Benson, NC to Jct NC-10 / NC-27 in Lincoln County

NC-27 is a scenic road part of the time and other times just a quick way to go east/west without taking an Interstate route. The highway starts in the sandhills near Benson at the east and slowly gains elevation to the Blue Ridge Foothills on the west. For most of the distance the route is two lane and in very good condition; but some sections are four lane, occasionally divided.

Town to Town

Beginning from the small town of Benson, adjacent to US-301 and I-95, NC-27 heads west in the fairly placid environment of the sand hills. Traffic is rarely heavy although care should be taken in the sometimes congested areas of US-401 and US-421.

  
Dist:
& Est Time:
49 Miles
1.1 Hours
State Map
& Segments:
Link to North Carolina DOT
North Carolina DOT Map
Major Crossroads

The 17 mile run from Lillington is pleasant, with slight hills and very mild curves. Roadway is good.

At Johnsonville NC-27 joins with NC-24 and runs concurrently for the next 90 miles. Traffic volumes are appreciably higher and large trucks frequently slow riders from the posted speed limit of 55 MPH. Use caution in the Carthage area, especially when crossing US-15/US-501, the intersection can be confusing and it's not unusual that cross traffic will pull out unexpectedly. The roadside is generally scenic between Carthage and Albemarle. There is a small section of four lane road at Biscoe as the highway crosses US-220. Biscoe PD always seem to be evident and willing to stop you for a performance award.

Around Troy there are some nice elevations changes as the route proceeds through the Uwharrie National Forest. Four wheelers along this stretch always seem to be in a hurry and willing to pass against the yellow. Passing areas are almost non-existent. I've been run off the road twice on this section, thankfully both times I was in a car . . . this is a good clue that riders he must pay close attention.

If you don't wish to endure the mess that is called downtown Charlotte you might want to consider using NC-73 from Albemarle for your westbound route. It will take you through Kannapolis and Concord, but that traffic is nothing compared to Mecklenburg County. Also, a nice side trip/stopover in the Albemarle area is Morrow Mountain State Park, a favorite with motorcycle riders throughout the state.

From Albemarle to Charlotte the road turns to four lane and speeds well above the posted limit are possible. Police in Locust are VERY aggressive, but they do have a sense of humor. The Chief of Police there runs around in a plain Jane cruiser with a license tag that says DONT PASS ... and he tells everybody with a smile that he grabs at least two or three fools each day that disregard the advice.

Charlotte at the right times of day is a breeze. Those times are 7 PM to 9 PM and between 10 AM and 11:30 on most days. Check the NFL play schedule for the Panthers if you are planning to transit the area on Sunday afternoon. The route goes within a block or two of their stadium and it can sometimes take 90 minutes or more to get across this 1.5 mile distance. Stay alert in this area, especially after dark. The road surface is frequently not very good and there are several high crime areas.

Once into the Mount Holly area the road again becomes two lane and in pretty decent condition. The posted speed limit from here to Lincolnton is usually no more than 45 MPH and sometimes it's difficult to maintain even that speed. The area is congested with residential traffic. Lincolnton is the last town of any size but should pose no problem. The route terminates in another 15 miles at NC-18. If you want to go northbound to the Blue Ridge Parkway I suggest you consider Old NC-18 to Morganton rather than the new NC-18. It's much less traveled and takes you past South Mountains State Park, and it's guaranteed to get you in the mood to ride the twisty

Turn south on NC-18 and you will find yourself in the very scenic areas of Cleveland County around Kings Mountain and Shelby.