NC 209 - “The Rattler”
Long popular with locals, NC 209 takes you on a wonderful scenic and challenging ride north to Hot Springs.
Extend your ride and make a 100 mile loop by continuing through Hot Springs on US 25, pass through Marshall, then follow Meadows Town Rd to NC 63. NC 63 leads you back to NC 209.
36 miles to Hot Springs. About 1 hour ride.
98 miles to do loop ride. 1/2 day ride.
Route: NC 209 - The Rattler
Junaluska to Hot Springs
Start: Exit 104 on Highway US 74. Lowes store at this exit.
- Pass under US 74. Follow NC 209 north.
Cross I-40 at Exit 24. It’s an easy ride through the valleys for a few miles.
- Turn Right onto Betsy’s Creek Road to continue on NC 209. Ferguson’s store / gas marks this corner. Lots of signs.
- Junction NC 63. Note and pass through. - Store and gas at this junction. Popular spot for a break, loop returns here.
- NC 209 ends at Hot Springs. Return as you came or continue on loop ride.
The Rattler Loop Ride:
Pass through Hot Springs. Cross the French Broad River and follow US 25 for 5 miles. US 25 will reach a stop sign.
Turn right @ stop sign to continue on US 25 / 70 towards Asheville.
Veer right into Marshall on Main Street. Follow into town.
Turn right at the traffic light in the center of Marshall and cross the bridge over the French Broad River.
You are now on Bailey Branch Rd. It will become Meadows Town Road. Meadows Town Road ends in 10 miles at NC 63.
Turn Right @ stop sign and follow NC 63 to return to the mid point of NC 209.
Turn left @ stop sign onto NC 209 and follow back to Junaluska to finish the ride.
98.4 mi - End of ride
Ride: Junaluska to Hot Springs
NC 209 - "The Rattler" starts at Exit 104 on US 19 / 74. A Lowes Store is the landmark at this exit. NC 209 - Crabtree Road winds north through the valleys near the Pigeon River, crosses over I-40 at Exit 24 then becomes NC 209 - Rush Fork Road once it leaves the river valleys. Sweeping cruves flow through mountain famland, climb to Rush Fork Gap then drop to the Fines Creek community.
NC 209 then shoots east as Betsy's Creek Road rolling into another farm valley for several miles. The landmark at this turn is Ferguson's Supply Store. Just beyond you'll find the "Rattler" sign and a chance to buy t-shirts and swag at the roadside. The road hooks around and climbs Lab Mountain to enter the first section of tight twists through rocky cuts. Cresting Besty's Gap it decends along Spring Creek. The curves relax and you'll pass historic Pink Plemmon's Store as you roll into the tiny settlement of Trust.
The Trust General Store is the landmark here. Note the junction with NC 63 - you will return from here to Junaluska to complete the loop ride.
NC 209 soon makes a long straight shot across broad Spring Creek Valley then follows the banks of the creek for several more miles of nice curvy road.
A sharp hook marks the start of the climb above the creek as you enter the National Forest. Challenging tight curves cut through the rocky bluffs high above the river. As you near Hot Springs a couple nice overlooks offer good stops for photos.
- NC 209 then drops and draws near the river again becoming Lance Avenue as you enter Hot Springs.
Ride: Hot Springs to Marshall
Passing through Hot Springs, Lance Avenue becomes US 25 / 70 once you cross the French Broad River. It climbs from the river through sweeping curves then makes a long slow descent to a stop sign at Big Laurel Creek.
- Turn right to continue south on US 25 / 70. The road winds along for several miles to reach the well marked turn onto North Main Street into Marshall. Continue to the stop light in the center of town.
Ride: Mashall to Junaluska
Long popular with locals, NC 209 takes you on a wonderful scenic and challenging ride north to Hot Springs. Extend your ride and make a 100 mile loop by continuing through Hot Springs on US 25, pass through Marshall, then follow Meadows Town Rd to NC 63. NC 63 leads you back to NC 209.
1110 Soco Road
Maggie Valley, NC 28751
Printed maps of all the great roads surrounding the Smoky Mountains can be purchased at the Haywood Visitor Center in Maggie Valley, North Carolina
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