North Carolina Highway 88

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NC 88 marker

NC 88
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 41.3 mi[1] (66.5 km)
Existed: 1938 – present
Major junctions
West end: SR 67 at the TN line near Trade, TN
  US 221 in Jefferson
East end: NC 18 in Laurel Springs
Counties: Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany
Highway system
NC 87 NC 89

North Carolina Highway 88 is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Primarily in the High Country, it runs from the Tennessee state line, near Trade east to the NC 18 in Laurel Springs.

Route description[edit]

NC 88 starts at the Tennessee state line (at a location called State Line Gap), just 1.6 miles (2.6 km) from US 421. The road follows the Hoskin Fork through its brief stay in Watauga County into Ashe County where it meets up with the North Fork New River at Sutherland Road. Until Warrensville, the highway is constantly curving along the banks of the Hoskin Fork and North Fork New River, though there is not much elevation change.

From Warrensville, the highway goes southeast through the community of Smethport and into town of Jefferson. Going through the downtown area, it connects with US 221 and then NC 16, east of town. Continuing southeast, it passes the South Fork New River then going east to Laurel Springs, in Alleghany County, where it ends on NC 18 (in front of the U.S. Post Office of Laurel Springs). If travelers continue south on NC 18, for 2 miles (3.2 km), they will reach the Blue Ridge Parkway. The second half of NC 88, from Jefferson to Laurel Springs, is less curvy compared to the first half and functions as an alternative to US 221 towards Galax, Virginia.

Scenic byways[edit]

New River Valley Byway is a 32 miles (51 km) byway, split in two sections. NC 88 makes up the second section of the byway (14 miles (23 km)), between Jefferson and Laurel Springs. It is noted for several of the state parks that surround the route and the community of Ore Knob, charted in 1875 and named from the only copper mine that existed in North Carolina. The first section is on NC 194, between Boone and Baldwin.[2]

Junction list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] Destinations Notes
Ashe 13 Big Laurel Road – Grayson
Warrensville 21 NC 194 north – Lansing North end of NC 194 overlap
Smethport 24.5 NC 194 south – West Jefferson South end of NC 194 overlap
Jefferson 26
US 221 Bus. south (South Main Street) – West Jefferson
South end of US 221 Business overlap
US 221 south / US 221 Bus. – West Jefferson
South end of US 221 and north end of US 221 Business overlaps
28 US 221 north / NC 16 north – Mouth of Wilson North end of US 221/NC 16 overlaps; also to Ashe County Airport
31 NC 16 south – Wilkesboro South end of NC 16 overlap
Alleghany Laurel Springs 41.3 NC 18 – North Wilkesboro, Sparta NC 88 ends
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


NC 88 was established in 1938 as a new primary route between NC 16 to NC 18 in Laurel Springs. The highway was extended in 1940 replacing NC 16 west of Jefferson to the Tennessee state line. The route has not changed since.[3]

Alternate names[edit]

Though the highway is commonly known as "NC 88" throughout the state, the highway does have other known names it uses locally in areas.

  • Main Street – Road name in Jefferson.
  • Robert G Barr Expressway – Road name when overlapped with US 221.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Google Maps". Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  2. ^ "NCDOT: Scenic Byways". Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  3. ^ " N.C. 88". Retrieved 2011-01-06.