North Carolina Motorcycle Rides – Hookers Gap Road

Photo-view-of-Hookers-Gap-Road

View of Hookers Gap Road - uphill section which leads from Newfound Road.

Hookers Gap Road is a secret little motorcycle ride near Asheville, North carolina, only a handful of motorcycle riders know about.  

Excellent pavement, non-stop  back-to-back curves, and an occasional views of the Smoky Mountains and valleys make it a ride any biker would love, but few ever discover. Shame – it’s really useful.

Hookers Gap Road is a useful motorcycle road as it (indirectly) links two well known favorite motorcycle rides – The Blue Ridge Parkway & NC 209 (The Rattler) 

Connecting Roads:

  • NC 151 – (also known as “The Devil’s Drop”) – Descends from the Blue Ridge Parkway through a steep section of tight hairpin curves that is cherished for the challenge. Some people rave about this road, but I can’t give it a red  “best road” rating on my America Rides Maps. The twisty section is good, but too short. Most of NC 151 rolls across open valley with average views. It ends when it meets US 19 and the suburbs.
  • Newfound Road – Newfound Road runs from Canton to Leicester. It’s a popular ride that courses through long open valleys with a short but tight curvy section in the middle. It’s a good ride, views are mostly average. On my America Rides Maps Newfound Road does not get any favorable rating.
Photo-section of Hookers Gap Road

The west end of Hookers Gap Road is the best.

Newfound Road gets a lot of  motorcycle traffic as it connects to NC 63 in Leicester. To the east, NC 63 leads into Asheville,  but many riders go west on NC 63. Within a few miles, the road starts a climb to the top of a mountain that winds through a tight series of switchback curves. The long descent down the west side of the mountain leads to a junction with NC 209 (a.k.a. “The Rattler”) near the midpoint of it’s run to Hot Springs or Junaluska at Trust.

Description:

A motorcycle ride on Hookers Gap Road is most easily navigated from the south end. Come down NC 151 from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the traffic light at the junction with US 19. Continue through the traffic light on Dogwood Road. Follow west then veer left onto Pole Creek Road. It will become Hookers Gap Road. It ends at Newfound Road. Distance: 7.4 miles.

To find Hookers Gap Road from Newfound Road,  watch for the “+” (crossroad) sign on the north side of the curvy section of Newfound Road. There is no sign for Hookers Gap Road, but there is one across the street for Morgan Branch Road, the western continuation of Hookers Gap Road from Newfound Road.

Image - Section of America Rides Maps shows Hookers Gap Rd.

Section of America Rides Maps shows Hookers Gap Rd.

Hookers Gap Road keeps you out of the congestion and traffic on I-40 and busy US 19 and it’s one of the most challenging rides in the area.

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Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch - Cartographer

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– 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

Wayne is an advanced motorcycle instructor for Total Rider Tech teaching Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Courses. It’s time you looked into advanced rider training to ride more confidently and safely, it will change your mountain riding experience. It worked so well for me I became an instructor! Total Rider Tech

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You’ll find Hookers Gap Rd and some of the best motorcycle rides in this outstanding area along with a guide to more than a dozen roadside waterfalls on America Rides Maps “The Best Motorcycle Rides EAST of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Looking for the Thaw

9 degrees this morning. There’s been snow on the ground, which is frozen rock hard, since December 18 last year. One of the furnaces is out and space heaters roar to keep the rooms tolerable. The repairmen are swamped and we’re in better shape than some. They’ll get to us.  What firewood is left is reserved for emergency use and used sparingly when needed once the sun goes down. I can’t remember the last time the daily high was above freezing or even close. Temp’s in the 20’s are starting to feel warm. When we got our most recent newspaper, before the  snow covered the road again, there were hints that warm weather was coming. I hope so.

Photo - Lake Junaluska frozen and snow covered

Lake Junaluska, NC, frozen and covered with snow

We’ve made the most of the situation, and had to get out to relieve the cabin fever from time to time. I still keep several hundred pounds of rocks in the back of the truck to get traction when needed on the icy patches and when the roads are  still white in the shady sections. The motorcycles sit frozen like statues in the car port and I fear I’ll find the batteries have succumbed when I go to start them once warmer weather returns. The Blue Ridge Parkway is closed of course, and the reports coming in tell of significant damage from downed trees which may take months to clear. Parts remain inaccessible even to the snow plows to evaluate the conditions.

The photo shows nearby Lake Junaluska on a Sunday walk. It’s frozen over and covered with snow. For the first time in my experience I foolishly dared to walk out on it to find the ice quite solid. Only a pure idiot would dare a crossing, and would likely discover there are parts which are only thinly covered. I may be foolish, but fortunately there is a limit. The video was made by my wife playing with her new toy, a “Flip” camera. It only took her a few minutes to put it together and I suspect we’ll have a lot more video to show for it.

Everyone eagerly anticipates the return of normal weather and rumors of highs in the 50’s later this week fill my heart with both joy and dread. There are chores waiting to clean up the damage and set things back in order, plumbing repairs, yard work, and then there’s the motorcycles. I hope they’ve survived.

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