America's Scenic Byways

Black Mountain Rag

31 miles - 45 minutes

This byway takes its name from an old fiddle tune called "The Black Mountain Rag". A 'rag' is a piece of music with multiple twists and turns, and that description also applies to this byway.

The route begins at exit 64 off 1-40 near Black Mountain, resort community named for the Mountain range that serves as a backdrop for the town. Mount Mitchell, which stands among the Black Mountains, is the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. Nearby, you'll find the community of Bat Cave which was named for a nearby cave that was inhabited by bats and other rare animals. The route from Black Mountain to Bat Cave is full of twists and hairpin turns. The Broad River and Hickory Nut Creek flow into Lake Lure. Travelers may want to consider a side trip up Chimney Rock Road to see the majestic Chimney Rock that watches over the towns of Bat Cave and Chimney Rock.

Hickory Nut Falls is another site of keen natural beauty, falling 404 feet into the Broad River. The scenic Broad River Gorge has served as a backdrop for movies such as The Last of The Mohicans. At the southern end of the byway is Edneyville, site of some of North Carolina's finest apple orchards while nearby Hendersonville was the home of poet and author Carl Sandburg.

This byway is near the Blue Ridge Parkway and has several points of interest that will make the drive worthwhile.