We are spending the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2017 months mostly in the Blue Ridge Mountain area. The ride routes will probably refer to a Johnson City starting point since we are staying just north of Johnson City, TN. This first post for the area describes a fun curvy road (TN-107/NC-226) that leads to multiple locations. TN-107/NC-226 is a totally entertaining road in itself; you could ride it back and forth all day to wear yourself out, but it also leads to other great riding areas. If you stay on NC-226 after Red Hill, it will take you to Bakersville, NC where you can get gas and food (We like to eat at the local restaurant called Helen’s on NC-226 in Bakersville). From Bakersville one can ride to Spruce Pine to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway or go a little farther to Little Switzerland to ride NC-226A, the Diamondback 226. You could also turn left (north) once in Bakersville, to ride the excellent road (NC-261/ TN-143) through Roan Mountain that ends at US-19E. Alternately, if you want to miss the little bit of traffic on the NC-226 close to Bakersville, you could turn right onto Fork Mountain Road after ~6 mi on NC-226, and Fork Mountain Road will take you to a stop sign after ~12 mi. If you take a left at the stop, you will be on NC-261/ TN-143 which takes you over Roan Mountain. You could also turn right onto NC-197 about a 1/4 mi before the Red Hill gas station, and that portion of NC-197/ TN-395 will take you on some very curvy roads to Popular, NC and then take you back to Erwin, TN. If you take a right onto NC-197 just after the Red Hill gas station, NC-197 will take you to Burnsville, NC. Take a right at the stoplight in Burnsville to get to downtown if you want to eat at the Garden Deli, one of our most favorite restaurants for lunch. To get to TN-107/NC-226, take I-26 S from Johnson City and get off Exit 32. Alternately you could get to TN-107/NC-226 by turning north onto TN-173 from US-19E, and then turning left onto TN-107 at the stop sign. The detailed ride route for TN-107/NC-226 is described below.
To Red Hill, NC from I-26 E, 23.5 mi
Take I-26 E exit 32 for TN-173.
At exit ramp stop sign, Left onto TN-173. Go 0.3 mi to stop sign.
Right to stay on TN-173. Go 1.1 mi.
Left onto TN-107 E Go 10.1 mi.
Straight onto NC-226 S. Go 12.8 mi to Red Hill.