A few friends and I wanted to try an off the beaten path road ride somewhere NE of Asheville. We found a tremendous 83 mile ride starting in Burnsville.
Burnsville from Route 19E south on NC 197 to Barnardsville---this takes you through Pensacola after 10 miles where you begin a nice 6 mile climb on very low traffic road 197. However, at the top of the climb 197 turns to gravel for 3 miles---all downhill at about 6% grade and fairly choppy-----the thing is I have yet to find a map that shows this section of road is unpaved. Once off this section it is paved to Barnardsville. Once in Barnardsville, you make a left onto Dillignham road----once in Dillingham bear right onto Stone fork Road----shown as Craggy Road on some maps---this is an 8 mile climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Only the first 2 miles are paved. The last 6 are quite steep---about 2600 ft of vertical elevation in 6 miles. Passable on 23cc but quite a challenge. Again not shown on the map as unpaved. Once at the Parkway you bear left and pass through Craggy Gardens after about 2 miles heading north. You take the Parkway all the way to NC80 exit and bear left or NC80 North. This will take you down to Micaville and Route 19E. Take a left and return on 19E for about 4 miles to Burnsville.
Sorry, I do not know how to do the map my ride thing but it was a very different ride with low traffic count certainly all the way until you hit the Parkway---even then, of course, traffic is moving pretty slow and is infrequent on the Parkway and after you pass Mt Mitchell summit road at Mile maker 355 (you can make a 5 mile detour up that road if you want to add another 10 mile roundtrip back to the Parkway) it is pretty much downhill (except 1 short uphill section) to NC80 which is at mile marker 344.