Explore the Cullowhee Mountain Road Loop in North Carolina

Cullowhee Mountain Road Loop Ride

There is no shortage of scenic rides in the U.S., but the western North Carolina mountains offer waterfalls and historic southern towns.

The Cullowhee Mountain Road Loop is 32.8 miles round trip, and will treat you to a succession of gorgeous views, a quaint Southern town, not one but three waterfalls, and other stunning water features you won’t want to miss.

About the Cullowhee Mountain Road Loop

The Cullowhee Mountain Road is Jackson County’s best-kept secret. The curvy back road starts from Cullowhee, NC, and loops around NC 107 and then back to Sylva. 

Local bikers love this ride: It’s the perfect combination of scenic and off-the-beaten-path. It’s also a relatively easy route, making it a good fit for beginner motorcyclists.

The trip should take around one or two hours to complete without stopping. Of course, if you want to make stops and explore the area, there’s plenty to do to fill a whole day.

How To Get There (and What To Do)

Check out the following directions and our suggestions for cool things to do in the area.


Our travel itinerary starts and ends in Sylva, NC. Beware of gravel as you ride the Cullowhee Mountain Road Loop. There are many unpaved driveways along Cullowhee Mountain Road and NC 107, so gravel may wash out onto the road.

  • Ride to Sylva and continue south on NC 107. Watch for signs for Cullowhee and Western Carolina University.
  • Proceed through Catamount Gap.
  • After passing Forest Hills on your right, ride to the next stoplight.
  • Follow signs for Speedwell and take a right. You’ll see the Jackson County Recreation Complex on the right.
  • When you reach a fork in the road, take the left-hand fork for Cullowhee Mountain Road, SR 1157.
  • Stay on SR 1157 for around 10 miles. 
  • You’ll reach a point where SR 1157 makes a left turn and Cullowhee Mountain Road meets Pine Creek Road. 
  • Continue left to NC 107 onto Pine Creek Road.
  • When you reach the intersection of SR 1157 and NC 107, turn left and ride north on NC 107.
  • Stay on NC 107 for around 14.5 miles to ride back to Western Carolina University.

Things To Do in Cullowhee North Carolina

Be sure to stop and unwind at Pines Recreation Area at 1965 Pine Creek Road, Cullowhee, NC 28723. 

The area is home to Lake Glenville, one of the highest-altitude lakes east of the Mississippi. In addition to 26 miles of stunning waterfront views, there are three waterfalls and a sandy swimming beach if you want to take a dip.

The Pines Recreation Area also offers picnic benches, restrooms, and ample parking for motorcycles.

Next, consider stopping at the quaint mountain town of Cashiers on your way back to Sylva. Head south on NC 107 and take a right turn at approximately 6.5 miles. Cashiers is home to the Village Green, a beautiful green area, and has some great spots for dining and upscale shopping. 

Had a Motorcycle Accident? Call Law Tigers

Accidents can happen to the best of us. If you experience an accident while riding the Cullowhee Mountain Road Loop, call us at (888) 863-7216. 

Our Law Tigers team will refer you to a North Carolina motorcycle attorney in your area. They will review your case, explain your legal options, and advise whether you can seek compensation. If you are eligible to claim damages, our North Carolina bike accident attorneys will support you at every step of the process.