NC-197 and TN-395 – Another Route Back from Burnsville, NC

Burnsville, NC, a nice little town with gas stations and lots of restaurants, is a center point for a lot of great riding roads, NC-80, US-19W, NC-197 combined with NC-226, US-23 and a lot of good paved back roads.  In addition, Burnsville is near Mt. Mitchel State Park and not too far from Mars Hill, Weaverville and Asheville.   (See America Rides Maps, Map # 5 for some great roads in this area.)  It is likely then that you will ride through Burnsville at sometime.  I have previously posted rides that show a riding route near Burnsville to Red Hill, NC (Great Road to Red Hill, NC will take you to Burnsville, Bakersville, or back to TNMore Variations on Routes (210 Miler or a 260 Miler) that Include NC-80).  This post adds another fun (and curvy of course) route back to Johnson City from Burnsville.

Instead of riding NC-197 N to Red Hill, NC, there will be a left hand turn onto Clearmont School Rd.  You will ride on some nice back roads to another section of NC-197 N, and this part of NC-197 N eventually turns into TN-395 (Rock Creek Road).  The road will end in Erwin, TN fairly near the Fish Hatchery.  I think that NC-197 N/TN-395 is most fun riding from towards Erwin.  We have ridden it several times in the opposite direction and it always seems like there is more traffic; it is more difficult to maneuver and just not as much fun.  The route described below will send you to Exit 36 on I-26 so that will be 4 miles north of the the Red Hill route that takes you to I-26 Exit 32.  It’s a little farther to get back to Johnson City but the entertainment value of a new route back will be worth it!

The detailed route is described below:

The route from Burnsville, NC back to I-26 Exit 36 via NC-197/TN-395 (Rock Creek Rd)

Another way to get back to the Johnson City, TN area from NC-197 N in Burnsville, NC – ~30 mi

If on US-19E S coming from NC-80 or Spruce Pine, Right onto NC-197 N at stoplight before downtown Burnsville

If on US-19E N coming from US-19W or from I-26, Left onto NC-197 N at stoplight after passing downtown Burnsville

Once on NC-197 N, go 3.9 mi and get in left hand turn lane.  This will be the first left hand turn lane you see.

Left onto Clearmont School Rd.  Go 1.2 mi to stop sign.

Right onto Jack’s Creek Rd.  Go 2.8 mi.

Right at fork onto Jack Creek Rd.  Go 0.8 mi.

Left onto Toe River Rd/ Green Mtn Rd/State Rd 1338.   (No street sign but do not go over bridge; turn left.)

After you turn left, North Toe River will be on your right.  Go 3.2 mi.

Just before next turn, you will go over bridge for North Toe River and then go over RR tracks.

Curve to Left onto State Rd 1314.  RR tracks will be on your left.  Go 0.3 mi to stop sign/dead end.

Left onto NC-197 N  Go 1.5 mi

Right over Railroad tracks to stay on NC-197 N.  Go 8.0 mi passing through Poplar, NC.

Straight onto TN-395 W/ Rock Creek Rd.  Go 6.1 mi to stop sign in Erwin.

Right onto N Main Ave/ TN-107.  Go 0.4 mi

Left onto Harris Hollow Rd (look for “←Johnson City” sign). There is a BP gas station on left before this turn.

Go 0.3 mi.

Right to merge onto the I-26 W ramp to Kingsport/ Johnson City.  This is I-26 Exit 36.


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