Stock car auto racing is the indigenous sport of the mountains. Not too long ago, most of the crew members who worked on the NASCAR teams were from our area. There are a number of little dirt tracks in the mountains, which usually run on either Friday or Saturday night. They usually race into the month of September, and then close for the year. The two closest tracks are the Sugar Creek Raceway in Fannin County, and Tri-County Speedway in Brasstown, North Carolina, not far from the John C. Campbell Folk School.
If you like auto racing, I’d recommend that you give it a try. If you’ve never been to a dirt track, the trick is to try to avoid sitting too close to turn three, where there’s apt to be some mud flying into the stands as the cars come off the turn. There’s generally a lot less of that if you sit on the front stretch, down toward turn one. These tracks usually have some concession stands with the basic dogs, fries, and burgers. Sometimes, it’s a good plan to take lawn chairs.
On the other hand, this may not exactly be what you have in mind to listen to when you come up to your cabin and sit down on the deck, favorite beverage in hand, to enjoy the sunset. Since our buyers are usually not out looking at property on Friday or Saturday night, some of our local agents have a regrettable tendency to forget to mention the neighborhood race track.
After being closed for several years, the Sugar Creek Raceway is back as a Saturday night track. It is open during the racing season, which is from spring to late fall. It is located on the Sugar Creek Road, which is called the Boardtown Road in Gilmer County. If you’re looking at a map of Fannin County, Sunrise Road is the closest road. Noise carries a long way in the mountains, depending on how high you are on the ridge, and how the ridges run between you and the source of the sound. The main area that is affected by noise from the track is the Sugar Creek Road itself, the Boardtown Road, Chestnut Gap Road, and anything on the north side of the ridge between 515 and the Sugar Creek Road – Maxwell Road, Moss Lane, or the Bullen Gap Road, for instance. There may be some properties off Old Hwy 2 from Hwy 5 to Cashes Valley Road that are affected. I have heard that it can be heard from the ridges in Cashes Valley and even (faintly) from the top of Doubleknob, which is a considerable distance southwest.
In my opinion, properties in these areas should be evaluated for noise from the track. The only way I know to do that is to go out there personally on a Saturday night, when the cars are running. You are the only one who knows whether it is loud enough to bother you. The track opens around 5 PM and racing is over around 10:30 PM. Of course, this can’t be done during the winter when the track doesn’t run. If you can find a reliable informant in the neighborhood, you might take their word for it, but be careful. Some people don’t want any new neighbors, and are apt to tell them anything to discourage them from buying.