The Highways of North Carolina
N.C. 261 
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Photo: NC 261 leaving the Tenneesee line (Mark Clifton)
NC 261
N.C. 261  13 miles
The Road: Begins at NC 226 Bakersville and ends at the Tennessee State line on Roan Mtn all within Mitchell County. The road continues as TN 143 a short distance to US 19E Roan Mountain, TN.
Towns and Attractions: Mitchell Co: Bakersville, Pisgah National Forest
Surry Co: Elkin, Pilot Mtn
Stokes Co: None

NC 261 was born in 1952 as upgraded routing, running the way it does now. No changes to it since.
1953 Official
NC 261

The first NC 261 was an original state highway. It ran from NC 26 (now just Polk St) Pineville and ran west to the nearby South Carolina line where the route continued as SC 7 to Rock Hill, Chester, Greenwood and on to Georgia.
In 1927, US 21 was assigned to NC 261. Thus, NC 261 was dropped from the route in late 1934. Today it is part of NC 51.

1924 Official
NC 261 #1
1936 Mecklenburg County
NC 261 dropped from US 21

Comment: NC 261 reaches over 5400 feet in elevation at the state line, one of the higher reaches of the state highway system.
NC 261 provides the only access to Roan Mountain Gardens

Last Update: 23 March 2009

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