The College Town Ride


  • DesignationState Byway
  • LocationNC
  • Length5.5 miles
Statewide Byway Partners
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
The College Town Ride


By linking historic sites, noteworthy architecture, and trade routes, this byway embraces an appreciation for its historic past and connects the Davidson College campus and the town center to the rural piedmont landscape from which they grew. The town of Davidson is inextricably linked to Davidson College, which predated the surrounding community and influenced its development. Davidson owes its primary existence not to farming or rail expansion but to the pursuit of higher education. The town’s significant historic preservation and open space conservation efforts along this route have protected built and rural environments that illustrate the evolution of Davidson College and the town. As travelers journey down Main Street, part of the historic trade route between Charlotte and Statesville, they will notice the many historically and architecturally significant buildings that encompass downtown with homes and buildings dating from 1837, when the college was initially established, to 1901 when a fire destroyed much of the business district. As the route heads south out of town, the rolling foothills, typical of the North Carolina Piedmont, provide viewers fresh pastoral scenes with occasional farm houses, barns, and small homes interspersed throughout the landscape. Local and regional recreational cyclists can be found along the entire College Town Ride which is a part of the multi-county Lake Norman Bike Route.

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