State Route 12 in North Carolina

State Route 11 and 12 in North Carolina

North America

State Route 11 in North Carolina

Begin Bolton
End Murfreesboro
Length 193 mi
Length 311 km




Pink Hill






Oak City


According to 800zipcodes, State Route 11, also known as NC-11 is a state route in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The road forms a north-south route through the east of the state, from Bolton via Kinston and Greenville to Murfreesboro. At 311 kilometers, the road is one of the longest north-south routes in the state.

Travel directions

The NC-11 freeway at Greenville.

NC-11 is largely a two-lane road through quiet rural areas in North Carolina’s Atlantic Coastal Plain. The coastal region here is very wide, and NC-11 runs nowhere near the sea. NC-11 begins east of the village of Bolton at an intersection with US 76 and generally runs north to northeast. The road mainly passes through small villages. The Kenansville Bypass is a 2×2 divided highway. A slightly longer 2×2 lane stretch runs between Kinston and Greenville and on to Bethel, where an approximately 70-kilometre stretch of 2×2 lanes is provided. North of Bethel, NC-11 resumes secondary character, eventually ending at Murfreesboro on US 158.


NC-11 is one of North Carolina’s original 1921 state highways. The route used to run between Keenansville and Bethel. About 1930 the route was extended north to Oak City, but in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s several extensions resulted in the current length from Bolton to Murfreesboro.

The Kinston to Greenville section is believed to have been widened to 2×2 lanes as early as the 1980s or earlier. The Kenansville Bypass opened in October 1998, direct with 2×2 lanes. In the early 2000s, the portion from Greenville to Bethel was widened to 2×2 lanes.

Between 2016 and 2019, a 20-mile freeway was constructed from 2 miles south of Ayden to US 264 on the west side of Greenville. This project is also known as the Greenville Southwest Bypass. Works started in September 2016 and the motorway opened on 21 November 2019. The project cost $232 million.

Traffic intensities

On most of the route, only about 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles a day. In some larger towns, the intensities are higher, on the south side of Kinston there are 14,000 vehicles and the busiest interurban part is between Kinston and Greenville, where 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles drive per day.

State Route 12 in North Carolina

Get started Sea Level
End Corolla
Length 148 mi
Length 238 km
Sea Level

Cedar Island

Cedar Island – Ocracoke


Hatteras Inlet

Cape Hatteras – Ocracoke






Marc Basnight Bridge

Nags Head

Kill Devil Hills

Kitty Hawk

Southern Shores



State Route 12 is a state route in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The road runs over the so-called Outer Banks, the elongated islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The road runs from Sea Level to Corolla and requires some ferry services. The main places are Hatteras and Nags Head. The road is 238 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The State Route 12 at Cape Hatteras.

State Route 12 begins at Sea Level on US 70 and heads northeast to the town of Cedar Island, where the first ferry service follows. This ferry service crosses a sheltered part of the Pamlico Sound, crossing only a short inlet. This is a fairly long ferry service of over 30 kilometers. One then reaches Ocracoke Island, over which State Route 12 runs for about 22 kilometers. At the other end of Ocracoke Island is a second ferry service to Hatteras. This one is shorter.

The road then crosses Hatteras Island, via the famous Cape Hatteras, the most southeastern part of the US East Coast. The road then turns north and heads north for nearly 70 kilometers across Hatteras Island, in many places right along the beach. Crosses Oregon Inlet via the Marc Basnight Bridge. After this, the area becomes more urbanized, with a series of holiday parks and villages along the sea. The most important of these is Nags Head, which also connects to US 64.

Between Nags Head and Kitty Hawk, State Route 12 parallels US 158. US 158 is the 2×2 lane through route, State Route 12 runs along the beach and is two lane. After Kitty Hawk, State Route 12 continues north for more than 20 miles to Corolla and ends at the beach. From this point there is no possibility to drive further north on paved roads.


State Route 12 is largely the only outcrop of the Outer Banks, specifically isolated Hatteras Island. The road is mainly important for tourism, there is no through traffic and hardly any industry on the Outer Banks. The Hatteras Inlet ferry service was launched in 1953, followed by a Cedar Island to Ocracoke ferry service in 1961. The Hatteras Inlet ferry service is free, the Cedar Island to Ocracoke ferry service is not, and lasts over 2 hours and 20 minutes. In 1963, the Bonner Bridge opened over the Oregon Inlet between Bodie Island and Pea Island. For the time being, this is the only bridge connection over the inlets between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pamlico Sound. The Bonner Bridge was replaced in 2019 and renamed the Marc Basnight Bridge.

State Route 12 has a long history of interruptions from the impact of hurricanes. In several places, new inlets were made over the islands by hurricanes and State Route 12 was interrupted and then repaired. In 2021, a sensitive section of State Route 12 will be replaced by the Rodanthe Bridge.

State Route 12 is one of the major tourist routes on the East Coast of the United States.

State Route 12 in North Carolina