Citico-North River Loop

Cherokee National Forest, Citico River, Hanging Dog General Store

This segment starts and ends at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, Maryville, TN.

The route is a mix of twisty paved roads, rough gravel roads, and smooth well-maintained gravel roads. Your journey will start with a stop at the Greenback Castle, a worthwhile stop as you continue to Citico River road which travels along a well-stocked trout stream. The Tennessee Trout Hatchery in Tellico Plains stocks the rivers each Thursday in season. Make sure to get the special daily trout stamp and bring your trout gear. There are rustic campsites all along Citico Creek, just call the Cherokee National Forest ranger to book. We take you on a 14-mile detour up Cold Springs/Doublecamp Creek road to Far Gap. A climb up the mountain you won’t soon forget. Citico Creek Rd ends at the Cherohala Skyway at the National Campground Indian Boundary. Pack a lunch because you’ll want to sit by the lake at the camp and have a rest stop. Take the Cherohala into North Carolina and turn on Old 81 (Big Santeetlah Road) which splits almost immediately to the left on North River Rd. North River Road is a maintained gravel ride along a river with great campsites and trout fishing. The next turn is left on River Road (Bald River Road). Take River Road for approximately 10 miles of pavement to Davis Creek Road and ride the dirt for miles until you come to some very twisty NC roads in Beaver Dam and Joe Brown Highway, two of the best. If you need gas turn left on Beaver Dam Road instead of right and go about 4 miles to Hanging Dog General Store (2345 Hanging Dog Road Murphy, NC) and get something to eat, plus 92/93 octane 100% gas. But get back on Beaver Dam Road to Joe Brown Highway which quickly turns into a challenging dirt and rock climb up the mountain. Soon you are back on the always fantastic Highway 68 and pulling into the Cherohala Harley Davidson store.

Note: Drive times rely on road conditions, closures, and speed on dirt roads. Your drive time will vary based on these factors. Due to road closures, the map may be briefly changed, but the turn-by-turn instructions remain accurate.

Citico North River Loop

  1. Start at Smoky Mountain H-D
  2. Head east on W Lamar Alexander Pkwy (US-321 N). Go for 0.5 mi.
  3. Turn right onto Robert C Jackson Dr. Go for 1.1 mi.
  4. Turn right onto Morganton Rd. Go for 10.8 mi.
  5. Turn left onto TN-95 S (TN-95). Go for 2.0 mi.
  6. Continue on Niles Ferry Rd. Go for 1.3 mi.
  7. Turn left onto Trigonia Rd N. Go for 0.6 mi.
  8. Turn left onto Lee Shirley Rd. Go for 0.2 mi.
  9. Turn right toward Lee Shirley Rd. Go for 217 ft.
  10. Continue on Lee Shirley Rd. Go for 0.1 mi.
  11. Continue on Lee Shirley Rd. Go for 0.1 mi.
  12. Stop Greenback Castle
  13. Make a U-Turn onto Lee Shirley Rd. Go for 0.2 mi.
  14. Turn right onto Lee Shirley Rd. Go for 1.4 mi.
  15. Turn slightly right onto Howard School Rd. Go for 0.5 mi.
  16. Turn slightly left onto Howard School Rd. Go for 0.7 mi.
  17. Continue on Tomotley Rd. Go for 1.6 mi.
  18. Turn right onto Highway 72 E (TN-72). Go for 2.9 mi.
  19. Turn left onto US Highway 411 S (US-411 S). Go for 2.7 mi.
  20. Turn left onto Highway 360 (TN-360). Go for 7.2 mi.
  21. Turn left onto Citico Rd. Go for 18.0 mi.
  22. Turn left onto Cold Spring Rd. Go for 8.9 mi.
  23. Turn slightly right onto Doublecamp Creek Rd. Go for 6.3 mi.
  24. Turn left onto Citico Rd. Go for 4.0 mi.
  25. Turn slightly left onto Forest Service Rd 345. Go for 1.2 mi.
  26. Turn left onto Cherohala Skwy (TN-165). Go for 9.5 mi.
  27. Continue on Cherohala Skwy (NC-143). Go for 1.7 mi.
  28. Turn left onto Big Santeetlah Rd (NC-81). Go for 0.2 mi.
  29. Turn left toward N River Rd. Go for 194 ft.
  30. Continue on N River Rd. Go for 59 ft.
  31. Continue on N River Rd. Go for 1.1 mi.
  32. Turn slightly right onto N River Rd. Go for 10.9 mi.
  33. Turn left onto River Rd. Go for 0.9 mi.
  34. Continue on River Rd. Go for 6.5 mi.
  35. Continue on Davis Creek Rd. Go for 0.6 mi.
  36. Continue on Davis Creek Rd. Go for 1.2 mi.
  37. Turn slightly left onto Davis Creek Rd. Go for 2.2 mi.
  38. Turn left onto Davis Creek Rd. Go for 8.1 mi.
  39. Turn right onto Beaver Dam Rd. Go for 7.4 mi.
  40. Turn right onto Joe Brown Hwy. Go for 6.0 mi.
  41. Turn right onto Joe Brown Hwy. Go for 6.4 mi.
  42. Continue on Joe Brown Hwy. Go for 3.0 mi.
  43. Turn right onto New Highway 68 (TN-68). Go for 9.3 mi.
  44. Turn right onto Cherohala Skwy (TN-165). Go for 92 ft.
  45. Turn left onto Bank St. Go for 0.7 mi.
  46. Turn right onto Fairview Rd. Go for 1.5 mi.
  47. Turn left onto Wilson Cir. Go for 0.4 mi.
  48. Continue on Cagle Rd. Go for 0.4 mi.
  49. Turn right onto Beulah Rd. Go for 1.5 mi.
  50. Turn right onto Payne Rd. Go for 0.5 mi.
  51. Turn left onto Fairview Rd. Go for 0.9 mi.
  52. Turn left onto Laurel Creek Rd. Go for 2.3 mi.
  53. Turn right onto Big Creek Rd. Go for 0.6 mi.
  54. Turn left onto Fairview Rd. Go for 0.4 mi.
  55. Turn right onto Ballplay Rd. Go for 1.2 mi.
  56. Turn left onto Little Notchy Creek Rd. Go for 3.0 mi.
  57. Turn right onto Povo Rd. Go for 1.5 mi.
  58. Turn right onto Corntassel Rd. Go for 4.6 mi.
  59. Turn right onto Povo Rd. Go for 0.9 mi.
  60. Turn right onto Niles Ferry Rd. Go for 2.8 mi.
  61. Turn right onto Highway 411 (US-411). Go for 3.1 mi.
  62. Turn left onto E Coast Tellico Pkwy. Go for 6.0 mi.
  63. Continue on Axley Chapel Rd. Go for 2.7 mi.
  64. Turn right onto Highway 95 N (TN-95). Go for 0.3 mi.
  65. Turn left onto Big Hill Rd. Go for 0.3 mi.
  66. Turn left onto Friendsville Rd. Go for 1.7 mi.
  67. Continue on Perkle Rd. Go for 0.6 mi.
  68. Turn right onto Meadow Rd W. Go for 2.4 mi.
  69. Turn left onto Cloyds Creek Rd. Go for 0.6 mi.
  70. Turn slightly left onto Meadow Rd. Go for 0.9 mi.
  71. Turn right onto Meadow Rd. Go for 3.4 mi.
  72. Turn right onto Big Springs Rd. Go for 4.2 mi.
  73. Continue on S Old Glory Rd. Go for 0.6 mi.
  74. Turn right onto W Lamar Alexander Pkwy (US-321 N). Go for 0.7 mi.
  75. Arrive at Smoky Mountain H-D.