“Ride this semi-paved road up from Lake Russell so you can bomb down the Rhododendron Trail #185.”
— Mark O'Neal
This is the paved Old Lake Russell Road. It's still an active road in the upper half to access the houses. The lower half has been abandoned as a road but goes all the way down to Lake Russell. The lower half is still paved but is really only a narrow swath of pavement now that the foliage is taking back over. It is in much better shape than it used to be now that the Assault on Mt. Currahee is using this as part of the race route every year.
The main reason to ride this road is to access the top of the Rhododendron Trail #185
and ride down the trail instead of up it. Traffic is light to non-existent. The road is pretty steep so be prepared to spin it out.
While you're at the top, check out the Chenocetah Lookout Tower (a short ride up the hill past the Rhododendron Trail #185