The Best Guide to Motorcycle Roads, Rides & Events

The Copperhead Loop + ADD NEW ROUTE


8   in North Carolina North Carolina77 Miles

Motorcycle Roads The Copperhead Loop

By northmeck0255
on January 16, 2013

5.0out of 5

5 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

Written Directions

The loop starts just minutes away from the Asheville Regional Airport, the Biltmore Estate and other area tourist destinations are within easy reach. There is easy access to the Copperhead Loop from Interstate 26, simply take Exit 40 off I-26 (the Asheville Airport exit), turn toward Bervard, NC traveling an easy 16 miles on NC Rte. 280 south, a recently improved rural 4-lane highway.

Start the loop by getting yourself and your bike to Pisgah Forest, NC. Since the loop is comprised of only three roads, remembering the route is quite easy. Start with US 276 north, NC 215 south then US 64 east back to the beginning. Simple. No high-tech GPS required.

The Coppperhead Loop starts at the intersection of US Hwy 276, NC Rte. 280 and US Hwy 64 in Pisgah Forest, NC. We recommend that you start the Copperhead Loop in Pisgah Forest traveling north on US 276. Doing so allows you to be facing Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock as you ride north and when you turn onto NC 215 you will also be facing the creek and waterfalls as you climb toward the Blue Ridge Parkway there.

US 276 riding north from Pisgah Forest has long been known for its beautiful scenery as it quickly increases in elevation to intersect with the Blue Ridge Parkway. The road runs parallel to Davidson River, one of the most beautiful trophy trout streams found in western North Carolina. Looking to your right you will see Looking Glass Falls and a few miles past the falls you will come upon Sliding Rock, which is a very popular summer play spot for locals and tourists alike. Looking high to your left you will see Looking Glass Rock, but please be careful when looking at any sights; come to think of it, stop at the many pull-offs with picnic tables along US 276 north and take a picture. Remember, Safety First!

After passing under the Parkway US 276 follows the Big East Fork of the Pigeon River headwaters down into the well preserved mountain community of Cruso. Cruso rests in the shadow of the famed Cold Mountain. This area boasts such a desirable way of life people from all over the U.S. flock to this little piece of Heaven to escape the fast-paced impersonal lifestyle of the big city.

Continuing on, you will arrive in the crossroads area of Bethel where you will turn left onto NC Rte. 215 South. If you need food, fuel or restroom at this point, all are available about one-quarter mile past the turn. Stopping here will also give you the chance to meet some of the wonderful people who live and work in what many refer to as "God's Country".

Heading south on Rte. 215 the natural scenic beauty continues but with less traffic as you climb back to the Blue Ridge Parkway, following the West Fork of the Pigeon River toward its headwaters. Once you pass under the Parkway on NC 215 you will be treated to smooth asphalt along with long sweeping turns. About halfway down the mountain NC 215 straightens out for a bit. In this section there is a small country store, offering another great opportunity for a rest break and top off your tank if needed. From here, NC 215 gets curvy again until it reaches US 64.

When you reach US 64, you can turn left onto US 64 east and relax as you ride the short 9 miles into the quaint town of Brevard. Or, you can turn around and experience the Loop in the opposite direction. This allows you to experience the twists and turns in a whole new light!

Scenery

Western North Carolina offers many excellent roads for the motorcycle or sports car enthusiast, but there is one loop that offers everything you could ever want for an enjoyable ride. This beautiful route has long been a "secret" among local riders, who appreciate its beauty and its easy access. This route, called the "Copperhead Loop", is a perfect combination of the characteristics that make a great road.

This isn't just a curvy road with tight twists and turns that requires expert technical skill to extract the maximum enjoyment of the ride and you won't have to drive hours out of your way to experience its magic. Instead, the Copperhead Loop offers a challenging ride, wonderful scenery, easy access from major roads as well as access from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As with its namesake, the Copperhead demands respect. While you may not be facing a dragon, a rattler or a diamondback, the Copperhead can inflict a nasty bite if not given due caution. Compared to other popular roads in the area, The Copperhead offers many of the same thrills yet so much more. This loop offers technical curves to test even the most experienced rider, as well as relaxing sweeping turns and rapid elevation changes. As an added plus, the road has posted speed limits that allow you to enjoy a spirited ride without fear of breaking the law.

There truly isn't a better combination of roads for a motorcyclist or sports car enthusiast to enjoy.


The entire Copperhead Loop route is just a bit over 77 miles, which is an easy afternoon jaunt for most riders. However, to get the most out of your experience, we recommend that you plan to spend at least half a day or more exploring the various Points of Interest along the way. These are noted on the route map, which is downloadable from the "Map" page.

Scattered rain showers are a possibility most any time during the year in western North Carolina, so be sure to bring along rain gear. Please obey posted speed limits, ride within your ability, and ride sensibly. Above all else, have fun!!

Road Quality

The route has switchbacks, sweepers, and elevation grade changes both up and down.

Roadside Amenities

There are gas stations and restaurants in Pisgah Forest and in the Cruso section of the loop.

Additional Info

Nickname (optional) : The Copperhead Loop

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By Guest
on July 30, 2013 6 out of 6 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 88

Motorcycle Make Honda Goldwing

Motorcycle Type Touring

Really enjoyed this route off the BRP. We did a 3200 mile trip of backroads and this was among my favorite. Very scenic with lots of twisties. Would not have known about it except for this write-up. Thanks.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

By wncryder
on November 13, 2014 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2012

Motorcycle Make Honda Goldwing

Motorcycle Type Touring

This is the best motorcycle road in western North Carolina closest to the largest municipal area (Asheville). It offers a variety of everything a motorcyclist could ask for, switchbacks, curves, uphill/downhill, scenic views, peaceful mountain streams. A must-ride when in the Asheville area.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

By foxhunter
on June 21, 2016 1 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2012

Motorcycle Make Harley Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

I did this loop going to and from my home in South Carolina. It is an awesome ride and one of the best in western North Carolina. Going up Sunday on 276 there was a lot of traffic, especially at the entrance to Pisgah on the Brevard side. Lots of cars pulled off the highway as well as hikers were out and about. I discourage riding it on a summer weekend. On Monday, I returned down 215 heading south from 276 outside Waynesville, and found I had the road to myself. The twists and turns are very challenging to say the least and not for a beginner. You have to stay focused. At the top of the run is the BR Parkway and there you can pull off for a bit of a break. The the run down to 64 is again challenging. This route seems lesser known and I am not sure why, but sure worth it.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

By Ninja Ridge Runner
on January 10, 2016 1 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Ninja 250R

Motorcycle Type Sport

This road was a lot of fun to ride. Great switchbacks and curves. The scenery is also amazing. There were several points on the road to stop and hike. There is also a lot of water on this route. Part of it follows a good size stream. There are several pull off stops by both streams and waterfalls to have a nice picnic or go for a swim. The National Forestry School Museum is also on this route close to Sliding Rock. It is definitely worth a visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

By look2x
on August 23, 2015 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2014

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

I jumped on 215 north from Tanasee Gap Rd. 215 north is a great ride. Great quality road with quality curves. I turned south on 276 and also loved the road and the curves. I didn't complete the loop because I turned onto the Blue Ridge Parkway to head in the direction of Asheville, but this is a route I plan to take again.

Was this review helpful? Yes | No