I just found out that the road in the US with the most dips and curves is not Highway 19 in Missouri, the Road to Hana on Maui, or the Talimena Parkway in Oklahoma, 3 of my favorites, but the Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina. I now have a must-see-to-drive destination. I am going to Ohio next week, but not to North Carolina. Yet.
The Road to Hana has 617 curves and 56 bridges in about 40 miles. The Tail of the Dragon has 318 curves in 11 miles. Sports car drivers and motorcyclists claim to love it and frequent it from spring to fall each year. It is said to be the drive of anyone’s lifetime. I’m certainly interested in doing it.
The Tail of the Dragon is about 90 miles west of Asheville, North Carolina. It begins in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains where North Carolina’s Highway 28 and US 129 meet and ends at the Tabcat Creek Bridge in Tennessee. I just wish I knew about it a few years ago when Ruth and I visited the wonderful Birthplace of Country Museum in Bristol, Tennessee. We could have driven the Dragon instead of trying to get into the way-too-busy Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon.
This road commences in Deals Gap, North Carolina, in the eastern part of the Great Smoky Mountains NP on US 129. It’s only 2 lanes wide and has a speed limit of 30 mph, but there is very little elevation alteration and thrills are guaranteed. Some of the curves have been named. I love the names Wheelie Hell and Gravity Cavity. This road is so accident prone that it is often closed by landslides and storms.
It might be wise to keep in mind two November, 2021, events so as not to be there for them. The Dragon Rally is on November 6, and there’s a Genesis Rally that is described as the ultimate driving experience between November 12 and 14. If you desire road thrills this month, it would be better, in my opinion, to head for Oklahoma’s Talimena or Missouri’s Highway 19. I am still grateful that Ruth’s cousin’s husband Tom told me about the Talimena Drive several years ago. Talk about dips and curves!