Boone, NC and surrounding area

Bretthn

Explorer
My sister-in-law was graduating from Appalachian State on Sunday, so we decided to head to Boone Friday night and spend all day Saturday exploring. I wanted to drive all of Old NC105, which is mostly unpaved and follows all of Linville Gorge, and a few other unpaved public roads. Sampson road off of the Blue Ridge Parkway was pretty fun, and offered some great views. Richland is another public road in Lenoir that has a section that is unpaved, I came across it on the net and saw some pictures that look like it actually offers some technical four wheel drive sections... we did not make it there but hope to next time.
Another area we missed was the abandoned town of Mortimer. I had read about it from a member on here but need to find out how to get there, I was thinking that Old NC105 ran through it.

Shortly after turning off the Parkway, headed to Sampson Rd we came across what looked to be a salvage yard, but there were some pretty nice restorations in progress as well.


Most of it was just tame fire road.

But there were a few crossings and climbs that offered some excitement.



The best part was the views.

These are from Old NC105.



We saw at least 100 small campsites that I assume are free to use. Some of the roads leading into the campsites got a little muddy and offered an opportunity for some poser shots. I am pleasantly surprised at the flex the LX has in the rear with AHC. We stayed away from the mud. I poked around at some of the holes which got pretty deep, and did not feel like ruining the day by getting stuck.


 

mkitchen

Explorer
Looks like some great country

Nice to see some green stuff. I hope to get out there when opportunities allow. Does it get much use?
Mikey
 

Bretthn

Explorer
I hope to make it out your way.
I saw about 20 other vehicles all day. I am told it gets pretty crouded over the next couple of months though. I am thinking about going back to actually camp for Memorial weekend... that or Uwharrie.
 

VDBAZFJ

Adventurer
Most of it was just tame fire road.

But there were a few crossings and climbs that offered some excitement.


The best part was the views.

These are from Old NC105.



Beautiful! I'd really like to go here someday. I have family in NC and Virginia (Cumberland Gap area) and we used to go every year when I was a kid. Beautiful land indeed!
 

mastersryan

Adventurer
I have a family mountain house in Mountain City, TN which is a little west of Boone, NC.. awesome area I can't wait to head back.
 

TJK

Observer
Interesting - thanks for sharing.

The route out to Mortimer and Edgemont is Roseboro Road off 221 in Linville. That turns into a FS road which then intersects Edgemont Road.

Some historical photos are here.

http://web.utk.edu/~jeparks/history.htm

I may ride out there this weekend. Thanks for the reminder.

TJK
 

Bretthn

Explorer
Thanks TJK! I can't wait to head out that way again. There is so much to explore in that area, I wish I lived closer.
 

TJK

Observer
Just got back so while this is still in my head.

Coming into Linville (not to be confused with Linville Falls) on 181, you'll come to a four-way intersection. Turn right here. You'll drive past a resort area and pretty immediately, take a left on Roseboro Road. Make a note because this is about the last well-marked road on this trip.

Roseboro is paved until you cross the Parkway. It then turns to gravel and descends somewhat steeply for a long, long time. Nothing at all technical, just lots of washboard sections.

Roseboro eventually ends at Edgemont Baptist Church - this is also Edgemont Road. Turn right.

Continue along Edgemont until you see Betsey's Ole Country Store - you can not miss it. You are now in modern day Mortimer. The (unmarked) road directly before Betsey's is still Edgemont Road - turn right here. Or go to the store and chat with Bruce Gray, get a Coke and a hot dog (no gas), then turn down Edgemont.

Edgemont soon passes by the ruins of old Mortimer. Again, you can't miss them.

Unless you now want to backtrack, continue on Edgemont until it comes to Brown Mountain Beach Road, where you go south. Continue south on what is alternately labeled Highway 2 and Brown Mountain Beach Road. This connects to 181S to Morganton.

Clearly this can be a much shorter trip if you pick up 181N in Morganton but where's the fun in that?

Honestly, I can't recommend this trip in the summer. The area is covered up in people, mostly camped in large groups along the river and further down, in larger groups making day trips to the river. A lot of fast drivers coming around blind curves in the wrong lane. And generally just more people than I want to see in the woods. The ruins are also largely covered in vegetation. I'd go in late fall or early winter.

Fun day in my FJ40, though.

TJK
 
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