The Best Mountain Motorcycle Rides in NC

Motorcycling in NC on road with mountain in background

Cherokee: One of the Most Beautiful Motorcycle Destinations in North Carolina

Great motorcycle destinations have a few things in common: breathtaking scenery, proper road maintenance, plenty of wonderful places to stop and rest, and favorable weather conditions. Cherokee, NC is one of many destinations that draws riders from around the country and the world. Mountain views, long winding roads, four solid seasons, and gorgeous towns to eat, sleep, shop, and have fun in bring motorcyclists to the area all year long. The Smoky Mountains are a backdrop unlike any other. Experience the majesty of nature and the power of being on the road. Enjoy scenic vistas that have been inspiring natives and locals for centuries. 

two people Motorcycling in NC on road with mountain in background

Whether you’re cranked back on your throttle, or cruising, options abound.

One thing we understand about motorcyclists is that they’re passionate about their routes. If you’re looking for a spectacular web of scenic motorcycle routes, look no further than the Cherokee area for some of the best rides in the country. So rev that engine, throttle up, and in no time you’ll be speeding through the lush hills and valleys of Cherokee. From the broad panoramas of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the “Cherokee Run,” beginning just south of Lake Junaluska, you’ll encounter gorgeous scenery and fine road quality to make for a stellar motorcycle ride. After a ride like that, settle into a seat at the Mountainside Theatre to watch the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” or try your hand at blackjack at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. A serious motorcyclist needs a comfortable place to refuel, so settle into a nice hotel or campground in Cherokee for the night and ride like wildfire into the Cherokee sunrise in the morning.

Motorcycle Roads in NC You Don’t Want to Miss!

In and around Cherokee there are a wide variety of places to ride. Of course, the most famous motorcycle road in NC is the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you’re coming from Charlottesville or Roanoke, VA, you can even take the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to the end in Cherokee. Although the speed limit is slower than some bikers might prefer, the scenic views, camping opportunities, hiking trails, and historic sites make the Parkway unlike any other road in America. Highway 19, which runs between Maggie Valley and Cherokee, is another beautiful day drive if you like steep, windy roads through the forest. Highway 441, which goes to Atlanta, runs through both the Nantahala and Chattahoochee National Forests. Of course, there are also many smaller roads to explore that run near the river and through the nooks and crannies of the Smoky Mountains. All of these routes are guaranteed to make your ride more fun as you explore the Qualla Boundary, where Cherokee culture began.

Motorcycle riders on road in cherokee nc with trees in the background
Motorcycle rider on road in cherokee nc with trees in the background

Places to Stop on Your Next NC Motorcycle Ride through Cherokee

Downtown Cherokee-Downtown Cherokee has many different places to visit. Enjoy modern comforts and gaming at Harrah’s Casino Resort or simply sit by the river and relax. Shop, eat, fish, or even tube the river while you’re here. Looking for a place to sleep for the night? Choose from luxury rooms to local campgrounds. You’ll find whatever suits you in Cherokee.

  • Mingo Falls: Take a short but steep hike to see one of the largest waterfalls in Western North Carolina. Located just a quick five-mile ride from downtown, this is a favorite of locals and out-of-town visitors alike.
  • Museum of the Cherokee People: Learn about ancient and modern Cherokee history with a tour of the Museum of the Cherokee People.
  • Judaculla Rock: Take one of the areas most beautiful drives and visit a genuine mystery. Although the Cherokee have talked about this site for thousands of years, no one knows what people or tribe created the carvings on Judaculla Rock. See it for yourself surrounded by the splendor of the Smoky Mountains

Stay and play

Each place you visit in Cherokee pulses with the stories and significance of a people whose roots run deep and whose ancient wisdom is fascinating to uncover. Nestled in the lush landscapes of Western North Carolina, Cherokee invites you to smell the wood smoke and open your ears. If you listen closely, maybe you can hear the chanting of the little Nunnehi people of the mountain peaks. No need to resist Cherokee’s invitations to dive right in. Fire off a blowgun if you dare, but make sure your spouse is in the clear. As you cast your line into the trout-filled rivers or wash your face in the sweet spray of a waterfall, let the powerful feelings of Cherokee carry you. Even if it’s just for a day or two.

Fire Mountain Trails
fire mountain

Fire Mountain Trails

Oconaluftee Indian Village
Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc.
Sequoyah National Golf Club
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
River Tubing

River Tubing

Oconaluftee Islands Park
Fire Mountain Disc Golf
entrance fmdgs (1)

Fire Mountain Disc Golf

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrow
motorcycle riders collage

Cherokee Awaits.