17 brutal switchbacks on the Green River Cove Road of NC

Green River Cove Road is a classic drive 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.

Green River Cove Road

How long is Green River Cove Road in NC?

Set high in the Appalachian Mountains, this winding and curvy mountain road is 17.21km (10.7 miles) long, running from State Road 1138 to Holbert Cove Road. The road was fully paved in 2015: previously the road was tar and rock chips. It is a difficult drive, one of the toughest in the area, with tight switchbacks, and several sections with steep grades along the sprawling Green River Game Lands, an expansive forested area in the Appalachian Mountains.

Is Green River Cove Road in NC steep?

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. Most of the road is in the 6-8% grade, with a few steeper sections. What really makes this climb challenging is the hairpin turns. 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%. 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.