Pacolet River Byway


  • DesignationState Byway
  • LocationNC
  • Length10 miles
Statewide Byway Partners
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
Pacolet River Byway


Beginning at the South Carolina state line, the Pacolet River Byway traces US 176 through the Tryon “Thermal Belt”, a unique weather phenomenon where a microclimate is created that is ordinarily free of dew and frost. This valley road crosses the Pacolet River several times and parallels the Saluda Grade, the steepest standard-gauge mainline railway grade in the United States. Opening in 1878, the section is 3 miles long and is said to be between 4-5% grade. Old railroad depots, log cabins, a vaudeville/movie theater, and several other historic buildings are in the towns of Saluda and Tryon ready to be discovered.

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