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The Copperhead Loop

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 77.8 miles / 125.2 km
  • Ride Time: 2-4 hours
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $5.91
  • State: North Carolina
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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 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.

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!

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!!

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of North Carolina. This motorcycle route has 8 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by northmeck0255 in January. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by northmeck0255

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for The Copperhead Loop

Ride Scenery:

ParksFall ColorsLakesForestMountainsRuralRiverFarm Land

Best Time to Go


Road Characteristics:

Sweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadHillyLight TrafficSmoothAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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Previous Comments from other Riders:

thatdude says:

i ride up and set up camp at davidson river campground then day trip. this route is a favorite, can't say which part is my favorite 'cause it's all good. nice write up
Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM

OpenRoadRider says:

Fantastic route. Have done this many times. Brevard is also a great place to setup base camp. They have a number of very good restaurants to eat at. We try to make it down there every couple of years and use Brevard as our 'base camp'. A lot of fantastic things to see along this route - thanks for sharing. Great photo.
Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 2:53 PM


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