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  1. #1
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    1st time riding in NC...suggestions??

    I live in southern Indiana and usually ride at Brown County State Park. I have been researching both Dupont and Pisgah to ride. I'm coming out next weekend and would love some input as to which trails to ride. I love rocky, technical trails...but also fast flowy ones. As I would be a first time rider in NC, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions! I plan on riding between 20-35 miles per day...not wanting to venture too deep into the mountains to never be heard from again

    Thanks!!

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    DuPont is great fun, but there are TONS of great trails in Pisgah. My personal favorites include: Black Mountain, Squirrel Gap and Trace Ridge. Laurel Ridge/Pilot Rock is burlier and Farlow Gap is about the hardest out here that I've ridden (and walked).

    In most of Pisgah, be prepared for some extended hike-a-bike sections (both up and down), particularly on Black Mountain, Laurel/Pilot and Farlow.

    There is an excellent map that you need to buy--put out by Pisgah Map Co.-- that can be had at any of the bike shops around WNC.

    Have fun out here, it's awesome riding!!!
    ​mountain biking is fun.

  3. #3
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    Also, be forewarned: Ten miles in Pisgah feels like 15-20 other places.
    ​mountain biking is fun.

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    Stop at da hub buy a map then unload your bike and ride

  5. #5
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    1st time riding in NC...suggestions??

    As a general rule, DuPont=flowy and Pisgah=technical. Lots to choose from.

  6. #6
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    All of the above, but if you want ultimate in flowy (but sadly no air), try Warrior Creek...
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  7. #7
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    just watched some videos on YT of Warrior Creek!! Looks like a lot of fun. Where in NC is it? Close to Asheville?

  8. #8
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    Near N. Wilkesboro, which is about 2 hours east of Asheville. (Maybe less - I have never driven it). Here is the web site:

    Kerr Scott Trail Guide
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladymountainbiker1 View Post
    I love rocky, technical trails...but also fast flowy ones.
    Be careful when you ask for rocky technical stuff.
    Our idea of "rocky technical" could be a far cry different than yours. lol

    As said DuPont is fast and flowy with a few short technical sections.
    Bent Creek is also a great place to get a taste of Pisgah without getting in too deep.

    Between those to places there is tons of riding.

    Also lots in Pisgah. What is your skill level and the skill level of those who you will be riding with?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  10. #10
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    Talk to Scott at Indy Cycle Specialists. He rides here more than most locals and will be able to give you all the beta you could possibly need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Near N. Wilkesboro, which is about 2 hours east of Asheville. (Maybe less - I have never driven it). Here is the web site:

    Kerr Scott Trail Guide

    Thank you!

  12. #12
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    DuPont is a must if you're going to be in the area.
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Be careful when you ask for rocky technical stuff.
    Our idea of "rocky technical" could be a far cry different than yours. lol

    As said DuPont is fast and flowy with a few short technical sections.
    Bent Creek is also a great place to get a taste of Pisgah without getting in too deep.

    Between those to places there is tons of riding.

    Also lots in Pisgah. What is your skill level and the skill level of those who you will be riding with?
    kjlued,

    Thanks for the advice! I think short technical sections would be best...I am probably an intermediate rider. I ride intermediate and advanced trails in Brown County State Park, and absolutely love it! My boyfriend is definitely way better than me...and I'm crazy enough to attempt trails I probably have no business on

    My LBS owner gave me a bunch of maps since he rides in NC often. He suggested we try slickrock. I want to get a real sense of what riding there is like...without getting too deep in (miles). We're staying in Hendersonville. Looks like its sort of in between both. Dupont looks incredible! It seems like a lot of the trails are very short (1-2 miles). We're trying to figure out a route. We're gonna hit up both Pisgah and Dupont. We were originally gonna be there just 2 nights, but decided to extend our stay to 3.

    Any trails within either of those parks a must ride?? Thanks again!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by docter_zab View Post
    DuPont is great fun, but there are TONS of great trails in Pisgah. My personal favorites include: Black Mountain, Squirrel Gap and Trace Ridge. Laurel Ridge/Pilot Rock is burlier and Farlow Gap is about the hardest out here that I've ridden (and walked).

    In most of Pisgah, be prepared for some extended hike-a-bike sections (both up and down), particularly on Black Mountain, Laurel/Pilot and Farlow.

    There is an excellent map that you need to buy--put out by Pisgah Map Co.-- that can be had at any of the bike shops around WNC.

    Have fun out here, it's awesome riding!!!
    doctor_zab,

    Thanks for the reply! I was looking at Black Mountain and Squirrel Gap... Just how technical are they? Any other recommended trails? I'm probably an intermediate rider...with more guts than talent

  15. #15
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladymountainbiker1 View Post
    My LBS owner gave me a bunch of maps since he rides in NC often. He suggested we try slickrock....Any trails within either of those parks a must ride?? Thanks again!
    I'd give a day for DuPont and a day for Pisgah, favoring DuPont. jerry68 and kjlued gave great advice (I even know them in person, and even that experience can't tarnish their recommendation ).

    For shops/knowledge, you'll have Sycamore Cycles and The Hub right in Brevard. Both sell the new Pisgah Map Company maps: their print maps of Pisgah/Bent Creek and DuPont have become the de facto standards. They're accurate, easy to read, and durable. (I'm not a shill, just a happy customer.)

    If you've got an iPhone, hit up their site (Mobile | Pisgah Map Company) and look into buying the digital editions. They're sourced from their PDFs and let you see your position and bearing on the map. They've also got some of the best routes - these guys ride - available as cheap downloads.

    I'd recommend:

    1. Their DuPont map and any route you choose that involves Ridgeline and Airstrip
    2. Their DuPont mini map (DuPont: Corn Mill | Pisgah Map Company) that takes you through some classic NC twisty singletrack, up and over the slickrock, and then Burnt Mtn.
    3. Any of the Pisgah Routes, but be weary of their skill level and climbing amount.

    Last, don't overlook Bent Creek. It'll be busy on the weekend, but if you're a decent rider, you'll get out of the crowd and up onto lesser ridden trails in a hurry. If you look at a map, try Rice Pinnacle -> Wolf Branch -> Ingles Fields -> Five Points -> Little Hickory -> Sidehill -> Road -> Explorer -> back to Rice Pinnacle. (Easier than it sounds, esp. if you put the Bent Creek map on a phone...) Bent Creek will also put you in a good position to hit downtown Asheville for dinner/beer.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladymountainbiker1 View Post
    kjlued,

    Thanks for the advice! I think short technical sections would be best...I am probably an intermediate rider. I ride intermediate and advanced trails in Brown County State Park, and absolutely love it! My boyfriend is definitely way better than me...and I'm crazy enough to attempt trails I probably have no business on

    My LBS owner gave me a bunch of maps since he rides in NC often. He suggested we try slickrock. I want to get a real sense of what riding there is like...without getting too deep in (miles). We're staying in Hendersonville. Looks like its sort of in between both. Dupont looks incredible! It seems like a lot of the trails are very short (1-2 miles). We're trying to figure out a route. We're gonna hit up both Pisgah and Dupont. We were originally gonna be there just 2 nights, but decided to extend our stay to 3.

    Any trails within either of those parks a must ride?? Thanks again!
    First of all, I will say I have no idea where Brown County State Park is nor do I have any ideal what it is like. That being said, I have been other places where their uber technical "black diamond" sections were entertaining but still nothing like some of the day to day moderate trails here in Pisgah.

    Now that is said, I don't think anyone here will argue that both DuPont and Bent Creek is the best places to go to maximize your fun and entertainment without getting yourself in a pinch and without having to do too much planning. On average, these are the most ridden trails even with the locals.

    Staying in Hendersonville which is where I live puts you right in the middle of both.
    I live about 15 miles from DuPont and 20 miles from Bent Creek. Both are great trail systems and I like them both for different reasons. Personally, I think if you can only do one, DuPont is the better choice, but some may disagree. However, I would say you can't go wrong with either and doubt too many would disagree with that.

    DuPont, all the best trails puts some miles on you if you want to do them all.
    Ridgeline, Airstrip, Pine Tree (often over looked but has a great section), Cedar Rock, Big Rock, Burnt Mtn, Reasonover and the brand new Turkey Knob ext.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  17. #17
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    If you are comfortable at BCSP you will love DuPont. BCSP may have a little more flow overall to the trails, but DuPont will have plenty and still has the occasional technical sections and elevation that will keep it very interesting. Those trails that kjlued mentioned you don't to miss, they are all fantastic. Ridgeline down and Airstip down are two of my favorites in the park, probably the same for anyone that's ridden them.

    I'm a recent transplant to the area and I came from the midwest so I'm pretty familiar with how black diamond trails out there are really difficult green trails or intermediate trails here (thinking Pisgah). I did Black Mountain last night (first section of the Big M ride on Pisgah Map Company's suggested route) and the first 1/3 or so of the downhill is more technical than anything you'll ride at BCSP. Doesn't mean it wasn't fun, just a bit of warning. If you have a capable bike and skills (XC bike and no skills here) you might really enjoy that ride! The climb up is a stinker but they keep telling me you get used to it

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jn35646 View Post
    Ridgeline down and Airstip down are two of my favorites in the park, probably the same for anyone that's ridden them.
    If you have not already, make sure you do the new Turkey Knob Ext when you get a chance. It is about that same caliber as Ridgeline and Airstrip. Don't skip Poplar Loop while you are up there either.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  19. #19
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    Good advice on Bent Creek... but why cut it short

    Rice Pinnacle -> Wolf Branch -> Ingles Fields -> Five Points -> Little Hickory -> Sidehill -> Road -> Explorer ->Boyd Branch Rd->Boyd Branch Trail-> BC road to Ledford parking lot-> Deer Lake Lodge->Rice-Pinnacle

    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    I'd give a day for DuPont and a day for Pisgah, favoring DuPont. jerry68 and kjlued gave great advice (I even know them in person, and even that experience can't tarnish their recommendation ).

    For shops/knowledge, you'll have Sycamore Cycles and The Hub right in Brevard. Both sell the new Pisgah Map Company maps: their print maps of Pisgah/Bent Creek and DuPont have become the de facto standards. They're accurate, easy to read, and durable. (I'm not a shill, just a happy customer.)

    If you've got an iPhone, hit up their site (Mobile | Pisgah Map Company) and look into buying the digital editions. They're sourced from their PDFs and let you see your position and bearing on the map. They've also got some of the best routes - these guys ride - available as cheap downloads.

    I'd recommend:

    1. Their DuPont map and any route you choose that involves Ridgeline and Airstrip
    2. Their DuPont mini map (DuPont: Corn Mill | Pisgah Map Company) that takes you through some classic NC twisty singletrack, up and over the slickrock, and then Burnt Mtn.
    3. Any of the Pisgah Routes, but be weary of their skill level and climbing amount.

    Last, don't overlook Bent Creek. It'll be busy on the weekend, but if you're a decent rider, you'll get out of the crowd and up onto lesser ridden trails in a hurry. If you look at a map, try Rice Pinnacle -> Wolf Branch -> Ingles Fields -> Five Points -> Little Hickory -> Sidehill -> Road -> Explorer -> back to Rice Pinnacle. (Easier than it sounds, esp. if you put the Bent Creek map on a phone...) Bent Creek will also put you in a good position to hit downtown Asheville for dinner/beer.
    IoC,

    Thanks for the great info! We looked into that app with the maps, bought the Dupont map, but can't seem to figure out how to see the trails. Granted, I only gave it a min or so of my attention. I hope to figure it out on the 8 hr car ride

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    Good advice on Bent Creek... but why cut it short

    Rice Pinnacle -> Wolf Branch -> Ingles Fields -> Five Points -> Little Hickory -> Sidehill -> Road -> Explorer ->Boyd Branch Rd->Boyd Branch Trail-> BC road to Ledford parking lot-> Deer Lake Lodge->Rice-Pinnacle

    jerry68,

    About how many miles is that route? Thanks!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jn35646 View Post
    If you are comfortable at BCSP you will love DuPont. BCSP may have a little more flow overall to the trails, but DuPont will have plenty and still has the occasional technical sections and elevation that will keep it very interesting. Those trails that kjlued mentioned you don't to miss, they are all fantastic. Ridgeline down and Airstip down are two of my favorites in the park, probably the same for anyone that's ridden them.

    I'm a recent transplant to the area and I came from the midwest so I'm pretty familiar with how black diamond trails out there are really difficult green trails or intermediate trails here (thinking Pisgah). I did Black Mountain last night (first section of the Big M ride on Pisgah Map Company's suggested route) and the first 1/3 or so of the downhill is more technical than anything you'll ride at BCSP. Doesn't mean it wasn't fun, just a bit of warning. If you have a capable bike and skills (XC bike and no skills here) you might really enjoy that ride! The climb up is a stinker but they keep telling me you get used to it
    jn35646,

    I greatly appreciate your input...as you have a good understanding of the trail systems in Indiana.

    I will definitely check out Ridgeline and Airstrip! BCSP I feel very comfortably at...Definitely love the flow...but I'm not opposed to attempting something more technical. As far as my skills....well...still working on that

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    First of all, I will say I have no idea where Brown County State Park is nor do I have any ideal what it is like. That being said, I have been other places where their uber technical "black diamond" sections were entertaining but still nothing like some of the day to day moderate trails here in Pisgah.

    Now that is said, I don't think anyone here will argue that both DuPont and Bent Creek is the best places to go to maximize your fun and entertainment without getting yourself in a pinch and without having to do too much planning. On average, these are the most ridden trails even with the locals.

    Staying in Hendersonville which is where I live puts you right in the middle of both.
    I live about 15 miles from DuPont and 20 miles from Bent Creek. Both are great trail systems and I like them both for different reasons. Personally, I think if you can only do one, DuPont is the better choice, but some may disagree. However, I would say you can't go wrong with either and doubt too many would disagree with that.

    DuPont, all the best trails puts some miles on you if you want to do them all.
    Ridgeline, Airstrip, Pine Tree (often over looked but has a great section), Cedar Rock, Big Rock, Burnt Mtn, Reasonover and the brand new Turkey Knob ext.
    kjlued,

    I am greatly looking forward to this trip!! I'm gonna definitely ride Ridgeline and Airstrip...I'm going to plan a route attempting to involve as many of your recommeneded trails as possible. God help me

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladymountainbiker1 View Post
    jerry68,

    About how many miles is that route? Thanks!
    >20 miles
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  25. #25
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    If you are coming here for a mtb vacation and have experience, my opinion is that you are wasting your time and money if you don't challenge yourself. Hit the Pisgah. By far the quintessential Pisgah loop, IMO, is Laurel Mountain to Pilot Rock. This less than 15 mile ride can take anywhere from 2 hours if you have a pro license and the DH skills to back it up to 6 hours if you walk a lot on the downhill. It's also (more importantly) through beautiful woods and has some killer views off Pilot Rock. Pilot is a very very very very challenging downhill and you will hike your bike going up Laurel- often.

    Sounds like too much? Do a figure-8-ish loop of from the fish hatchery of 475-475B-Cove Creek trail- 475- Daniel Ridge trail counter clock wise. It is much better CCW. This is, IMO, the perfect Pisgah introduction. Cove Creek alerts you to the more technical trail to come on Daniel. If you look around, there are some killer waterfalls and swimming holes just off of Daniel Ridge at several different points.

    At DuPont, Big Rock/Cedar Rock are my favorite trails. Ridgeline is fun, yes, but the others are more unique and challenging.

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