Hairpin turns, steep drop-offs, and adrenaline-inducing climbs make this ride epic. As you twist the throttle through North Carolina’s Highway 28, you’ll feel the rush of pure excitement wash over you, which makes this ride an absolute must. Taking in views of the Great Smoky Mountains as you wind your way through this narrow patch of road, you’ll surely experience thrills you’ve never encountered before. Perhaps this is what makes this ride so popular with many riders, from first-timers to hardcore hell raisers, and when the going gets tough, you have to power on through. So, Thirsty Biker guys and gals, open up your Thirsty Biker apps and get ready to take a trip on the Hellbender. In episode 42 of the Thirsty Biker Chronicles, we’re raisin’ hell on The Hellbender 28.

Must-See Stops

CJs Grille

We begin our journey in Bryson City, North Carolina, known for its iconic scenery and rustic experiences, as we stop off at CJ’s Grille. From live music to home-cooked favorites, CJs is the place to stop and rest as you take on the Hellbender. Porch parties, entertainment, and of course, cold beverages await. When you’re ready to swap stories with fellow bikers, you’ll find them here. Once you’re ready to head out, stop at Brackins Blues Club in Maryville, Tennessee. Blues, brews, and burgers await. And when you’re looking to enjoy some music, Brackins makes this a priority with a roster of rising stars just waiting to rock you all night long. From beers and bourbon to music and events, the vibe at Brackins is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced before.

When you’re ready to get on with your ride, take a trip to the Iron Boar Saloon in Pigeon Forge, a popular destination for riders from all over. Fuel up for the ride ahead and catch up with fellow bikers while you enjoy the legendary atmosphere of this must-see place. The Iron Boar is run by bikers like you, which means they know exactly what you’re looking for when embarking on an epic journey on the Hellbender. Try one of their epic burgers and tell the other patrons about some of your most hell-raising rides.

The Ride

ride map

Well, as the name proclaims, this ride is full of bends, twists, curves, and narrow expanses of the roadway. The motto here is to pay attention and stay safe. As you’re admiring the Smokies, watch out for steep drop-offs and pay attention to the wildlife that likes to come out and say hi from the dense forests surrounding you. Although this is a two-lane mountain road, for the most part, it’s in good shape, but remember, there’s a lot to navigate here, so be cautious and pay attention. You’ll not find many rides like this, marked by one-of-a-kind sights and ultra-cool stops. Whether you want to stop off and admire Fontana Lake or chat with fellow riders at one of the must-see stops, this ride is what you make it. So, let’s open up our Thirsty Biker apps and start raisin’ hell on the Hellbender.

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