Here’s a comprehensive list of the top motorbike rides in North Carolina.
The Appalachian Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will appeal to motorcyclists in the state’s western section. Along the Atlantic Ocean’s east coast, bikers can see little fishing villages, magnificent beaches, and lighthouses. For direct Google Maps routes, click on each North Carolina motorcycle map link. Here are the top motorbike roads in North Carolina.
HOW CAN I FIND THE BEST MOTORCYCLE ROADS AROUND NORTH CAROLINA?
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What Are The 8 Best Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina?
- Cherohala Skyway (27 miles)
- NC Route 28 (53 miles)
- Blue Ridge Parkway (NC, 250 miles)
- Route 80 – Devil’s Whip (38 miles)
- Copperhead Loop (75 miles)
- Shiner’s Run (33 miles)
- Wild Dam Waterfall Loop (80 miles)
- Newfound Gap Rd (35 miles)
1. CHEROHALA SKYWAY
- Route 143
- DISTANCE: 27 miles
- TIME: 45 mins
One of North Carolina’s top motorcycle roads features mountainside woodland vistas and elevation changes. This motorbike fantasy path reaches elevations of over 5400 feet and is described as a “Drive among the clouds.” Many riders come to this section of the state to ride the fabled Tail of the Dragon, but many discover that this road is more fun. The Skyway also allows easy access to numerous sheltered and recreational spaces where you may rest and stretch your legs, in addition to multiple panoramas and overlooks. For those seeking the whole experience, the Santeetlah Overlook is a must-see. Take a ride on one of the best motorbike rides in North Carolina.
2. ROUTE 28
- DISTANCE: 53 miles
- TIME: 1.5 hours
Hellbender 28 is the name given to the western section of this North Carolina motorcycle road, and with good reason. Along Fontana Lake, riders will have a thrilling ride through densely forested slopes with sweeping curves and drop-offs. On the eastern side, there are more spectacular waterfalls and tighter corners. This amazing motorbike trip, located right adjacent to Deals Gap, is less well-known and less crowded, but no less entertaining.
3. BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
- TOTAL DISTANCE: 469 miles
- TIME: 10 hours
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a national treasure and an incredible joy to motorcycle. It is truly one of the nicest routes in the entire eastern United States. The North Carolina segment of this motorcycling road features high heights, steep gradients, tight turns, and numerous tunnels. Keep an eye out for wildlife, particularly at dark and dawn. Allow plenty of time for this fantastic motorbike trip in North Carolina, since there are numerous overlooks where you can stop and soak in the scenery.
4. ROUTE 80 (DEVIL’S WHIP)
- DISTANCE: 38 miles
- TIME: 1 hour 10 min
The Devil’s Whip motorcycle route in North Carolina is known for its steep inclines, switchbacks, and quick and tight twists. Ride this from south to north to avoid the steep uphill turns. Between Crabtree Falls and Mount Mitchell State Park, NC-80 runs beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway. While the “Devil’s Whip” is often thought to terminate at Micaville, NC-80 remains a fantastic route all the way to Bakersville. There have been numerous fatalities on this road, so even the most experienced riders should go with caution and focus.
5. COPPERHEAD LOOP
- NC-276, NC-215, NC-64
- DISTANCE: 75 miles
- TIME: 2 hours
Much of this North Carolina motorcycle trip follows the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway through the Pisgah National Forest, and it has it all: uphill/downhill, twists, switchbacks, sweepers, beautiful views, and tranquil mountain streams. Even experienced riders will love the loop’s difficult technical curves, which are balanced by easy-going sweeping corners and fast elevation changes. Find out why the Copperhead is known as “Beauty With An Attitude.
6. SHINER’S RUN
- DISTANCE: 33 miles
- TIME: 1 hour
Shiner’s Run is a 33-mile stretch of North Carolina State Road 209 that runs north from I-40 and ends in Hot Springs, NC. Locals call this fantastic North Carolina motorcycle road “The Rattler” because it contains several tough twisties, high-speed sweepers, and long straightaways across valley floors. You’ll witness historic farms, rivers with rock beds, and stunning mountain vistas. It’s one of western North Carolina’s best-kept secrets and a must-do ride. Overall, the road is in excellent condition.
7. WILD DAM WATERFALL LOOP
- Routes 281, 64, 107
- DISTANCE: 80 miles
- TIME: 2.5 hours
This amazing motorcycle journey in North Carolina will offer fantastic views of some of the state’s biggest waterfalls, as well as travelling over gorgeous dams in the southwestern region of the state, as the name of the loop implies. NC-64 is a lovely scenic drive along the Cullasaja River Gorge, with a few waterfalls to see along the way. As you cruise down to Tuckaseege on NC-281, you’ll enjoy a series of sweeping downhill curves.
8. NEWFOUND GAP ROAD
- DISTANCE: 35 miles
- TIME: 1 hour
The journey begins in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and continues through the Smoky Mountains National Park to Cherokee, North Carolina. Several picturesque pullouts provide long-range vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you bike through Newfound Gap, which has substantial height fluctuations. The most significant disadvantage of this road is its popularity (traffic will be heavy on most days), but there is plenty of magnificent scenery and sweeping curves if you can catch it on a less crowded day.