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  • Great Motorcycle Rides North Carolina – The Rattler Motorcycle Map

    Great Motorcycle Rides North Carolina – The Rattler Motorcycle Map

    Great Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina - NC 209, a.k.a. "The Rattler".

    Great Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina - NC 209, a.k.a. "The Rattler". Do it as an out-and-back or make a nice loop ride - one of many ways to go on this great biker road

    The Rattler Motorcycle Ride is one of the great motorcycle rides in North Carolina and is one to include in your Blue Ridge Parkway motorcycle adventure.

    So you already know about the great motorcycle rides in the Smoky Mountains, maybe you’ve made a motorcycle tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    You’ve already tasted the Tail of the Dragon (if it didn’t take a bite out of you), and probably enjoyed the sweet curves of the Cherohala Skyway.

    By now you realize there must be a ton of biker roads out there“So, WHAT’S NEXT?”

    Great Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina - NC 209, a.k.a. "The Rattler" This is some of the best motorcycle riding you'll find in the world. These riders are looping back to NC 209 on NC 63.This is some of the best motorcycle riding you'll find in the world. These riders are looping back to NC 209 on NC 63.

    Great Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina - NC 209, a.k.a. "The Rattler" - This is some of the best motorcycle riding you'll find in the world. These riders are looping back to NC 209 on NC 63.

    Not one, but two motorcycle rides immediately spring to mind, so I flipped a coin. The Rattler won.

    For years, this great motorcycle ride was well known amongst locals (and those in-the-know) as “209” or “Hot Springs”. It’s one of the default, always-good motorcycle rides that you can do over and over again and enjoy it every time. A few years back, it got named “The Rattler“. I don’t know who started that, but it stuck, and you can buy T-shirts along the route – I guess it’s official.

    The Rattler motorcycle ride takes you on a 30+ mile jaunt through the mountains and valleys north of Maggie Valley and Waynesville to the tiny town of Hot Springs near the Tennessee border.

    Great Motorcycle Rides North Carolina - The Rattler

    Great Motorcycle Rides North Carolina - The Rattler; Nice valley rides coursing along rushing streams, climbs over several mountain passes, and tight-tight twists as you approach Hot Springs

    It’s a great “lunch ride” or “afternoon spin” as it only takes an hour or less to ride the twisty two lane. It’s also a “warm up” for those motorcycle touring fans who really know the area.

    One you get to Hot Springs, you are surrounded with good motorcycle roads to choose from if you know where they hide.

    Great Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina - NC 209 The Rattler

    Great Motorcycle Rides in North Carolina - NC 209 The Rattler - pastoral views of mountain farms and creeks, winding passes through forests, and some of the most challenging tarmac you'll ride wait for you in North Carolina on The Ratterl

    Ride Guide –
    36 miles to Hot Springs – About 1 hour ride to hot springs.
    98 miles to do loop ride shown – 1/2 day ride.


    Start: Exit 104 on Highway US 74. Lowes store at this exit. Pass under US 74. Follow NC 209 north.

    3.7 mi Cross I-40 at Exit 24. It’s an easy ride through the valleys for a few miles.

    11.9 mi Turn Right onto Betsy’s Creek Road to continue on NC 209. Ferguson’s store / gas marks this corner. Lots of signs.

    22 mi Junction NC 63. Note and pass through. – Store and gas at this junction. Popular spot for a break, loop returns here.

    36.6 mi NC 209 ends at Hot Springs. Return as you came or continue on loop ride.

    To continue on loop ride – 

    Pass through Hot Springs. Cross the French Broad River and follow US 25 for 5 miles. US 25 will reach a stop sign.

    41.7 mi Turn right @ stop sign to continue on US 25 / 70 towards Asheville.

    50.9 mi Veer right into Marshall on Main Street. Follow into town.

    61.6 mi Turn right at the traffic light in the center of Marshall and cross the bridge over the French Broad River.

    You are now on Bailey Branch Rd. It will become Meadows Town Road. Meadows Town Road ends in 10 miles at NC 63.

    71.5 mi Turn Right @ stop sign and follow NC 63 to return to the mid point of NC 209.

    85.5 mi Turn left @ stop sign onto NC 209 and follow back to Junaluska to finish the ride.

    98.4 mi End of ride

    Here’s a 10 minute video that takes you through the ride step-by-step


    Wayne Busch

    Wayne Busch - Cartographer

    Total Rider Tech Logo

    Learn Total Control

    – 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 –

    Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. Isn’t it time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely? It can transform your mountain riding experience.  Total Rider Tech



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    10 Comments to “Great Motorcycle Rides North Carolina – The Rattler Motorcycle Map”

    […] first read about NC 209 on Wayne’s websites- Smoky Mountain Rider and America Rides Maps. Before we left home on our trip, I printed a copy of his map and stuck […]

    love Hot Springs keep me posted wana do this ride

    rode the Rattler last july, a great ride for sure , will hopefully be back in the area this year to do more riding
    keep up the great work Wayne , really enjoy your work and post

    I’ve liked your FB page, and enjoy your postive attitude. I’ll share this with the Venture’s group I’m a member of. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks. Contact me if you can use help with your rides.

    Spent 3 days riding in TN and NC. The Rattler was the best set of roads that we found. Dragon was too busy and we had to crawl through it. Rattler was deserted except for school buses around 3-4 pm. Great twisties that can be taken faster than Hwy 129 or Hwy 28. Plenty of them including s curves and u-shaped curves give you a chance to find a speed and rhythm and hardly need to use breaks. Just use engine breaking in 3rd gear or 2nd and get on and off the throttle. An occasional turn that decreases radius or keeps turning longer keeps you honest and attentive, including a few 10-15 mph switchbacks where you see your own rear end when turning. We followed a rushing branch that became a rushing creek almost half of the ride. Awesome. I will not waste my time on the dragon next time and will go back to the Rattler for uninterrupted fun and no HP watching.

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    This is my ride I lived in Hot Springs so I know this ride Great

    Will be staying in Lake Junaluska campground August 8-7. Bringing my Goldwiing trike. What maps do you recommend. Will be able to ride 3-4 hours every day during Salvation Army Bible Conference. Maybe longer at least one day. Would also love to meet up. There is a chance there will be some other Salvation Army riders with me.

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