Wayah Rd, a.k.a. "Thunder Road" makes a long and winding climb from the middle of the Nantahala Gorge. The road follows the river up the mountainside passing an overlook at Upper Nantahala River Cascades. There are numerous small pullouts along the road as it's a popular fishing river.
Once you reach the top of the climb the road relaxes and rolls across a broad area on the mountain. This is the neighborhood where Eric Rudolph hid from the FBI for years. You'll wind through homes along Nantahala Lake, the source of the river.
Leaving the lake the road starts another tight climb to reach the top of the mountain. There are a few steep unpaved driveways in the sharp curves, watch for gravel wash.
Once you crest the mountain the road straightens out as it crosses near the top of the ridge. An unpaved road leads to a lookout tower atop Wayah Bald. Once you pass the trailhead where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road a steep plunge down begins.
The switchbacks last a mile or so then you wind through woods and out into a valley. The roads relaxes again on the hilly run to meet Old Murphy Road a few miles west of Franklin. Loafer's Glory Store is a classic rest stop with swag.
A classic ride out of Nantahala Gorge, Wayah Road climbs along the whitewater river up to Nathahala Lake, crusies along the top of the ridge, then plunges down the steep slopes to roll out across a valley. Loafer's Glory is a popular stop at the Franklin, NC end of the ride. There is a nice pulloff at the waterfalls on the climb up.
A minute of motorcycles screaming through one of the most famous motorcycle rides in the world. Shot on April 26, random bikes passing at two spots on the gr...