat for motorcycle enthusiasts is the Wheels Through Time Museum
, located just down the street from rally headquarters. You should plan to spend some time exploring this unique museum. It features a collection of running motorcycles and at any time you might see the owner, Dale Walksler, roaring around the building on one of the classic bikes. It’s something you don’t want to miss.
There’s also plenty of great riding near the rally grounds. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just 20 miles away from Maggie Valley. Take U.S. Route 19 (US19) south to the town of Cherokee and then on north U.S. 441. Along US19 you’ll meet the Blue Ridge Parkway, an all-time favorite road for motorcycle riders. Other great motorcycle riding roads within short distances from Maggie Valley are:
Spring Thunder in the Smokies Rally
- Tail of the Dragon
- Cherohala Skyway
- The Rattler NC209
- Moonshiner 28
May 4-6, 2018
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds
3374 Soco Road
Maggie Valley, NC 28751
Handlebar Corral Productions
Till next time, ride safe!
If you’re looking for more events and ride suggestions, check out our Events section.
They were both mentioned above. Now, we have some motorcycle tips to riding the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway.
If you want to see the real Cold Mountain, and not the one Hollywood featured in its film, head to North Carolina for the Cold Mountain Loop.