The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 28 
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Photo: NC 28 at the NC 143 junction (Nicholas Mooneyhan)
NC 28
N.C. 28  83 miles
The Road: Begins at US 129 Deals Gap very near the Tennessee Line (Swain County) and ends at the Georgia State Line below HIghlands (Macon County). The route continues 142 more miles as GA 28 and SC 28 two times each before ending at US 278/SC 125 in Beech Island, SC.
Towns and Attractions: Swain Co.: Smoky Mtn National Park, Fontana Dam  
Graham Co.: Fontana Village, Nantahala National Forest  
Swain Co.: Almond  
Macon Co.: Franklin, Cullasaja Gorge/Falls, Highlands  
History: Appeared in 1938 as the 3rd NC 28. It replaced NC 282 from the Georgia Line to Highlands, duplexed with US 64 to Franklin, and replaced NC 286 to Lauada (was called "Swain" on early maps), where NC 28 ended at US 19. Ironically, 282 and 286 were daughters of the original NC 28.
US 19 was relocated to avoid Almond about the same time NC 286 became NC 28. US 19 used to loop west and north to meet NC 286 about 1.5 miles north of Lauada, thus NC 28 might for the briefest of periods ended a little further north at first.
1933 Official
NC 282 and NC 286 (plus the original NC 28
1938 Official
NC 28 back in the mountains again

In 1940, NC 28 was extended northeast with US 19 through Bryson City and Ela, then replaced part of NC 107 to end at the rerouted NC 107 (now US 441 Business) Cherokee.
In 1947, NC 28 was truncated back to US 19 Lauada. The piece from Ela to Cherokee became US 19 ALT (now it is just US 19).
1938 Official
NC 107 Ela to Cherokee
1941-42 Official
NC 28 extended to Cherokee
1947 Gen Drafting
NC 28 replaced by US 19-A

In 1954, NC 28 was extended south along US 19 to the Almond area, then split west as new primary routing along the south side of Fontana Lake, then crossed over near Fontana Dam (but not on it). NC 28 then replaced NC 288 from here to US 129.
NC 28's routing really hasn't changed substantially since then.
1953 Official
NC 288 in Fontana
1954 Official
NC 28 extended to Fontana

The first NC 28 was an original state highway. It began at NC 10 (current US 19 Business) Andrews and headed east on Junaluska Rd and Dicks Creek Rd to Aquone, then Wayah Rd east to Palmer St into Franklin, then current NC 28 to Highlands; NC 28 followed US 64 to US 178 into Rosman, then old US 64 loops and the current US 64 to Brevard. NC 28 used the substantial "Old US 64s" over throug Pisgah Forest to Hendersonville, then US 64 to its end at NC 20 (current US 74-A and NC 9) Bat Cave.

1922 Auto Trails
NC 28 Original Route

In 1923, NC 28 west was rerouted at Franklin to use W Old Murphy Rd to Rainbow Springs; modern US 64; a significant segment of old 64 that goes through Shooting Creek and uses a small piece of NC 175; NC 28 went to Elf and then it went underwater with Chatuge Lake. NC 28 picked up Chatuge Dam Rd and Myers Chapel Rd into Hayesville. NC 28 then followed "Old US 64" through Warne and Brasstown, then modern 64 to Murphy, where NC 28 ended at NC 10 (now Main St).
The route from Franklin to Hayesville was new primary routing but Hayesville to Murphy was a renumbering of the original NC 109.
In 1929, NC 28 was extended west from Murphy as new primary routing to the Tennessee Line.
1922 Auto Trails
NC 109 Murphy to Hayesville
1924 Official
NC 28 extended to Murphy
1929 Official
NC 28 extended to Tennessee

In 1932, NC 28 was extended northeast as new routing from Bat Cave to Old Fort, then duplexed with US 70 east to Marion, then duplexed with US 221 north to Linville, Boone and Jefferson before ending at US 21/NC 26 Twin Oaks. From Woodlawn northward this was a renumbering of NC 691.
Also in 1932, US 64 was assigned to the entirety of NC 28 from the Tennessee Line to Old Fort. NC 28 at this point was 335 miles long!
In late 1934, NC 28 was dropped from its US 64 and US 221 overlays. This left no NC 28 at all.

1931 Official
NC 691 with US 221
1932 Texaco
NC 28 with US 221

The second NC 28 was immediately christened in the Great Renumbering. It was assigned to replace NC 21 from Fayetteville south to Elizabethtown and southeast to US 17 (now US 74-76) near Delco. Today this is approximated N to S by: Ramsey St; NC 24; Wilmington Hwy to below I-95; NC 87; NC 87 Bus; NC 87; Old Acme Rd

1933 Official
NC 21 Fayetteville to Delco
1936 Official
NC 28 replaces NC 21
1938 Official
NC 87 replaces NC 28

NC 28 is extremely mountainous for the most part and spends much time above 2000 feet. It is especially scenic from Highlands to Franklin through the Cullasaja Gorge. NC 28 (with US 64) used to run behind the falls until the 1950s. But the hairpin ride doesn't have to end at US 129. You can tackle the Tail of the Dragon as you follow US 129 north to Maryville.
The northern GA 28 segment is extremely twisty and difficult to make any time at all.
The main segment of SC 28 is a major corridor connecting Walhalla, Seneca, Clemson, Anderson, Abbeville and McCormick with Augusta, GA.
The first several miles of NC 28 northwest of US 19-74 have been improved to multilane status with the intent of one day being part of a rerouted US 19-74 around the Nantahala Gorge.
Most of NC 28 north of Lake Fontana follows the ancient decommissioned path of NC 288.
Fontana Village is essentially a family-oriented resort area.
NC 28 is the last state route to keep its number into Georgia, thanks to the ol' GA 60 SPUR designation.
The area around Franklin is dotted with "mine-your-own" gem operations.

Last Update: 11 January 2008

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