Decided to get some wheeling in yesterday. I've been in Asheville all summer working and wanted to get out. Researched, read all I could find and decided to give Hurricane Road a try. Main reason: it's closer to Asheville than Brown Mountain and I thought it would be less crowded.
From the I240/40 interchange it was 35 minutes to mile marker 8. After you pass the rest area start looking hard as you are less than 2 miles from the turn. It does sneak up on you. If you start slowing ahead of the turn the cars coming behind will pass. If necessary, get onto the shoulder with your hazards on. I imagine in the fall and winter it might be a little easier to see the turn and the street sign. Right now the trees are very dense so you can't see the sign until you have turned. Garmin does show Hurricane Road as a road, but does not show it intersecting I40.
After I turned off I stopped and put my top down. About 1/2 mile form turning I met an older Jeep and another SUV. Older Jeep told me the road had been graded and it wasn't as good as it used to be. I thought I might be disappointed but decided to press on. Glad I did.
Now, I'm from Wilmington. It's very flat there. The extent of my off-roading is beach driving and flat trails. While Hurricane Road may have been better in the best and may be a let down to those of you routinely doing rock crawls and almost vertical climbs, to me Hurricane Road was the perfect challenge. Not too difficult, not too easy.
I really liked the creek crossings, the rock beds. There were some areas where this flat-lander had some pucker moments, but overall I enjoyed it and had fun allowing Big Red to do some of the things she was designed to.
I got there about 1:20 and got back on I40 about 5:30. I stopped a few times to look around, doubled back a few times to re-do a rock crawl or stream crossing. I saw a total of 5 other vehicles the entire time I was on the trail.
I recommend going for it. If you are from here it might not be as challenging as you like but it is aril in some beautiful country. And the old cow pen/ pasture at the too? Amazing view. I didn't get to Max Patch. Maybe another time.