Skip to main content

Down to Wilmington...via NC Bike Route 5

Headed down to Wilmington to hang out with my friend Joe, and instead of taking I-40 or any of the other routes (US 421, US 117, or NC 50) that I have done over the years. I tried something different. I followed NC Bike Route 5 - The Cape Fear Run - from Apex to Wilmington. Most of the major statewide bike routes follow secondary routes so it was a great opportunity to see some back roads.

For photos from the entire day, head to my flickr site.

But first, for sometime now there's been an 'END' I-440 shield at where the Beltline meets US 1/64 and I-40, but this time I finally made the time to take a photo of it.

Now, this 'END' sign is actually located on the collector/distributor ramps for Exit 1.

Bike Route 5 Begins/Ends in downtown Apex - It even has an 'END' sign of its own.

This was actually my first time in Downtown Apex...and I certainly will come back to check out the town more often.

There were plenty of small churches throughout the route and I would have loved to taken photos of many of them. But with many of them holding mass at the time I passed by them, I didn't think it would be right to be taking photos around a church while mass was being held.

However in Buies Creek, this small Baptist Church wasn't serving mass until 6:00 pm, so I stopped and took a few photos, and took a few photos of the blooming azaleas as well.


Bike 5 runs along NC 82 for a bit and past the Averasboro Battleground, so I stopped to get a few more photos from the Chicora Cemetery.


Cumberland County still uses concrete pylons at many intersections as an earlier version of standard street signs. Here's an example at Bethany Crossroads.

Now in North Carolina, it is very rare to find an 'embossed' sign of any type. But in the small community of Kelly at the Post Office there are not one but three embossed 'STOP' signs. I've also included a photo of an older 'YIELD' sign for your enjoyment.

One of the mysteries I hoped to solve on this trip was where NC 210 changes from North/South to East/West. I originally thought it was at NC 53 near Kelly, but I was wrong.

After leaving its short multiplex with NC 53, NC 210 remains North/South. Later on the trip, I learned that the North/South change over to East/West occurs at the Bladen/Pender County Line.

Once in Wilmington, Joe and I headed around town and found a couple of great bridges and old buildings that will be featured in Carolina Lost.

First this bridge that carries 6th St. over a former rail line or canal.


Then the former Independent Ice Company which sits right next to the bridge.


This great old Philco Furniture sign.

Then this gorgeous former Presbyterian Church that now sits shuttered. Local community groups want to restore it as an Arts Center. It's great to see such an awesome structure like this being preserved.




Another great church in the same neighborhood is the St. Stephens A.M.E Church.


Afterwards we heads to the Smith's Creek Swing Bridge on Castle Hayne Road. This once carried NC 133 and maybe a few other routes.




Crossed over this truss bridge that carries NC 11 over the Cape Fear River.

And finally came across this odd sign on Old NC 87 in Acme.

It was a great trip with over 150 photos taken. I got a lot of items for Carolina Lost and plenty of new small towns for the Crossroads Project. Hopefully, I'll be debuting that blog or website soon.

Comments

Unknown said…
I'm thinking about making the trip in the opposite direction- I'm in Wilmington and want to bike to Burlington, NC.

That church on 4th Street has been completely restored and repurposed. It
s now one of the nicest concert/wedding venues in the state. You wouldn't hardly recognize it!
Unknown said…
hey i have never use bike route 5. but as one of my cycling goals is to bike from cary nc to willmington. is route 5 the best way to go? does it have dirrections where to turn ever time?
thanks for the help guys
Adam said…
Manny:

I wouldn't be the best judge to whether or not it is the best way to go via bike. I will say once you get outside of Cary/Apex/Fuquay it is a very enjoyable rural ride. It is signed rather well but I would still include a map or have a print out of directions for reference.
ncveloman said…
If you can get a copy of DeLorme's Street Atlas for North Carolina (the print version), it has all of the NC DOT bike routes marked. It makes a great backup for the street signs.

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

Old US Route 40 on Donner Pass Road

While completing California State Route 89 between Lassen Volcanic National Park and US Route I took a detour in Truckee up the infamous Donner Pass Road. Generally I don't dispense with the history of a roadway before the route photos but the history of Donner Pass is steeped within California lore and western migration.  The first recorded Wagon Crossing of Donner Pass was back in 1844.  The infamous Donner Party saga occurred in the winter of 1846-47 in which only 48 of the 87 party members survived.  Although the Donner Party incident is largely attributed to poor planning and ill conceived Hastings Cutoff it largely led to the infamous reputation of Donner Pass. The first true road over the Sierra Nevada Range via the Donner Pass was known as the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road.  The Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Wagon Road was completed by 1864 to assist with construction of the Central Pacific build the First Trans-Continental Railroad over Donner Pass.  The websit

California State Route 159 (former California State Route 11 and US Route 66)

California State Route 159 was a post 1964-Renumbering State Route which was designated over former segments of California State Route 11 and US Route 66.  As originally defined California State Route 159 began at Interstate 5/US Route 99 at the Golden State Freeway in Los Angeles.  California State Route 159 followed Figueroa Street, Colorado Boulevard and Linda Vista Avenue to the planned Foothill Freeway.  California State Route 159 was truncated during 1965 to existing solely on Linda Vista Avenue where it remained until being relinquished during 1989.  California State Route 159 was formally deleted from the State Highway System during 1992.   The history of California State Route 159 Prior to 1933 the Division of Highways was not actively involved in maintaining urban highways outside of occasional cooperative projects.  The responsibility for signage of US Routes in cities was thusly given to the Automobile Club of Southern California in the Southern California region.  This bei