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Trust, NC to Asheville, NC
Est 27 miles - .7 hours (click here for route map)
If you start your run on NC-63 from the western end it's a good bet you already have a really big grin on your face! The intersection of NC-63 and NC-209 is the southern end of what is locally known as "Shiners Run", a 17 mile long collection of hairpin turns and high gorge walls guaranteed to pucker your cheeks.
The secondary highlight at that intersection is the Trust General Store & Cafe, a fuel and food stop that caters to touring riders with a friendly smile. During the week you likely won't find much in the parking lot, but on weekends it's full of motorcycles and riders all jabbering about how much fun that last bit of roadway was. The store has two large verandas, both stocked with lots of rocking chairs that give you a view of the road and what's going by, or the very scenic creek on the back side.
The store has a selection of Tees for those that desire a souvenir and an ice cream freezer with lots of choices. If ice cream and snacks aren't enough, the cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The first few miles of the route drops dramatically towards Asheville and is full of hairpin turns, blind curves, and menacing rocks. All of this is covered by a canopy of trees that do a good job of keep the sun off the roadway, so be careful on those days that black ice may be a hazard and autumn riders will find slick spots created by small piles of leaves.
The transition from wicked mountain road to a really fun twisty happens abruptly, about seven miles into the run. Scenic vistas are available of to the right and left and the curves have turned into nice long sweepers. If you are paying attention to the road and not scanning your speedometer it could get costly. Lots of riders find themselves shooting through those sweepers at 70 MPH or above and the police take a dim view of 20 over!
In the five miles between Canto and Leicester traffic begins to pick up considerably, and the road becomes a congested four and five lane mess below that point. The route ends at US-74A and during rush hours just getting through that intersection can take a few minutes.
Touring riders that are planning to travel US-70/US-25 through the Asheville area should consider combining NC-63 and the northern part of NC-209 as an alternative route between Hot Springs and Asheville - but be aware, it just might take much more time than you thought, because you'll want to turn around and run it again just for the fun.