More Variations on Routes (210 Miler or a 260 Miler) that Include NC-80

Motorcycle riders that visit the Blue Ridge Mountain area near TN and NC often tell us that riding NC-80 (AKA Devil’s Whip) is so much better than riding the Dragon.  They like having limited traffic and reduced enforcement of the speed limit when riding the curves .  Of course, the speed limit is mostly 55 mph on NC-80, and in many sections of NC-80, it is kind of hard to go that fast!  I guess that is why we ride it almost every week when we are staying in the Johnson City, TN area.  It also has great scenery, is always a challenge and never gets boring.   Of course when we ride it we have to include a stop for lunch at the Garden Deli in Burnsville, NC so that also keeps us returning to ride NC-80. Then there are so many options to include in the riding route after NC-80 has been conquered (although I have to admit that sometimes certain sections of NC-80 continue to humble me).  This post will describe two other route options for riding NC-80.  Both options include riding US-70 E to Old Fort, NC then riding two back roads, Bat Cave Rd and Old Fort Rd, to NC-9.  After that you can take a left to make a ~260 mi route that includes 40 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  If 260 mi of hard riding is too time consuming and/ or tiring for you, choose the 210 mi option.   For a total of ~210 mi, take a right onto NC-9, ride curvy NC-9 into Black Mountain, get on I-40 E and head east back to Old Fort.  In both options, you end up back on NC-80 and head back to Johnson City the same way you came.  Both detailed routes are shown below:

NC-80 to Old Fort to US-74 ALT to Blue Ridge Parkway – 260 mi route

NC-80_BRP_map

NC-226 and NC-197 to Burnsville for lunch then to NC-80, US-70 to Old Fort, Bat Cave Rd/Old Fort Rd, NC-9, then Alt-74  to Blue  Ridge Parkway (BRP), 40 miles on  BRP getting off onto NC-80, 260 miles from Johnson City, TN

From Red Hill, NC,

Right onto NC-197 S just after Red Hill gas station.  Go 4.5 mi

Left to stay on NC-197 S  Go 6.7 mi to stoplight in Burnsville

Right onto US-19E S   Go 0.2 mi to stoplight.

Right onto E Main St  Go 1.1 mi to yield sign.

Right into Burnsville’s Town Square.

Garden Deli will be on your right.  Find parking space within oval Town Square.

After lunch, ride around Town Square toward N Main St.  Go 0.1 mi.

Right onto S Main St.  Go 413 ft to stoplight. (or you can return to US-19E the way you came)

Left onto US-19E N.  Go 4.5 mi to NC-80 stoplight.

Right onto Micaville Loop.  Go 0.6 mi.

Right onto NC-80 S  Go 26.2 mi to US-70 stoplight.

Right onto US-70 W  Go 8.5 mi to first stoplight.

Left onto Catawba Ave in Old Fort.  Go 0.5 mi.

Before the I-40 entrance, there will be a gas station on your right.

After the I-40 entrance there will be a McDonald’s on your right.

Catawba Ave turns into Bat Cave Rd.  Continue straight for  6.8 mi.

Straight onto Old Fort Rd  Go 4.8 mi to stop sign.

Left onto NC-9 S  Go 6.9 mi to stop sign; the town Bat Cave is ~0.5 mi south of this stop sign.

Right onto US-74 ALT W  Go 15.8 mi

Left into Shell  gas station on your left for gas, bathroom break, and snacks

Continue west on US-74 ALT W.     Go for another 1.2 mi.

Exit onto Blue Ridge Parkway entrance  on your right    Go 0.2 mi.

This is at Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) mile marker 384.7.

Left onto Blue  Ridge Parkway     Go 41 mi.

Take Exit for NC-80 N on right to get off parkway.  Go to stop sign.  This is BRP mile marker 344.

Left onto NC-80 N  Go 14 mi to stop sign.

Left onto NC-80/ Micaville Loop  Go 0.2 mi to stoplight.

Left onto US-19E S  Go 3.6 mi to stoplight. At NC-197 intersection.

There will be a gas station on your right before NC-197.

Right onto NC-197 N   Go 11.2 mi to stop sign in Red Hill.

NC-226 and NC-197 to Burnsville for lunch then to NC-80, US-70 to Old Fort, Bat Cave Rd/Old Fort Rd, NC-9, then I-40 back to US-70 and NC-80, 210 miles from Johnson City, TNNC-80_NC-9_map

NC-226 and NC-197 to Burnsville for lunch then to NC-80, US-70 to Old Fort, Bat Cave Rd/Old Fort Rd, NC-9, then I-40 back to US-70 and NC-80, 210 miles from Johnson City, TN

From Red Hill, NC,

Right onto NC-197 S just after Red Hill gas station.  Go 4.5 mi

Left to stay on NC-197 S  Go 6.7 mi to stoplight in Burnsville

Right onto US-19E S   Go 0.2 mi to stoplight.

Right onto E Main St  Go 1.1 mi to yield sign.

Right into Burnsville’s Town Square.

Garden Deli will be on your right.  Find parking space within circular Town Square.

After lunch, ride west on Town Square toward N Main St.  Go 0.1 mi.

Right onto S Main St.  Go 413 ft to stoplight (or return to US-19E the way you came).

Left onto US-19E N.  Go 4.5 mi to NC-80 stoplight.

Right onto Micaville Loop.  Go 0.6 mi.

Right onto NC-80 S  Go 26.2 mi to stop light.

Right onto US-70 W  Go 8.5 mi to first stop light.

Left onto Catawba Ave (in Old Fort); Go 0.5 mi.

Before the I-40 entrance, there will be a gas station on your right.

After the I-40 entrance there will be a McDonald’s on your right.

Catawba Ave turns into Bat Cave Rd.  Continue straight for  6.8 mi.

Straight onto Old Fort Rd  Go 4.8 mi to stop sign.

Right onto NC-9 N  Go 9.8 mi into Black Mountain, NC

Left onto I-40 E entrance ramp  Go ~0.1 mi.

Merge onto I-40 E.  Go 7.6 mi.

Exit I-40 Exit 72 for US—70 Old Fort  Go 0.3 mi

Straight onto US-70 E in Old Fort  Go 9.2 mi to stoplight.

Left onto NC-80 N   Go 26 mi to stop sign.

Left onto NC-80/ Micaville Loop  Go 0.2 mi to stoplight.

Left onto US-19E S  Go 3.6 mi to stoplight.

There will be a gas station on your right before NC-197.

Right onto NC-197 N   Go 11.2 mi to stop sign in Red Hill.

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