North Carolina Highway 226

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NC 226 marker

NC 226
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 101.0 mi[1] (162.5 km)
Existed: 1961 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 29 near Grover
  US 74 in Shelby
US 64 near Dysartsville
I-40 near Marion
US 221 in Marion
US 70 in Marion
US 19E in Spruce Pine
North end: SR-107 at the Tennessee state line
Counties: Cleveland, Rutherford, McDowell, Mitchell
Highway system
NC 225 NC 226A

North Carolina Highway 226 (NC 226) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Just about running from the Tennessee border to the South Carolina border, NC 226 hooks most of central west NC with some of the bigger cities, such as Kings Mountain, Morganton and Marion. An alternate route of NC 226 known as NC 226A loops to the community of Little Switzerland before rejoining the parent route; it is the only alternate state route remaining in North Carolina.

Route description[edit]

NC 226 starts at the Tennessee-North Carolina state border in Mitchell County, where it becomes Tennessee State Route 107. This is near the Appalachian Trail and right at the Iron Mountain Gap.

In Mitchell County, NC 226 crosses under the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 330) and goes over the eastern Continental Divide. Through this section is NC 226A, an alternate route through more rugged mountain terrain.

In Rutherford County, NC 226 cuts through the South Mountains. In Marion, NC 226 overlaps U.S. Route 221.

From there, NC 226 goes through a various number of small towns. After getting through Dysartsville, NC 226 meets up with U.S. Route 64.

The road then finds its way through some foothill towns, the most major being Polkville. This is where NC 10 and NC 182 have termini with NC 226. After a nearly twenty-mile drive, NC 226 enters Shelby. It overlaps US 74 for nearly four miles before interchanging off near NC 18.

After leaving US 74, NC 226 slowly makes its way through southern North Carolina counties, ending at U.S. Route 29, approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) short of the South Carolina border. This is at the tiny border town of Grover


Established in 1961 as a renumbering of NC 26. In 1966, NC 226 was removed from downtown Shelby, rerouted from Earl Street onto US 74 Bypass to Polkville Road.[2] In 1994, NC 226 was moved with US 221 onto a new bypass west of Marion, leaving US 221 Business. In 2000, NC 226 was realigned onto new road west of downtown Spruce Pine.[3][4]

North Carolina Highway 26[edit]

The first NC 26 was established as an original state highway in 1921. It traversed from the South Carolina stat line, near Pineville, north along Park Road into downtown Charlotte. Leaving the downtown area via Statesville Avenue, it continued north through Huntersville, Davidson, Mooresville, Statesville, Elkin, Sparta, and finally Twin Oaks, before finally reaching the Virginia state line. In both border states, the highway continued with the number 26.

In 1927, US 21 was assigned to all of NC 26, except for a few miles south of Pineville. In 1933, US 521 was assigned to the remaining piece of NC 26. In 1934, the first NC 26 was decommissioned, completely replaced by both US 21 and US 521.

The second NC 26 was quickly reestablished in late 1934, replacing NC 19 from US 221 in Woodlawn, north through Little Switzerland, Spruce Pine, Bakersville, Red Hill, and then finally west to US 19W/US 23 in Sioux. In 1940, NC 26 was rerouted north from Red Hill to the Tennessee state line. Also in 1940, NC 26 was extended south, overlapping with US 221 to Marion; it then replaced NC 190 through Polkville and Shelby, ending at US 29 in Grover. Around 1947, NC 26 was moved onto new road bypassing Little Switzerland; the old route became NC 26A. In 1956, NC 26 was moved onto new road near Dysartville, removing a concurrency with US 64 and establishing one of the earliest grade-separated intersections in the state. In 1961, NC 26 was renumbered to NC 226, because of the coming establishment of Interstate 26.[5]

Junction list[edit]

NC 226 in downtown Grover
County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Cleveland Grover 0.0 0.0 US 29 (M H Camp Highway) – Blacksburg, Kings Mountain South Carolina state line is 300 feet (91 m) south of intersection
Patterson Springs 6.2 10.0 NC 180 south (Post Road) – Gaffney South end of NC 180 overlap
  7.7 12.4 NC 180 north (Post Road) – Morganton North end of NC 180 overlap
Shelby 10.0 16.1 US 74 east (Dixon Boulevard) – Kings Mountain, Charlotte East end of US 74 overlap
10.3 16.6 NC 150 (Dekalb Street)
10.5 16.9 NC 18 (Lafayette Street) – Shelby, Gaffney
12.0 19.3
US 74 Bus. east (Warren Street)
12.7 20.4 US 74 west (Dixon Boulevard) – Forest City, Columbus West end of US 74 overlap
  17.6 28.3 Double Shoals Road
Polkville 23.2 37.3 NC 182 east (Stagecoach Trail) – Lawndale
23.5 37.8 NC 10 east (Casar Road) – Casar To South Mountains State Park
Rutherford   33.6 54.1 Bostic Sunshine Highway – Bostic
McDowell   40.9 65.8 US 64 – Rutherfordton, Morganton
Marion 51.5 82.9 I-40 – Asheville, Morganton
52.5 84.5
US 221 south / US 221 Bus. north (Rutherford Road) – Rutherfordton
South end of US 221 overlap
55.0 88.5 Henderson Street – Downtown Marion
55.7 89.6 Tate Street
57.7 92.9 US 70 – Old Fort, Asheville To Mount Mitchell State Park
58.3 93.8
US 221 Bus. south (Main Street)
To Lake James State Park
  60.3 97.0 Toms Creek Road
Woodlawn 64.6 104.0 US 221 north – Linville North end of US 221 overlap
  65.8 105.9 NC 226A north
  69.8 112.3 NC 226A south – Little Switzerland
Mitchell   69.9 112.5 Blue Ridge Parkway
Spruce Pine 74.5 119.9 US 19E north – Newland, Cranberry North end of US 19E overlap
75.3 121.2 US 19E south – Estatoe, Burnsville South end of US 19E overlap
  78.1 125.7 Penland Road – Penland
  81.8 131.6 NC 226A north (Mine Creek Road)
Bakersville 84.7 136.3 NC 261 north – Roan Mountain
Loafers Glory 87.2 140.3 NC 226A south – Micaville
Red Hill 90.2 145.2 NC 197 south – Burnsville South end of NC 197 overlap
90.4 145.5 NC 197 north – Erwin North end of NC 197 overlap
State line 101.0 162.5 SR-107 west – Johnson City
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


External links[edit]