Green River Cove Road

17 brutal switchbacks on Green River Cove Road

Green River Cove Road is a classic road for the experienced motorcyclist located in Polk County, in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The road hits a stunning 22% through some of its 17 sharp hairpin turns.

Located in the Appalachian Mountains, this winding and curvy mountain road is 17.21km (10.7 miles) long. It runs from State Road 1138 to Holbert Cove Road. Covered by trees, it’s one of the toughest climbs of the area with 17 tight switchbacks. The grade is between 8-10% in the toughest spots, and steeper if the inside of the switchbacks is taken.

Exercise extreme caution when passing on-coming traffic, over-taking and around corners. Drive with your headlights on at all times as it is easier for oncoming vehicles to see you. Be careful of opposing traffic when climbing. The climb ends near the I-26 Saluda exit. The surface of the road is asphalted. It includes some steep sections, without market central lines, is very narrow, scarcely wide enough for two cars to pass at the same time and there are no protections or guard rails along some parts of the route. Green River is a difficult climb, one of the toughest in the area, with tight switchbacks, and several sections with steep grades.

Any barriers along the edge afford little more than token protection; large stretches should be taken at a snail's pace and a lookout kept for vehicles coming from the opposite direction! Most of the climbing is in the 6-8% grade, with a few steeper sections that got as high as 14%. What really makes this climb challenging is the switchbacks. If you take them on the inside lane, you’ll have to deal with a short incline of around 22%, whereas the outer lane is around 8%.

 

 

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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.