We met a riding buddy yesterday who wanted to ride Old NC-18. This was the first time we had ridden this road and it was a real treat. Once south of Morganton, there is little traffic and the road, Old NC-18, has enough curves with a smooth surface to be a really fun ride. Since it is so close to NC-181 (See links to routes describing NC-181; Little Switzerland (NC-226A) then NC-80 or NC-181), Old NC-18 can be incorporated into a ride that includes NC-181. Old NC-18 is also close to NC-126 which runs through Lake James Park, so NC-126 could be added to that route as well. US-70, US-64, and I-40 go through Morganton so one could also get onto Old NC-18 from any of these roads. The fun part of the road is about 15 miles in length and ends at a stop sign. We just turned around and headed back the way we came. Once back in Morganton, the easiest thing to do was to get on NC-18 heading north. There were plenty of businesses on NC-18 to take a break. We ate at Mountain Burrito which had delicious burritos and tacos, but our riding buddy said her favorite restaurant was Wisteria Southern Gastropod. Heading north on NC-18, the road eventually turned into NC-181. Riders could turn left onto NC-126 and ride through Lake James Park to US-70/US-221 or riders could stay on NC-181 and enjoy that thrill. The detailed riding route for Old NC-18 is shown below:
Old NC-18 – 20.2 mi one way
From intersection of NC-181 and NC-126,
Head southeast on NC-181/ N Green St. Go 1.3 mi.
N Green St turns slightly right and becomes N Sterling St. Go 0.9 mi.
Right onto Old North Carolina 18/ Old Shelby Rd. Go 0.5 mi.
Left to stay on Old North Carolina 18/ Old Shelby Rd. Go 14.9 mi.
Straight onto Old State Hwy 18. Go 1.9 mi to stop sign.
Turn around at stop sign and return via Old State Hwy 18/ Old NC-18.