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Photo: NC 105 ending at US 421/NC 194 (Mark Clifton)
|N.C. 105 19 miles
|Begins at US 221 Linville (Avery County) and ends at US 221-321 Boone (Watauga County).
|Towns and Attractions:
Avery Co: Linville
Watauga Co: Boone
NC 105 #1 appeared in 1926 as a new primary route. Ran from NC 10 (now Memorial Park Dr) Nebo north to NC 194 (now US 221) Linville Falls.
Donald Saunders informed me that NC 105 follows an old railroad bed.
NC 105 from Linville to Boone is much better aligned than US 221 is...a swap would make sense.
There are "Old NC 105" signs at least at the NC 126 jct.
Apparently Old NC 105 remains a rustic "highway." James Kilbourne wrote to Matt Steffora:
Along this road are some of the most beautiful views in Western North Carolina (Linville Falls, Wiseman's View looking across Linville Gorge, wonderous views of Table Rock, Shortoff and Hawksbill). However, despite its potential tourist draw and its inclusion on many maps (including my 1993 Goshua) -- which I must assume is an oversight of history -- I seriously doubt if any two-wheel drive vehicle has traversed the entire road in 10 years. I myself did about $1000 worth of damage to my Subaru trying to reach a campsite along 105. I had been warned this was not a road for the faint-hearted or for those without a Jeep; Old NC 105 was worse than my worst nightmare of a road. On this dirt road, there are rocks and stones rising 2 feet above the roadbed and potholes at least 18 inches deep. It is well-maintained from Linville to Wiseman's View, but beyond it is truly a jeep trail and nothing more. I am not sure whether the maintenance responsibility for this road lies with the state or with the forest service; and I am not sure if the state or the forest service knows either. Old NC 105 was an ambitious piece of engineering, but it is not much of a road. Old NC 105 is proof that there is a hell and that roads can die and descend to the underworld.
I received another first-hand account from Wayne Henderson in Aug 2010:
I traveled Old NC 105 yesterday all the way from Linville Falls to Nebo. On previous attempts to do this I had turned back (from either end) due to rough road conditions beyond believe. I am pleased to report that the road yesterday was in fair shape from Linville Falls to Wisemans View, and in very good condition on the "unmaintained" portion from Wisemans View south. The views from this road are some of the best in the state, and the road itself is an excellent example of what most NC roads looked like a century ago.