Spring is stirring early in the mountains, so pack your saddle bags and head to the NC Smokies of Haywood County for the finest riding in the Southeast. From hair-raising mountain curves to mellow country roads, your quest for motorcycle utopia is over.
But most of all, we’ve got the curves. Broad sweeping curves, tight hairpin curves, gentle serpentine curves, cliff-hugging switch-backs — we’ve got hundreds, maybe thousand of ‘em, with routes to suit every skill level.
Motorcycle touring is all about the open road. The sense of adventure for what’s around the next curve, the rush of mountain ridges unfurling as you climb higher, the feeling of freedom as you ride the swells and dips of the Appalachian countryside.
To help you map out your ideal two-wheeled escape, the travel team at Visit NC Smokies compiled a “best-of” selection of mountain rides with a home base of Haywood County.
We’ve highlighted a dozen routes that run the gamut, from lazy afternoon excursions to all-day journeys to the back-of-beyond. While every biker knows the beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway — which we proudly claim as our own backyard — broaden your horizons with our own custom creation The Copperhead Loop, or the infamous Rattler with 290 curves in 24 miles.
There’s another big reason Haywood County has racked up accolades as the ultimate motorcycle destination: its friendly people. Bikers value the human experience. It’s more than just a ride, it’s about the people you meet along the way, from other bikers to diner waitresses to roadside produce peddlers.
To experience our friendly local flavor, stop in to a rural country store during your ride, like Ferguson’s General Store in Fines Creek, Sorrells General Store in Jonathan Creek, Bethel Grocery or Harley Creek General Store in Cruso.
A must of every biker’s bucket list, Wheels Through Time all-American motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley saw visitors from all 50 states and more than 50 countries last year. True to its moniker of “the museum that runs,” the rare collection of more than 300 vintage and antique motorcycles have been restored to working condition, garnering national attention. Open April – November.
So suit up and kick-start your spring riding season with a motorcycle adventure of your own making in the NC Smokies of Haywood County.