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Interstate 26 North Carolina

Highway Information

Miles 71.2
Counties Traveled
Through
Madison, Buncombe,
Henderson, Polk
Cities Asheville,
Hendersonville
Major Junctions Interstate 240

Interstate 40
(Exits 31A-B)

OKRoads Coverage
Miles Driven
by OKRoads
(Percentage)
71 (100%)
Western End of
Interstate Driven
Tennessee State Line
Eastern End of
Interstate Driven
South Carolina
State Line

Pictures

Interstate 26 West
Interstate 26 West as the four-lane freeway enters the state of North Carolina. Two interchanges are in Polk County; Exit 67 and Exit 59. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West approaching Exit 67 - North Carolina 108 - 1 mile. U.S. 74 runs just north of this interchange. Motorists desiring to get to U.S. 74 East must stop at North Carolina 108 and head straight on the on-ramp back to Interstate 26 west, where along the way, a ramp provides access to the federal highway. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Use U.S. 74 East and U.S. 221 North to Rutherfordton, seat of Rutherford County, which is 23 miles to the east. Shelby (pop. 21,275) is 41 miles to the east. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West approaching Exit 67 - North Carolina 108/TO U.S. 74 East - 1/4 mile. The Polk County seat, Columbus (pop. 994) is just to the east of this interchange. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West at Exit 67 - North Carolina 108/TO U.S. 74 East - Columbus/Tryon. North Carolina 108 begins 4.1 miles to the southwest at U.S. 176 in Tryon (pop. 1,746) and goes north to North Carolina 9 in Mill Spring before turning east to U.S. 221 in Rutherfordton. The faster route between Interstate 26 and Rutherfordton is via U.S. 74 East and U.S. 221 North, as U.S. 74 is all freeway between Interstate 26 and just west of Shelby. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West assurance shields as they begin their duplex. U.S. 74 departs Interstate 26's duplex in west Asheville for a duplex with Interstate 40 between Asheville and Clyde. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exit 59 - Saluda - 2 miles. Louisiana Avenue connects Interstate 26 to U.S. 176 in the city of Saluda. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exit 59 - Saluda - 1 mile. Saluda is known for its historic Victorian buildings and has been designated a National Historic District. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
As mentioned above, use Exit 59 to historic downtown Saluda. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at Exit 59 - Saluda. The interstate will enter Henderson County within two miles. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Just after entering Henderson County, Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West enter the Green River Gorge. The speed limit is set at 55 during the 7% grade. This set of pictures show some of the scenery in the area. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exit 54 - U.S. 25 South - 1 mile. U.S. 25 is a freeway between the South Carolina state line and Interstate 26. U.S. 25 will intersect U.S. 176 in two miles and North Carolina 225 (old U.S. 25) in three-and-one-half miles. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Exit 53 is the second of three exits to serve the city of Hendersonville (pop. 11,232). Flat Rock is a suburb of Hendersonville and is the site of the home of famous poet and biographer Carl Sandburg. For more information on his home, visit its official National Park service webpage. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
The skies opened up just enough to dampen these pictures a bit. This sign indicated that Hendersonville is accessible via the next three interchanges. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at Exit 53 - U.S. 25 South - To U.S. 176 and North Carolina 225. A trumpet interchange is in place here. U.S. 25 will travel along Interstate 26 until Exit 44. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West and U.S. 25 North
After Exit 53, another guide sign indicates that the next two exits are for Hendersonville. This is mainly for those coming from U.S. 25. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West and U.S. 25 North approaching Exit 53 - Upward Road - 1/4 mile. The east-west arterial connects Business U.S. 25 in Hendersonville to the community of Upward, located one mile east of the interstate. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Blue Ridge Community College is set in Flat Rock. Use Upward Road west and Allen Drive north to the college. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West and U.S. 25 North at Exit 53 - Upward Road. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
The next interchange is a cloverleaf at U.S. 64. The first westbound exit for the federal highway is Exit 49A, a reversal of the normal procedure. Use Exit 49B (U.S. 64 West) to Brevard College, located in the Transylvania County seat of the same name. A 23 mile drive separates the interstate from Brevard. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West and U.S. 25 North at Exit 49A - U.S. 64 East - Bat Cave. The community with a name seemingly straight out of Batman is 12 miles to the northeast. Notice that U.S. 74 is left off of the pull-through panel. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West and U.S. 25 North at Exit 49B - U.S. 64 West - Hendersonville. The federal highway splits into two one-way streets for a short time in downtown Hendersonville. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West and U.S. 25 North approaching Exit 44 - U.S. 25 North/Business U.S. 25 South - 1 mile. The business route travels through Hendersonville, Flat Rock, and Zirconia. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
A covered orange construction sign partially blocks this view of Exit 44 for U.S. 25 North and Business U.S. 25 South. Fletcher is located on the Buncombe-Henderson county line three miles to the north. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West
Mileage sign on Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West just north of U.S. 25. Interstate 40, which once marked the western terminus of Interstate 26, is 12 miles ahead. Downtown Asheville is 17 miles away. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exit 40 - North Carolina 280 - 2 miles. The state highway begins at U.S. 64 and U.S. 276 northeast of Brevard and extends northeast to U.S. 25 two miles east of Interstate 26. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
The only rest area on Interstate 26 in North Carolina is near mile marker 41, one mile ahead of this sign. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at the final rest area on the westbound interstate, which will actually travel north, and even a bit eastward, for its journey through Asheville, Johnson City, and Kingsport. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exit 40 - North Carolina 280 - 1/4 mile. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at Exit 40 - North Carolina 280 - Asheville Regional Airport/Arden. Arden is the site of the state highway's eastern terminus, while a short drive westward on North Carolina 280 takes one to the Asheville Regional Airport. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exit 37 - North Carolina 146 - 2 miles. North Carolina 146 is a short 3.5 mile state highway between North Carolina 191 in Avery Creek and U.S. 25 in Skyland. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exit 37 - North Carolina 146 (Long Shoals Road) - 1 mile. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at Exit 37 - North Carolina 146 - Skyland/Long Shoals Road. The rain began falling after this picture, and many of the following pictures were taken during this trip through the remnants of what was Tropical Storm Cindy. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
A rainy view from Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 westbound as the highways prepare to travel underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway rises very highly above the freeway here. Use Exit 33 (North Carolina 191) south to the parkway. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at Exit 33 - North Carolina 191 - To Blue Ridge Parkway. North Carolina 191 and Interstate 26 will meet again just after the Interstate 40 junction. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West approaching Exits 31A-B - Interstate 40/Interstate 240 - 1/2 mile. Interstate 240 is a half-loop that travels near the center of Asheville. Interstate 40 stays mainly to the south. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Use the right lane for Exit 31A (Interstate 40 East) and to continue on Interstate 26 West and Interstate 240 East. Use the left lane for Exit 31B to Interstate 40 and U.S. 74 West. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Rainy picture of Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at Exit 31A - Interstate 40 East - Hickory. The city known for quality furniture is 80 miles to the east. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 West at Exit 31B - Interstate 40 and U.S. 74 West - Canton/Knoxville. Canton, the last city along Interstate 40 before entering Tennessee, is 16 miles to the west. Knoxville, Tennessee, is a 110 mile drive from the western terminus of Interstate 240 and the former western terminus of Interstate 26. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and Interstate 240 East
Interstate 240 East assurance shield as the Billy Graham Freeway begins. Interstate 240 is 9.14 miles long. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
A very temporary reprieve from the rain allowed us to get two good pictures. This shows Interstate 26 West and Interstate 240 East one mile west of Exit 1B, North Carolina 191, Brevard Road. North Carolina 191 begins just to the north at Business U.S. 19/Business U.S. 23 and heads southward to Business U.S. 25 in Hendersonville. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and Interstate 240 East approaching Exit 1B - North Carolina 191 - 1/2 mile. This was the last good picture we would get for a bit as the rain began falling again very quickly after shooting this picture. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and Interstate 240 East approaching Exit 2 - Business U.S. 19/Business U.S. 23 - 1/2 mile. Haywood Road continues east for less than one mile before turning northward toward downtown Asheville. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and Interstate 240 East approaching Exit 2 - Business U.S. 19/Business U.S. 23 - 1/4 mile. Both business routes end at Interstate 26 and Interstate 240. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
It can barely be seen here, but a sign to the right indicates that Exit 4A is used to continue on Interstate 26. Interstate 26 between Mars Hill and Asheville is not signed as an official interstate yet because the roadway is below interstate standards. The sharp one-lane ramp that is Exit 4A does not help either. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and Interstate 240 East at Exit 3A - U.S. 19/U.S. 23 South. The two highways duplex from Lake Junaluska to Mars Hill. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West, Interstate 240 East, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North
Interstate 26 West, Interstate 240 East, U.S. 19 North, and U.S. 23 North approaching Exit 4A - Future Interstate 26 West/U.S. 19 North/U.S. 23 North/U.S. 70 West - 1/2 mile. The French Broad River runs beneath this bridge ahead. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North
Future Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North assurance shields on the tight one-lane ramp from Interstate 240 East. This is scheduled to be bypassed after a new alignment of Interstate 240 in this area is completed. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Hill Street. The exit is not given a number, but would be around Exit 27. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North approaching Exit 25 - North Carolina 251. Due to the SUV in the right lane, we can not tell how far it is from this sign to the exit. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 25 - North Carolina 251. The University of North Carolina-Asheville is a short drive to the east from here. North Carolina 251 begins here and skirts the eastern shore of the French Broad River to U.S. 25 and U.S. 70 near Marshall. Heading in the opposite direction, motorists will enter Broadway and will head straight for downtown Asheville. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North approaching Exit 24 - Elk Mountain Road - 1/2 mile. Elk Mountain Road is a short east-west street from North Carolina 251 to Elkwood Avenue. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 24 - Elk Mountain Road. The town of Woodfin is just to the west and is home to 3,250 residents. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North approaching Exit 23 - U.S. 25 South - 1/2 mile. U.S. 25 is only marked once from this direction with assurance shields at the interchange. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 23 - U.S. 25 South - Woodfin/North Asheville/Merriman Avenue. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19, U.S. 23, and U.S. 25 North
Future Interstate 26 West, U.S. 70 West, U.S. 19 North, U.S. 23 North, and U.S. 25 North assurance shields just north of Exit 23. This "quinplex" is about four miles long. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West and U.S. 19, U.S. 23, and U.S. 25 North approaching Exit 21 - New Stock Road - 1 mile. New Stock Road heads west from Weaverville Road (Business U.S. 19) and turns to the north after intersecting Interstate 26. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West and U.S. 19, U.S. 23, and U.S. 25 North approaching Exit 18 - Monticello Road - 1 1/4 miles. This sign is located prior to the Exit 19A-B interchange (U.S. 25 North/U.S. 70 West). Monticello Road is a 3.7 mile east-west street from North Carolina 251 to Main Street in north Weaverville. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Use Exit 19A (U.S. 25 North/U.S. 70 West) to Hot Springs. U.S. 70 also eventually leads to Hot Springs, Arkansas, but this sign refers to the North Carolina town of 639 that is 27 miles to the northwest. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19, U.S. 23, and U.S. 25 North at Exit 19B - Weaver Boulevard. The town of Weaverville (pop. 2,455) is just to the east. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 and U.S. 70 West, and U.S. 19, U.S. 23, and U.S. 25 North at Exit 19A - U.S. 25 North/U.S. 70 West - Marshall. The town is 11 miles to the northwest. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West, and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 17 - Flat Creek. The rain held off for a little bit through far northern Buncombe County and far southern Madison County. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
This beautiful mountain view is found during mile marker 16. We are still officially on Future Interstate 26. The future moniker is dropped after Exit 9 (U.S. 19/U.S. 23 North). (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 15 - North Carolina 197 - Jupiter/Barnardsville. The state highway is made up of 57.4 miles full of many curves and narrow corridors. In fact, parts of the highway remain unpaved. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 13 - Forks of Ivy. The community is located on the Madison-Buncombe county line. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North approaching Exit 11 - North Carolina 213 - 1 3/4 miles. North Carolina 213 is 14.5 miles long and spends about half of it triplexed with U.S. 25 and U.S. 70. The state highway ends near the town of Walnut during this triplex. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North approaching Exit 11 - North Carolina 213 - 1 mile. Mars Hill is just one mile to the west. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Mars Hill College, a Southern Baptist institution, is located in the town. Mars Hill is the largest city in Madison County with a population of 1,735, and is also home to the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 11 - North Carolina 213 - Mars Hill/Marshall. The seat of Madison County, Marshall is 11 miles to the west. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North approaching Exit 9 - U.S. 19/U.S. 23 North - 1/2 mile. U.S. 23 is not signed from here, but according to the 2005 official North Carolina state map, U.S. 23 stays to the east of the interstate between exits 3 and 9. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 19 and U.S. 23 North at Exit 9 - U.S. 19/U.S. 23 North - Burnsville/Spruce Pine. The two highways split just to the east. U.S. 19 heads due east and splits into two routes, U.S. 19E and U.S. 19W, in 11 miles. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West
Interstate 26 West runs solo for the first time since Columbus (Exit 67) as the scenic views continue. Unfortunately for us, the rain turned on full blast soon after this picture was taken. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West is the Appalachian Highway. The future tabs have now disappeared as we are now really on Interstate 26. But most motorists likely don't know the difference between Interstate 26 and Future Interstate 26, or don't care. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West approaching a scenic overlook, one-half mile. If the skies were a bit clearer on this day, we probably would have stopped. Maybe next time... (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West at the scenic overlook. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
This sign warns of the possibility of low visibility for the next ten miles. It was not flashing on this day, but should have been. Apparently this warning system is in place to track fog in the area, not blinding rain. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
As three lanes of Interstate 26 westbound continue, no trucks with 3 axles or more are allowed in the left lane, as seen here. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West approaching Exit 3 - U.S. 23 South - 1 mile. The exit is signed as "TO U.S. 23" but according to the maps, is actually U.S. 23 South. (Photo taken 7/7/05)
Interstate 26 West and U.S. 23 North as they prepare to enter the state of Tennessee. The right lane suddenly ends at a truck checkpoint ahead, which made it a good thing that I was in the middle lane! As can be seen here, the rain was coming down very hard at this point. One day we hope to go back and drive Interstate 26 through North Carolina and Tennessee again; it is too scenic to be seen only once during the remnants of a tropical storm. (Photo taken 7/7/05)

Page created: December 04, 2005
Last updated: December 13, 2005