North Carolina Highway 105
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||17.7 mi (28.5 km)|
|Existed:||ca. 1956 – present|
|South end:||US 221 in Linville|
|NC 184 in Sugar Mountain
US 221 / US 321 in Boone
|North end:||US 221 / US 421 / NC 194 in Boone|
Majority of the route was originally the ETWN "Tweetsie" Railroad connecting Linville to Boone before a major flood in 1940 washed away the tracks. In 1956, the state converted the old route into a state highway. Unlike other roads in the area, it was less curvy, less steep, and made the most direct route to Boone compared to US 221 and NC 194. The highway also doubles as a truck routes for US 221, US 321, and US 421.
The first four miles of the highway is 2-lane and goes by Grandfather (village) and two golf clubs: Grandfather Golf & Country Club and Linville Ridge. At the Tynecastle intersection, it crosses the Eastern Continental Divide and begins to descend into a valley area. On this section of the highway, the south-bound traffic has a passing lane and Trucks are required to drive 45 mph. Once the descent ends, the town of Seven Devils and Ski Hawknest is located on left. Between Seven Devils and Broadstone Road is the unincorporated community of Foscoe. Some of the best views of Grandfather Mountain can be seen at this section of the highway; it is also notorious for traffic back-ups by travelers trying to stop and visit shops on either side of the road. A brief south-bound passing lane is available near Hound Ears, however drivers typically do not go fast enough to take advantage of the passing zone or slower traffic will stay left causing passers to pass on right. Between Broadstone Road and NC 105 Bypass, the highway ascends towards Boone, the north-bound traffic expands to two lanes; probably the least scenic section of the road thanks to a quarry and asphalt factory along road. In Boone, the highway becomes a full four-lane highway for the rest of the route and connects to two major roads: Blowing Rock Road and East King Street.
Though the highway is commonly known as "105" in the area, they highway does have other known names.
- Linville Avenue - road name, within the unincorporated community of Linville.
- Linville Highway - less common alternate name.
- W Ralph Winkler Highway - official name of highway, from the Avery/Watauga county line to Blowing Rock Road.
- NC 105 Extension - road name, from Blowing Rock Road to East King Street.
Established in 1956 as a new primary route between Linville and Boone, it converted the ETWN "Tweetsie" railroad that had discontinued service since a major flood in 1940. In the early 1990s, passing lanes were added along the route: Northbound passing lane for a mile before Boone town limits, Southbound passing lane at Hounds Ear, and another Southbound passing lane from Seven Devils to just after the Avery/Watauga county line.
Prior to 1956, NC 105 was originally assigned as a primary route from Nebo to Linville Falls in 1926. It was then extended in 1929 slightly south to the US 70/NC 10. In 1935, the highways was rerouted from Longtown to Morganton; the old route to Nebo was re-branded as NC 105-A. In 1940, NC 105 was restored to its original route to Nebo, eliminating NC 105-A; the route from Longtown to Morganton was rebannered as NC 126. Then finally in 1954, it was decommissioned; NC 126 was extended from Longtown to Nebo, while NC 183 extended over a small section in Linville Falls. The remaining section, known as "Old NC 105 Road", has remained unchanged and is not recommended for vehicles without four-wheel drive. It's rugged and views of the Linville Gorge Wilderness makes it a unique part of the Pisgah Loop Scenic Byway.
Identified by local and state officials as a critical highway in the High Country, that is choked by high truck volumes and seasonal tourist traffic, NCDOT plans to widen 14.6 miles (23.5 km) of NC 105 into a divided four-lane highway from Linville to N.C. 105 Bypass (State Road 1107) in Boone. The project is broken into two sections: section one - Linville to Foscoe and section two - Foscoe to Boone. The estimated cost of the entire project is $103 million. Section two right-of-way acquisition is tentatively to being in May, 2015, with construction tentatively set to begin in March, 2018. No time table regarding section one at this time.
||Linville||0.0||0.0||US 221 to NC 181 (Newland Highway) – Blowing Rock, Marion, Newland||To Grandfather Mountain|
|Sugar Mountain||4.0||6.4||NC 184 north (Tynecastle Highway) – Banner Elk, Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain||To Lees-McRae College and ski areas|
||12.0||19.3||Broadstone Road – Valle Crucis|
|Boone||15.0||24.1||NC 105 Bypass|
|17.0||27.4||US 221 south / US 321 (Blowing Rock Road) – Blowing Rock, Lenoir||South end of US 221 overlap; to ASU|
|17.7||28.5||US 221 north / US 421 / NC 194 (King Street) – Wilkesboro, Todd, West Jefferson||North end of US 221 overlap|
- Brier Knob
- East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad
- Flattop Mountain
- Grandfather Mountain
- Howard Knob
- Linville River
- Peak Mountain
- Sugar Mountain
- Watauga River
- Google Inc. Google Maps – NC 105 (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=N+Carolina+105+N&daddr=N+Carolina+105+N%2FUS-221+N&hl=en&geocode=FahmJgIdmMEe-w%3BFXieKAIdbtQh-w&mra=me&mrcr=0&mrsp=1,0&sz=17&sll=36.214917,-81.66746&sspn=0.006466,0.013937&ie=UTF8&ll=36.146747,-81.727982&spn=0.207095,0.445976&z=12. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "NCRoads - NC 105". Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Longtown". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- "NCDOT: Scenic Byways". Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "NCDOT: NC 105 Widening". Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "NCDOT: NC 105 Widening Project Map". Retrieved 2011-11-23.