Author Topic: Routing Recommendations - NC (west to east) from VA, NC (north to south) to SC  (Read 1087 times)

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Offline officerdare

Planning stages for my ride across the US, from Cheyenne, WY, through NE, MO, IL, IN, KY, VA and then into NC and SC.  Most of the route is pretty straight forward, until I hit uncharted territory and working on a route that will take me across NC starting out in VA near the Breaks Interstate Park (ACA) and heading to my first destination at the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, NC (Havelock), then onto the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC and then working my way south to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island (Beaufort, SC area).   Any recommendations on routing through NC?

Currently setting up the routes using RideWithGPS.com, and checking routes with Google Maps, supplemented by AAA state maps. 

  Tentatively, I worked out from west to east:  Hwy 58 to 221 at Independence, Hwy 21 down to Elkin, Hwy 67 to Boonville, Hwy 601 to Mocksville, Hwy 64 to Apex, Hwy 55 south to Hwy 42 and then onto Hwy 70 into Havelock.  Issues seem to be in Goldsboro and New Bern as far as the mapping shows and the roadways.  Some of the route, I piece-mealed from the previous Cycle North Carolina events going from the mountains to the sea. 

I’ve read through several journals that Hwy 17 heading south to SC is probably not the best route and following ACA’s down into SC near Yemassee might be better and then taking 17, down to 21 into Beaufort.  I will be riding a ICE Adventure tadpole trike.  Not sure yet if I will be taking a trailer or panniers. 

Journal is: crazyguyonabike.com/doc/13329
Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas, Fortitudine Vincimus
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever, By Endurance We Conquer

Offline jamawani

In general, it's best to avoid US Highways - esp. in the East.
US 58 is mostly 4-lane with fairly heavy traffic.

North Carolina publishes bike map sets that are map-case sized.
You could use the North Line Trace (G) then Ports of Call(D)
I would argue against any route thru the Raleigh Durham area

http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/mappubs/bikemaps/

You could cut off the northeastern corner of NC between the two routes -
But places like Merchants Millpond and Edenton are really nice.

Offline Pat Lamb

From Breaks Park, stay on the TransAm route to Damascus -- VA 80 to Meadowview, a couple zigs and zags to get to 91, and you're there.  Sounds easy, doesn't it?  :)  From there I'd suggest riding the Virginia Creeper to Whitetop, then continue on towards Sparta, NC.  U.S. 58 is mostly two lanes, winding, and low traffic from Damascus to Independence (except for holidays and summer weekends), and there is some spectacular scenery on the way, but I still prefer the back roads in NC.

As jamawani suggests, take a look at http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/mappubs/bikemaps/ for route overviews.  I'd stick to the North Line Route until you get east of Raleigh and I-95 before turning southeast towards Cherry Point.  Mountains to the Sea skirts some cities -- Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham, and Raleigh -- that most cyclists don't need or want to go near.  The state used to have the routes on line, but I couldn't find them in a casual search.  You might have to request actual dead tree maps.

Offline DanE

I am a life long North Carolina resident and I would not recommend riding the route you have in your post. Jamawani and pdlamb have the right idea of using the North Line Trace in NC.

Follow the Trans-Am from Breaks Park to Damascus, VA. The Trans-Am continues east on US58. This is a two lane mountain highway. US58 will make a right hand turn at the top of the ridge and the Trans-Am will continue straight, follow US58 through Mouth of Wilson, VA. This can also be accomplished by riding the Virginia Creeper Rail Trail from Damascus to Whitetop Station then picking up US58 there.

After Mouth of Wilson US58 will run next to the New River. Turn right on VA93 and cross the New River on the bridge, this turn is obvious with the bridge across the river. You will cross the North Carolina border almost immediately. This is the western end of the North Line Trace bicycle route, also called route 4.

North Carolina bicycle routes are signed. Signs will be at turns with a confirmation sign approximately every four miles if you continue on the same road. Signs can be missing so order the maps. Navigation is usually not difficult between the signs and keeping an eye on the map. I would follow this route across the state.

Bike route 4 will end in the very northeastern corner of the state. Once there follow US158 onto the northern end of the Outer Banks. Once on the banks move over to NC 12 to ride as it better to be on a bike on. Follow NC12 south along the Outer Banks taking the ferry from Buxton to Ocracoke and Ocracoke to Cedar Island.

I recommend that you are coming this far you ride the Outer Banks, it is one of the outstanding coastlines in the country and well worth seeing. It is possible to cut across to Havelock before this but the eastern part of the state is unremarkable, flat farm land.

After Cedar Island NC 12 will join US70 west. You will reach a T intersection with US70 turning left and continuing into Beaufort. Turn right instead onto Merrimon Road, then left onto Laurel Road and then right onto NC101. This will take you into Havelock and to Cherry Point.

There are some county roads that will take you from Havelock to NC24 which you can follow into Jacksonville. I am not sure where exactly the ACA Atlantic Coast route runs in the Jacksonville area, but it is close by. I would ride that route the rest of the way south into and through South Carolina.

Just my two cents!

Offline officerdare

I appreciate the feedback!  My concern initially was time, running across the northern part of the state and then down the Outer Banks, which would appear to add 2 - 3 days of riding.  The other question was the availability of services on the northern section.  On one of the forums, a couple detailed riding this route and commented on the distances that they had to ride each day as well as the hills to get to a town or lodging.  Does the NC4 run pretty much the 158 across or does it meander on smaller roads?  Will have to double check and see if I have that map, order it or do any of you have the routing down that you could send me?  Traveling on a trike obviously poses a set of unique challenges in and of itself.  I will be ordering the ACA maps to help with the coastal run to SC.  What is the Mountain to Sea like?  Looks similar to the tentative route I was looking at though I obviously do not have the maps.

Found the NC4 and the distances that are posed would definitely stretch my limits at 75 miles a day.   Running east-west just south of the Virginia border all the way from the mountains to the coast, this 400-mile route gives you access to six state parks and several other recreation areas. You'll be able to explore areas such as Stone Mountain, Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock State Parks, Hyco Reservoir, Kerr Lake and Lake Gaston Recreation Areas, Merchants Millpond State Park, and the Dismal Swamp and Currituck Sound areas. Campgrounds are spaced up to 75 miles apart and motels are scarce, so be prepared for some long days.   
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 09:52:14 am by officerdare »
Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas, Fortitudine Vincimus
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever, By Endurance We Conquer

Offline Pat Lamb

Spend some time surfing over the on-line versions:
http://www.bigbikemap.com/routeinfo/NC-State-Bike-Route-4---North-Line-Trace and
http://www.bigbikemap.com/routeinfo/NC-State-Bike-Route-2---Mountains-to-Sea.

You could drop down between Elkin and Yadkinville, if you wanted to.

I'd still recommend paper maps for directions, though