Great Motorcycle Roads in North Carolina
The Best Roads Are Here
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These are some of the best motorcycle roads in North Carolina. Motorcyclists will appreciate the western region of the state with the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On the east coast, riders can check out the small fishing villages, pristine beaches, and lighthouses along the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the best motorcycle roads in North Carolina is full of mountainside forest scenery and elevation changes. The Santeetlah Overlook is a must stop for anyone wanting the complete experience. Along with multiple vistas and overlooks, the skyway provides easy access to various protected and recreational areas to stop and stretch your legs. Enjoy the experience of riding one of the best motorcycle rides in NC!
The western portion of this NC motorcycle road is referred to as Hellbender 28, and for good reason. Riders will enjoy an awesome road experience through dense, forested mountains with sweeping curves and drop offs along Fontana Lake. The eastern side offers scenic waterfalls and more tight cornering. Right next to Deals Gap, this fantastic motorcycle ride is less known and less populated, but certainly no less enjoyable!
Blue Ridge Parkway
Truly one of the best roads in the entire eastern United States, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a national treasure and an absolute joy to motorcycle. High elevations, steep grades, tight curves and lots of tunnels along the North Carolina section of this motorcycle road. Look out for wildlife, especially during dusk and dawn, There are many overlooks to pull over and take in all the beauty, so allot plenty of time for this great motorcycle ride in North Carolina.
Route 80 (Devil's Whip)
Steep inclines, switchbacks, quick and tight turns - all describe this extremely challenging NC motorcycle ride dubbed Devil's Whip. Ride this south to north, so as to navigate the tight corners uphill. NC80 crosses under the Blue Ridge Parkway between Crabtree Falls and Mount Mitchell State Park. While the "Devil's Whip" is generally considered to end at Micaville, NC- 80 continues to be a great road up to Bakersville. There are many fatalities on this road, so even the most experienced riders will want to navigate this route with caution and focus.
NC-276, NC-215, NC-64 (75 miles)
Much of this North Carolina motorcycle ride follows the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway through the Pisgah National Forest, and is a perfect combination of everything riders would want - uphill/downhill, curves, switchbacks, sweepers, amazing views and peaceful mountain streams. Even experienced riders will enjoy the challenging technical curves this loop provides, but there's also easy-going sweeping turns and some rapid elevation changes. See why the Copperhead is “Beauty With An Attitude!"
NC-209 (33 miles)
Shiner's Run is the stretch of North Carolina State Road 209 that starts at I-40 and goes north for 33 miles before ending in Hot Springs, NC. Referred to by locals as "The Rattler", this great North Carolina motorcycle road features many challenging twisties, high-speed sweepers and long straightaways across valley floors. You'll see old farms, rock bed rivers and scenic mountain overlooks. It’s one of the better kept secrets in western North Carolina and a ride not to miss. The road is in very good shape overall as well.
Wild Dam Waterfall Loop
Routes 281, 64, 107 (80 miles)
As the name of this loop implies, this great motorcycle ride in North Carolina will offer fantastic views of some of the state's best waterfalls, as well as crossing over scenic dams in the southwestern part of the state. NC-64 is a beautiful scenic ride through the Cullasaja River Gorge with a few waterfalls to stop by and check out. On NC-281, you enjoy a series of sweeping downhill turns as you roll down to Tuckaseege.
Smoky Mtns US-441
US-441 (35 miles)
The beginning of this epic mountain motorcycle road starts in Gatlinburg, TN and winds through Smoky Mountains National Park to Cherokee, NC. With significant altitude changes as you ride through Newfound Gap you have several scenic pullouts that afford long range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The biggest downside to this road is the popularity (there will be traffic on most days), but if you can catch this ride on a less busy day, there's lots of beautiful scenery and sweeping curves.