Edgemont, Mortimer, Wilson's Creek. Western NC.

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Big E

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Morganton, NC
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I recently posted a favorite road of mine, Old NC 105. I want to add another area very close to this first road in Western NC that I find a great place to wheel. The area is known as Wilson's Creek locally, historically its the Globe Valley. The main town in the area is Edgemont, and when I say town its a loose term. These mountain hold a few such communities and its a beautiful area. From Morganton NC take highway 181 north. Just past mile marker 12 you will have a right hand turn onto Brown Mountain Beach Road (1335). When this road crosses the county line it becomes Adako Road(1337), and just past that you will turn left onto Brown Mountain Beach road(1328). ( its a bit confusing with the repeated name) This road stays paved for about a mile then turns gravel, dirt, mud depending on the season. This road will take you 8 miles along Wilson's Creek. The road can be busy in summer, especially on weekends. The entire road is a great place for swimming, biking, white water rafting, fishing, and hiking.

I recommend if you go, stop at the Visitor's Center along the road. It has a bunch of photos and history of the Mortimer community which a ghost town along the road. As you head north from the center you will see the remains of an old cotton mill, bridge piers, and a flag pole marking the location of the old town that was wiped out in 1940 in a flood. Continue north and the road will T with state route 90 (dirt road). Stop at Betsy's old country store at the T for snacks and a nice visit. At this T turn left. You will see the remains of the old CCC camp and the current location of the Forest Service camp ground, a great place to camp. If you stay or explore the area there is the old Mortimor cemetery behind the work building and old walls and steps from the old camp. Continue on the road to the community of Edgemont. I am going to add two roads out of the valley your in that will take you up the mountains and up to the Blue Ridge.


Route 1
Just before you reach Edgemont you will see a left turn onto Fireroad 464, the Jonas Ridge Road. Its a long ride up the mountain, when you reach the top turn left on a paved road onto state road 1441 and this will take you to the community of Jonas Ridge on highway 181. As a side trip, as you approach the end of the road you will see a road to the left(going up) fire road 58 (its a long dead end) that will take you to the community of Kawana.

Route 2
When you reach Edgemont you will see a left turn onto Fireroad 981 Roseborough Road. This road will take you up the mountain to the town of Roseborough and will continue up to the Linville NC. You will meet up with the Blue Ridge Parkway before you get to town. Cross the parkway and continue into Linville. You will find yourself at a four way light with US 221 NC 181 and NC 105.

If you hit the parkway and want to take it instead turn right you will go several miles and reach the Linn Cove Viaduct and some wonderful views of the valley you just came up from.

alternate route
If you continue straight into Edgemont you will climb up the mountain on state road 1420, which will cross into state road 1514 which will climb up into the town of Gragg, be carefull when you reach this area, 1514 will take you up to US 221 below Grandfather Moutain, state road 1515 will take you farther up US 221. But, 1516 will drop you back down the mountain back onto NC 90 through the town of Globe, and that a route and posting for another day.

Cell phones do not work well in this area, usually only on ridge tops and spotty at best. Fill up with gas and have a full tank before you go into the area, there is no fuel in the valley itself. Morganton, Pineola, Linville, and Jonas Ridge will have fuel and food. There are trail heads for hiking , pull offs for primitive camping, and little creeks for pictures and dips in cooling water. National Geographic map 779 Linville Gorge and Mount Mitchell is a good road map to take with you. Enjoy the area, its beautiful.
 

MVO

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Thanks so much for all of this. I can't believe I have been passing all of this up in my travels through here. Do you live near this area? PM me if you can. Malcolm


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krax

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First off, thanks for posting this.

Second, how would you rate the roads on this route? 2WD? 4Hi? 4Lo & bring a friend?
 

Big E

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2wd. These are fire roads but there are communities in the mountains that use them daily. Easy driving, wash board and ruts are the most you deal with.
 

Big E

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I did just run a road that was a bit rougher on Saturday. I had not been in beforehand. It was a high clearance road. One fellow is mapping it to share. I'll try to post the road number soon .
 

krax

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What do you think is the better option for camping in the area, the USFS campground or the pull-off spots?
 

Dakeg218

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The wife and I made it out there last weekend ant it was awesome. We stopped to hike, let the dog swim and just take in the view several times. We did old NC105 from Linville Falls south, around to Brown MT. Beach RD, left at Mortimer on Edgemont, then a left on Pineola RD across to 181.

It was a bit busy on the winding roads, especially Brown MT. Beach so keep your eyes open for everything from off-road skateboards to dirt bikes to 5serise BMWs trying to navigate them. There were also kiddos everywhere from 1337 to Craig's creek rd.

Definitely recommended and we will be back in the area soon.
 
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Big E

Rank VI
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Advocate II

3,484
Morganton, NC
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3420

The wife and I made it out there last weekend ant it was awesome. We stopped to hike, let the dog swim and just take in the view several times. We did old NC105 from Linville Falls south, around to Brown MT. Beach RD, left at Mortimer on Edgemont, then a left on Pineola RD across to 181.

It was a bit busy on the winding roads, especially Brown MT. Beach so keep your eyes open for everything from off-road skateboards to dirt bikes to 5serise BMWs trying to navigate them. There were also kiddos everywhere from 1337 to Craig's creek rd.

Definitely recommended and we will be back in the area soon.
I like having this area as my back yard. It is such a fun place to go and relax for a while. Glad you enjoyed it. Come on back again.
 

MVO

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Johns Creek, GA
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Fished a section of Wilson Cr last week. I chose an area that was only accessed by walking in for at least a mile. Didn't see anyone after I walked away from the FS road. Awesome walk reminded me of Jurassic Park and a real place, although well hidden, on Hawaii. I was a bit "on alert" in my campsite along the road though because of bear scat close to camp. The thought of prior campers leaving food around was dancing in my mind. But still an awesome experience.


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