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Old 05-06-2015, 07:55 PM
 
Location: OH
120 posts, read 197,462 times
Reputation: 45

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I want to take a moving truck from the Raleigh NC area to the Cincinnati OH area. I recently drove the direct route recommended by gps, which traveled I-40 to I-74 to I-77 to Hwy 35 and it felt like nonstop mountains for most of the trip (also known as West Virginia and the Blue Ridge pass). While lovely in a passenger vehicle, it would be terrifying in a truck.

How can I get from Raleigh to Cincinnati with the fewest steep grades possible? A few white-knuckle miles (preferably where there will be passing lanes so I can creep) is unavoidable, I realize, but without being ridiculous (I'm not driving south to Alabama to cross the Appalachians), what do you suggest?

If you can, please provide a rough estimate of the number of miles in your proposed route as well as the %grades I will still encounter.

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,099 posts, read 1,123,177 times
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Well... Avoid West Virginia. I can tell you that.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:25 PM
 
Location: OH
120 posts, read 197,462 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroninja42 View Post
Well... Avoid West Virginia. I can tell you that.
Haha, no kidding! It was gorgeous, but on the way up we were in a massive downpour in the dark and I about screamed a few times. =)





Would it be as simple as connecting to the 81 in Wytheville VA right before the major passes and then jog up through Lexington? That only adds 1 hour, and about 40 miles compared to the direct route. But I'd still have to do the pass for the Blue Ridge Parkway, which certainly has some steep spots.

Is the stretch of mountains north of Corbin KY steep? It doesn't look windy.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:35 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,792,885 times
Reputation: 11136
Unfortunately, you are probably screwed unless you really want to go out of your way by going under and around or going north to Pennsylvania and across. The highest parts of the Appalachians are from North Carolina through West Virginia and the most direct routes take you through that part of the mountains.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:03 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,217 posts, read 17,948,587 times
Reputation: 14655
I'd recommend taking I-40 west to Knoxville and I-75 north to Cincinnati. The most challenging segment of that route is a 40-mile segment of I-40 that spans 20 miles on each side of the North Carolina/Tennessee state line. You'll have to take it slow there because it has curves and steep grades. Another somewhat challenging segment is a 40-mile segment of I-75 immediately north of Knoxville, though the curves and grades are less severe than the I-40 segment I mentioned. Other than that, however, the route is surprisingly gentle. If you can handle the I-40 segment, the rest of the drive is a breeze, even the I-75 segment by comparison.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
3,718 posts, read 3,570,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroninja42 View Post
Well... Avoid West Virginia. I can tell you that.
And Virginia
And Pennsylvania
And Maryland

Probably should just go around Atlanta
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:11 PM
 
5,682 posts, read 8,752,084 times
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I-40 W to Asheville has one steep grade that is not curvy. I-40 on to Knoxville is not steep but it is very curvy. It is actually downhill from Canton west of Asheville. There is one moderate grade near Canton but that part is straight. I-75 N has some steep stretches but it is not particularly curvy. Once you get north of Corbin there are some moderate hills but nothing like before. The trucks will be going slow up the steep grades so stay in the right lane, grit your teeth and it will be over soon.

It might not be a bad idea to detour by way of I-26 to Johnson City then south on 81 if the curves on I-40 worry you. It's steep but relatively straight.
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