North Carolina November 24, 2017
This Ultra Narrow Road In North Carolina Will Both Thrill And Terrify You
There are all kinds of drivers in this world – cautious, aggressive, slow, and the adventurous. For motor enthusiasts and the race car driver in us all, the Tail of the Dragon is an exhilarating drive full of hair pin twist and turns. It’s like the Wild Wild West of the Blue Ridge where mountain scenery takes on a daring aesthetic challenging our wits and ways with each turn of the wheel.
Deemed as the number one motorcycle and sports car road, Tail of the Dragon takes drivers on an exhilarating ride which includes 318 curves in a mere 11 miles. For many, its a motorists' dream, for others - they might be asking, "Where is the Dramamine?"
Nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest, you'll find the Trail of the Dragon in Deals Gap. Designated as U.S. 129, there's no intersecting roads or driveways to delay your journey, thus relaying the ultimate cruise and giving it the reputation as "the destination" for thrill seekers everywhere.
The Tail of the Dragon attracts all leagues of drivers - from sports cars, motorcycles and even your average Joe looking to break the monotony with a thrilling cruise. While many journey here in the spring and summer, it's still accessible throughout the fall and parts of the winter.
While it's normal to expect plenty of souped up sports cars and faster-than-life motorcycles, there's also plenty of 'drivers' that don't care what they're sporting - they just want their turn to conquer the dragon. It's important to note that during the offseason of the Dragon, it can be especially desolate. You're touring through untouched, mountainous terrain, and doing all at exhilarating speeds and hairpin turns.
Summer or winter though, many motorists seek out the Dragon as a bucket list destination. It's a roller coaster which you control. Different sections include the Hump, the Esses, Cattail Straight and the Dips.
While many flock to the Blue Ridge Parkway for its stunning scenery, this is not a road for sightseeing. Sure, pretty vistas are all around, but you'll be more focused on keeping your eyes on the road.
The Tail of the Dragon begins at Fugitive Bridge (where Harrison Ford jumped from in the movie The Fugitive) with stunning views of the Cheoah Dam. From there you'll climb through The S, a series of steep S curves. Then, you level off for a bit until hitting another series of curves and the intersection of Moonshiner 28, another popular road. From there you'll venture through Deals Gap and onwards into Tennessee where the turns and thrill really kick in. It's a drive many do time-and-time again and dragon enthusiasts have been given the name 'Dragon Heads.'
North Carolina is a state steeped in moonshine racing and thus NASCAR, it’s safe to say there’s a little bit of race car driver in us all – making this one of the must-drive roads for any Fast and Furious Tar Heel. Have you adventured to the Tail of the Dragon before? Any tips for first time drivers?
Talk about the ride of a lifetime! Speaking of hopping in the car,
these 10 North Carolina roads have the best windshield views.