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CHEROHALA SKYWAY

The Cherohala Skyway is one of the most beautiful and scenic roads in America. Its beauty is rivaled only by the Blue Ridge Parkway as far as roads or highways in the eastern United States. The name 'Cherohala' is a result of combining the names Cherokee and Nantahala, which are the two National Forests which the Skyway passes through.

The idea of the route itself was conceived in 1958. The end product accredited to an idea of Sam Williams of Tellico Plains, TN. Thirty-eight years later, in October 1996, the Cherohala Skyway was completed at a cost of $100,000,000, making it North Carolina's most expensive highway. At that time, and in what I feel was an attempt to justify the enormous expense, the United States Forest Service estimated that five million cars per year, or ten cars per minute on a year-round average, would use the Skyway. In reality, the average would be more like ten cars and fifty motorcycles per day (April-November). The beautiful scenery, the long straight-aways and the banked sweeping curves make this road a motorcyclist's dream-come-true.

NOTE: There is one particular curve on the Skyway where the most motorcycle accidents and deaths have occurred - southbound at the 10-mile marker in North Carolina. There, and on a few other area roads you will see 'SLO' painted on the pavement. I don't know who does it, but you are advised to heed the warning.

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