The route starts at Ferguson's Gas station and supply in Fines Creek NC. Off of HWY 40 (exit 24) on a scenic byway, NC HWY 209 Northbound. About 12 miles in, you hit a long straight away, here you will find a large rock building next to the fire Department. This is the Rattlers Den, the halfway point. The road then coils back up in the Pisgah Forrest as you make your way to the Beautiful town of Hot Springs. Here the route ends, with gas, and restaurants to chose from. From here, you can head west to Newport TN, and 40. Or north to Marshall. Or you can turn around and ride this expert rated route again.
This route takes you over two mountains both with scenic pull off areas, overlooking the mountains. In the early morning, the fog often is coating them with what looks like thin layers of silky cotton draped over them. You will pass farmlands live with activity as many are livestock and or hay and corn fields. These are all tucked in little valleys you pass along the route. This route in a lot of ways takes you back in time, at one point you pass an old gas station that was opened in 1900. It still stands but is not longer in service. Though it was in service up until about 1970. The gas pumps still stand here. You will also see old barns and farm buildings built using old ways, still standing. Many are slowly being swallowed by the foliage. After about 11miles, there is a small service station selling ethanol free gasoline. One more mile takes you to a long straightaway across a large valley. This is the Rattlers Den, and it stretches for about a mile. This section of road is alive with activity. About halfway across there is a fire department, and a large rock building on the right. This was a schoolhouse built in 1923, and held grades 1-12. Now it holds a restaurant, Dave's 209. This is the halfway point on the Rattler and is the Rattler's Den. Great spot to stretch your legs, and take some pictures. As you reach the end of the straightaway, the road recoils up into some more tight turn. After another mile, you reach a much shorter straight away before you begun your accent into the Pisgah Forrest. This is mountain #2. With scenic vistas, it has huge rock walls, overgrown with wild grapes and flowering foliage. The road winds on through twists and turns, and you can smell the pine in the air. As you descend on the other side, you enter the small town of Hot Springs. Yes there really are Hot Springs here. Visit the Hot Springs resort and spa, even for a short 1 hour soak.
The road is newly paved, in 2016. Use caution after it rains as gravel does get washed into the road on curves. Also, as there are farms here, you may encounter hay trucks, or livestock trucks, so be careful on the turns. Also While the speed limit says 55, take it slow. Many of the turns get sharper part way through, and some are deceptively sharper than they appear. Heed turn speed limit signs. This is also the country, its not uncommon to see deer, possum, groundhogs and other wildlife in the road.
At the start of the route, at Fergusons, you have food, gas, bathrooms and drinks. You also have a hug selection of Rattler merchandise available for purchase. There is a large Rattler sign for pictures. 11 Miles in, you have Trust General store, they have ethanol free gas. 1 more mile takes you to Dave's 209 and the Rattlers Den. Here they specialize in amazing burgers feature in newspapers across WNC, drinks, restrooms, great picture opportunities, and Rattler merchandise for purchase. 12 miles after you have Hot Springs, here you have hotels, a hostel, a campground, the hot springs Spa, a collection of restaurants, and gas all available.
Motorcycle Road Additional info
There is another entry on here for Shiners run, however, the Rattler is this route. The trust general store is calling A section of the rattler, from trust general store at the intersection of 63 and 209, through to Hot Springs the Shiners run, However 209 is the Rattler and always has been. This is only confusing people.