– Saluda, Columbus, and the edge of South Carolina
In my constant search for the best motorcycle rides in the Blue Ridge mountains, this year I expanded one of my motorcycle ride maps further south and discovered some of the nicest biker roads at the North-South Carolina border.
It’s an easy area to reach as I-26 south of Asheville cuts through the heart of it. For those approaching the Blue Ridge Mountains from Charlotte, NC or Spartanburg and Greenville, SC, both I-26 and US 25 funnel through this gap in the mountains converging near the small mountain town of Saluda, NC.
Saluda is a historic little trackside mountain town. There are few nice nice victorian-era homes, old churches, ice cream, a couple spots to get a bite, touristy small town stuff on Main Street. I’ve eaten at the Purple Onion Cafe a couple times in Saluda, it’s very good but can be crowded on those sweet summer Saturdays. Good place for a coffee break, some ice cream, or a lunch stop.
Section of motorcycle ride map #5, “The Best Roads North & South of Asheville, NC”. Best roads shown in red, good connecting roads in blue.
You can’t take a bad road out of Saluda. US 176 runs through town as Main Street. It’s a good road to ride north, a gentle and curvy climb to Flat Rock. The ride is even nicer going south to Tryon, but not below it. Leaving the middle of downtown Saluda as Greenville Street, it crosses the railroad tracks in the heart of town to take you west as Saluda Road through the forest to intersect Old US 25, another pleasant ride. If you head east from town, Holbert Cove Road winds through the gorge to reach Silver Creek Road or loop back through the tight switchbacks on Green River Cove Road.
Once you get north of Saluda and through the Green River Gorge you hit the congestion of Hendersonville which continues north into Asheville. Get on the good back roads sooner and leave the highway near Saluda. You can work northeast to Lake Lure or skirt southwest of Hendersonville on some excellent back roads both scenic and challenging away from the traffic.
Caution – The loop ride north of Columbus on Whiteoak Mountain Road / Skyuka Mountain roads is steep and has some of the tightest switchback turns you’ll find. No place for the inexperienced rider, hesitation or doubt will get you in trouble.
Maps make great holiday gifts! Riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains is made so easy with these detailed ride maps. Give the gift that pays back with the thrills of riding some of the most beautiful and challenging roads in the nation!
See the maps here -> America Rides Maps
If you enjoy photos of motorcycle riding in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, like MY BLUE RIDGE MOTORCYCLING FACEBOOK PAGE.
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com