- 10 miles (16 km)
- 20 minutes
As a passageway for marketbound farmers, Drovers Road was a place that early eastern settlers "drove" their flocks and livestock through.
Drovers Road remains a unique site today passing through Hickory Nut Gap. This is one of the only two gaps in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and visitors are sure to see some of the highest peaks in North Carolina along this route. The area is covered in trees,and in the spring and early summer the hillsides are sprinkled with flowering trillium and mountain laurel.
Not only is the surrounding area of the byway full of natural beauty, but the area carries a history as well. Before Hickory Nut Gap was known by its current name, it was Sherrill's Gap. Between 1834 and 1909 the Sherrill Inn and Tavern was a stop for drovers,travelers, and soldiers.
Points of Interest Along The Way
As a stopping place near many of North Carolina's byways,Asheville is a perfect stop for travelers. With a population of63,700, the city offers all the visitor amenities and many attractions. Yet even with its urban traits, Asheville manages to keep a mountain-town feel.
Beginning as a health resort in 1850, Asheville has always drawn people to its natural location amid the peaks and forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today, visitors can explore the areas around Asheville for the most delightful of outdoor activities. Within the city, travelers will find places like Biltmore Estate, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, and the Folk Art Center.
Northwest of the byway following U.S. 74A.
Biltmore Estate (NC)
Biltmore House took six years and 1,000 men to build; it opened its doors on Christmas Eve in 1895. With a 390-foot façade, the House has more than 11 million bricks, 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, 34 bedrooms, and three kitchens, all of which are contained in over four acres of floor space. The massive stone spiral staircase rises four floors and has 102 steps. Through its center hangs an iron chandelier weighing 1,700 pounds and containing 72 electric light bulbs.
At its completion, Biltmore House was one of the most innovative and technologically advanced homes in the world. Imagine indoor hot and cold running water, elevators, indoor heating, a fire alarm system, refrigeration, electric lightbulbs, and 10 Bell telephones - all unheard-of luxuries at the turn of the century.
While such luxuries are commonplace today, nowhere will you find such a simply elegant and stunning setting as on the Biltmore Estate.
The 22 room home of the poet and writer Carl Sandburg surrounded by mountainside woodland areas, ponds, and orchards.
Southwest of the byway in Flat Rock.
Chimney Rock (NC)
Enjoy nature and hiking in the area of the towering Chimney Rock.
At the end of the byway off Highway 74A near Bat Cave.
Lake Lure (NC)
This beautiful man-made lake offers recreational opportunities for travelers.
Off Highway 74A/64 just east of the byway.
Mount Mitchell State Park (NC)
Amid the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mount Mitchell State Park offers hiking trails and natural splendor. Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi River at 6,684 feet. Visitors will find food and picnic areas at Mt. Mitchell State Park.
North of the byway.