Video Available from NC-200

 

  
Dist:
& Est Time:
40 Miles
.8 Hours
State Map
& Segments:
Link to North Carolina DOT
North Carolina DOT Map
Major Crossroads
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Concord, NC to Lancaster Co SC via NC-200

NC-200 is a two lane State Road that runs a north-south course of about 40 miles through Cabarrus, Stanly, and Union counties. Because it runs almost parallel to US-601 this is a nice alternate route for anyone that wants a little diversion. Nearly every local rider claims this to be one of their favorites and an adept planner can use it as the quickest way between stops for ice cream or pie. 

This is an excellent road for beginning road riders to sharpen their skills, because to ride this road properly you must know how to look forward and simply control the bike through the feedback of the road. As soon as you have established on a comfortable track you look ahead and see another sweep in the opposite direction. You have time enough for a quick break in concentration and then you are immediately back to another sweep and that's probably why most will find this route enjoyable. The northern half is somewhat twisty and hilly. There are a good number of wide sweeps that either drop or rise.

The roadway is in good shape, it was last repaved in 2008. Police coverage isn't lacking, so be careful to mind your speed as you pass through Locust, and Stanfield. The road will put riders into a rhythm that makes it very easy to creep up to 75 MPH in some parts, and that's usually where you'll find lots of half eaten donuts and spilled coffee on the roadside.

 

There are two or three tourist type stops along the route. At the far northern end is Bost Grist Mill, only open on Sundays and special holidays. It dates back to the first settlers here and at least once each year it hosts historic battle recreations. A couple of miles south of there is Reed's Gold Mine, a North Carolina Historic Site that is truly a worthwhile stop.

 

Museum at Reed Gold Mine has several gold artifacts

Every American generally remembers the history of the California Gold Rush, but few ever learn that it was right here in North Carolina that the first gold deposits were found by pioneer Americans. Millions of dollars were taken from quartz veins on about 350 sites throughout the state. Some commercial interests, like those a few miles north at Gold Hill, were established and took the majority of the ore, but much of it was worked just like the Reed family did here. It was not much more than a few relatives, crawling through very small tunnels and working just a few hundred pounds of raw ore each day.

There still is gold in the area, and visitors to the Reed Mine may pan for it in a nearby creek. But the large veins are worked out or yet undiscovered. The vastly superior fields of gold in California doomed the North Carolina mines as economically unfeasible not long after the Civil War.

There is a nice museum and interactive exhibits at the Reed Gold Mine, and a nice picnic area with plenty of parking. The combination makes this a very attractive stopover.

The only large town on NC-200 is Monroe, the seat of Union County. Several motorcycle shops are found here, so if you need assistance it isn't more than a few minutes away throughout the length of the route. NC-200 does continue beyond the South Carolina border as SC-200 and will take you Lancaster and further into South Carolina. Although it is a pleasant and very enjoyable ride, the twists generally disappear in the Monroe area and the hills are straight climbs.


05/2012