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  1. #1
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    Camping in Brevard this summer. Need some tips

    Buddy and I going to Brevard NC between July 25-29
    Well be camping in Brevard. And wanna ride Pisgah and DuPont.

    Id like to ask for recommendations on good rides. Anything thats worth doing. Even whole day trips.
    We have nothing else to do but ride MTB

    Also. Are there any options to refill on water? They way things go, depending on conditions 3L can last anything from 3-6 hrs in a summer.

    Any other tips?

    Just to be clear. Were both average to intermediate riders. Both riding Jeffsy 29. For both of us longest rides were close to 30 miles with 2-2.5 k elevation gain.

    Thanks in advance.
    More you beef it up, more it will handle like a cow....

  2. #2
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    I'd certainly recommend hitting up the bike shops for good routes to go. The Hub and Sycamore are both great resources. They set me up with a nice DuPont Ridgeline loop when I was there a few weeks ago. I'm actually headed back first weekend of July for more riding.

  3. #3
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    There are so many options that are worthwhile. You need to start looking at maps to see what's there. Trailforks, the maps from Pisgah Mapping Co, etc. Read in this forum and elsewhere online about what those trails are like, because some won't suit the way you like to ride. Pisgah rides are a bit different from what you've described. 1k climbing per 10mi is possible, but difficult to achieve. Most of the best rides are going to be around 2k per 10mi, and some stuff will hit 3k per 10mi. You didn't mention what sort of technical stuff you're comfortable with. There's some super burly stuff in Pisgah. You need to be honest with yourself about what you're comfortable with. The kinds of things your skills are prepared for.

    For my first trip, I bought an actual guidebook Off the Beaten Track Volume II: Pisgah National Forest. Mine appears to be from the 2nd printing in 1993. I still have it. It's funny looking at the recommended routes in there. Some of them, I've never heard anyone recommend like climbing Trace and returning to the TH on the Neverending Rd. I only know one person who likes to climb Bennett, and yet this book suggests multiple rides that do that, and only one descending it (which is the way most tend to prefer it nowadays). Others MUST predate a lot of trail construction or opening to bikes because they skip some otherwise great singletrack for gravel. Like on the route that descends upper Black and then cuts off middle and lower by sending you down Maxwell Cove Rd. at Pressley Gap.

    There are tons of youtube vids from most of the key downhills in the area. Lots of recommended routes described in this forum, too. Do you like flowier stuff? Chunkier stuff? Do you prefer more XC-ish sorts of rides, prefer climbing, or do you lean more towards the downhill side of things? Do you want to shuttle? How much are you willing to hike-a-bike?

    Water resupply should be possible in a lot of places, depending on your route. Some routes will have multiple substantial river crossings where you'll be getting wet. Having something light you can use to filter/treat water wouldn't be a bad idea if you're planning any all day epics, but you still might go miles before finding water. There are quite a few ridgeline trails you can ride without finding water for miles. But with the climbing per mile out here, you'll get a good workout compressed into fewer miles than you're accustomed to.

    You say you're camping in Brevard. Which campground? Davidson River?

    Dupont will be generally less technical and with lower climbing totals. You can still rack up the elevation there, though. It's good to keep this on the rotation, though. You can go big in Pisgah and then do some lighter recovery riding at Dupont. Or, you can still do a pretty long epic at Dupont if you plan your route right. Just depends on how you want to handle it. I've done it before where I did a loop with Jim Branch, Hickory, and Ridgeline to stretch my legs after driving 8hrs.

  4. #4
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    Download Avenza PDF on your phone and buy both the Dupont and South Ranger District maps from Pisgah Map Co. This will keep you from getting lost...
    https://www.pisgahmapcompany.com/for-your-phone/

    Plenty of ride routes on Pisgah Area Sorba's site, on this site, etc. Everything is worth riding so pick you poison. There is a TON of info online so do a little research and you'll be fine.

    Buy a Sawyer Squeeze water filter to carry with you...
    https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-squeeze-filter/

    Have fun!

  5. #5
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    Guys, thanks for the responses.
    To be clear, were camping in Black Forest Camping, Cedar Mountain.

    We both prefer flowy singletrack, but also enjoy some technical rides. For me technical is probably not as advanced as it can get in there though.
    The most technical ride so far is Buttermilk trail in Richmond, VA. Did it this morning, Strava says 12.4 miles, 1100ft, 1 hr 45 min.
    I don't mind to earn my descent, but I'd prefer more downhill than climbing. I don't think we're gonna shuttle. We're there to ride bikes after all

    From what I gathered so far, we might do a ride in Dupont on the day we arrive, than do Pisgah next day, than maybe do something easier day after that, to let us recover a little. Still not sure... Still have tim e to plan and change our minds about 47 times
    More you beef it up, more it will handle like a cow....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobiemario View Post
    Guys, thanks for the responses.
    To be clear, were camping in Black Forest Camping, Cedar Mountain.

    We both prefer flowy singletrack, but also enjoy some technical rides. For me technical is probably not as advanced as it can get in there though.
    The most technical ride so far is Buttermilk trail in Richmond, VA. Did it this morning, Strava says 12.4 miles, 1100ft, 1 hr 45 min.
    I don't mind to earn my descent, but I'd prefer more downhill than climbing. I don't think we're gonna shuttle. We're there to ride bikes after all

    From what I gathered so far, we might do a ride in Dupont on the day we arrive, than do Pisgah next day, than maybe do something easier day after that, to let us recover a little. Still not sure... Still have tim e to plan and change our minds about 47 times
    If you like Flowy stuff I think you'll like Dupont more than Pisgah. If you want to do an epic ride there, get the nat geo map and do the big loop counter clockwise, starting in the Lake Imaging parking lot. I think it's called "Best of Dupont" or something like that. You'll see some amazing scenery, and finish the loop on Ridgeline, which is a really good flow trail. When I did it last summer I did something like 28 miles and 2700 feet of climbing, but I took a couple detours to look at the waterfalls.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly Lee View Post
    If you like Flowy stuff I think you'll like Dupont more than Pisgah. If you want to do an epic ride there, get the nat geo map and do the big loop counter clockwise, starting in the Lake Imaging parking lot. I think it's called "Best of Dupont" or something like that. You'll see some amazing scenery, and finish the loop on Ridgeline, which is a really good flow trail. When I did it last summer I did something like 28 miles and 2700 feet of climbing, but I took a couple detours to look at the waterfalls.
    This one?

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/5343103/best-of-dupont

    While I've ridden many of the trails this one covers, I dunno I'd plan my route exactly like this.

    I'd do this route or some variation on it before I'd do "Best of Dupont"

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/703...pont-west-side

  8. #8
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    Certainly more-than-enough good trails @DuPont to last you several days.
    I've camped at Black Forrest a couple of times....cabins are nice if rainy forecast, tent sites OK, but not large.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    This one?

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/5343103/best-of-dupont

    While I've ridden many of the trails this one covers, I dunno I'd plan my route exactly like this.

    I'd do this route or some variation on it before I'd do "Best of Dupont"

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/703...pont-west-side
    Actually no. I dug up my Dupont Map. It's called the Fawn Lake Super Loop. It's 25 miles on the map, but it wound up being about 28 for me with a couple of side trails added on. I like starting at Lake Imaging lot because you finish up with ridgeline.

    That west side loop you posted is also really cool, but it leaves out the best decents there imo.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly Lee View Post
    Actually no. I dug up my Dupont Map. It's called the Fawn Lake Super Loop. It's 25 miles on the map, but it wound up being about 28 for me with a couple of side trails added on. I like starting at Lake Imaging lot because you finish up with ridgeline.

    That west side loop you posted is also really cool, but it leaves out the best decents there imo.
    Well, I dunno that you will be able to get ALL of them in one reasonable ride. That ride does get some of the fun downhills, at least. Go back another day to get the other parts of dupont.

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  11. #11
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    Well it's pretty tough to do all of Dupont in a day since there's something like 60 miles there. He mentioned up to 30 miles and 2500 climbing. It's just a recommendation...

  12. #12
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    I feel like most of the mtbproject routes in this area are pretty outdated or just bad in general. Their model of focusing on loops makes sense, but it doesn't work when they don't update the loops. The "Best of DuPont" is a great example, because it's over 4 years old and misses some of the newer trailbuilding in the area in favor of sending you deeper into the forest on a lot of fire road. Every time I do that route, I hate it, it feels like you spend a lot of time connecting different areas of the forest rather than riding singletrack.

    IMO the Trailforks model works a lot better by giving you a map of the trail by the segments themselves, then letting you plan how to take the route or taking an existing route submitted by another user. The end result is a lot better and gives you more options than mtbproject, which is flat out missing some trails and has loops that don't represent the best route. The Trailforks maps are also up to date and have the majority of the trails in this area listed, which mtbproject does not.

    OP, my suggestion for 4 days is to break it up some. DuPont is fun, but it's a lot of the same, flowy trails. They are great, don't get me wrong, but I'd suggest at least hitting up the fish hatchery and/or N Mills river in Pisgah over doing several days of DuPont.

    When folks are in town for 4 days, I usually recommend the following:

    Day 1 - Fish Hatchery - Do any combination of Cove Creek, Cove/Daniel's, and Butter Gap depending on how you feel. If you park at the DR lot, you get a nice mid-point break to refill on water, food, etc. The climbs here (don't climb either side of DR, do Cove -> Daniels) are pretty mellow and it's a good warmup for the week IMO. Keep in mind the section of Butter after the Long Branch intersection is currently closed to riding, so you'll have to climb back up Long Branch to Searcey Creek Rd.

    Day 2 - N Mills River - Do Spencer Gap, then Trace Ridge, then Bear Branch. It's a shorter route but the climb is harder. These are a bit more difficult than the hatchery trails, but not by much except for a few areas on Trace.

    Day 3 - Pisgah horse stables - If you feel up for something more technical, then you can do Bennett, Black, or Avery. If not, then maybe check out the Turkey Pen area (S Mills -> Mullinax -> Squirrel out and back) or hit up DuPont.

    Day 4 - DuPont - Depending on the distance you want:

    https://www.trailforks.com/route/5-b...rankjoy-route/
    https://www.trailforks.com/route/locals-tour-dupont/

    The climbs in DuPont are generally a lot easier to deal with. If you wanted to add some length to the first ride I linked above, you can hook a left on Hickory Mountain Rd after climbing Boundary, which you do after Rocky Ridge, then right onto White Pine to add in Hooker Creek. You can also avoid some fireroad by going left after Hilltop and reversing your route back to Jim Branch. I think if you end up doing this, the route will end up with about 16-18 miles.

    The nice part about doing DuPont last is that it generally is a bit easier climbing than Pisgah is. The routes above do miss the Corn Mill Shoals area trails like Big Rock and Burnt, but IMO they aren't really worth going out of your way for if you are riding in Pisgah. If you wanted to substitute those for Day 3 above, though, that may be a decent option. They are a bit more technical than the rest of DuPont and different in character.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I feel like most of the mtbproject routes in this area are pretty outdated or just bad in general. Their model of focusing on loops makes sense, but it doesn't work when they don't update the loops. The "Best of DuPont" is a great example, because it's over 4 years old and misses some of the newer trailbuilding in the area in favor of sending you deeper into the forest on a lot of fire road. Every time I do that route, I hate it, it feels like you spend a lot of time connecting different areas of the forest rather than riding singletrack.

    IMO the Trailforks model works a lot better by giving you a map of the trail by the segments themselves, then letting you plan how to take the route or taking an existing route submitted by another user. The end result is a lot better and gives you more options than mtbproject, which is flat out missing some trails and has loops that don't represent the best route. The Trailforks maps are also up to date and have the majority of the trails in this area listed, which mtbproject does not.
    The two models are actually not all that different at the most basic level. Both have the underlying individual trails. You can also submit revisions. Substantial ones. Have a better route for "Best of Dupont?" Submit it and overwrite the one that everyone tends to agree sucks.

    Both sites require people to submit revisions. This area just seems to have more active users on Trailforks than mtbproject. Other areas are opposite.


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  14. #14
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    One of my favorite rides out of Davidson River Campground is...

    -Up Clawhammer to the top
    -Left on Black Mountain
    -Descend down Avery, and take it back to Clawhammer (this will put you out towards upper Clawhammer)
    -Go back up Clawhammer to the top
    -Go right on Black Mountain and go all the way over Black and descend it back to the campground

  15. #15
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    A lot of good information here! I really can't tell you all how helpful this is.

    We're riding a lot, training for that trip. Humidity around here is brutal recently, but hopefully this will just make it easier later.

    SO we both actually both Survivor water filters. One of the above posts lead us up to it, just after little research, we decided on Survivor.
    Also I got a Osprey bagpack with 3L water bladder, as oppose to 2L I have been using till now.

    If it comes to nutrition, we don't exactly have it figured out yet. I'll probably bring some Clif bars, some kind of sandwich. I'm also looking at options to replenish electrolytes. Clif Bloks, energy chews. Or something similar.

    Now for the trails suggestions. I really want to thank you guys for these suggestions, Adodero. You broke it down into 4 days for us. Awesome. Thank you much
    We are still looking, and trying to figure all these things out. I've been looking at Trailforks a lot. It is bit confusing since we've never been there.
    But were taking notes. So once again, thanks a lotto everybody for chiming in
    More you beef it up, more it will handle like a cow....

  16. #16
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobiemario View Post
    A lot of good information here! I really can't tell you all how helpful this is.

    We're riding a lot, training for that trip. Humidity around here is brutal recently, but hopefully this will just make it easier later.

    SO we both actually both Survivor water filters. One of the above posts lead us up to it, just after little research, we decided on Survivor.
    Also I got a Osprey bagpack with 3L water bladder, as oppose to 2L I have been using till now.

    If it comes to nutrition, we don't exactly have it figured out yet. I'll probably bring some Clif bars, some kind of sandwich. I'm also looking at options to replenish electrolytes. Clif Bloks, energy chews. Or something similar.

    Now for the trails suggestions. I really want to thank you guys for these suggestions, Adodero. You broke it down into 4 days for us. Awesome. Thank you much
    We are still looking, and trying to figure all these things out. I've been looking at Trailforks a lot. It is bit confusing since we've never been there.
    But were taking notes. So once again, thanks a lotto everybody for chiming in
    Humidity here has been thick lately. And a bit warmer than usual (upper 80's in Asheville proper, and cooler as you get higher). I've broken out my sweat band (I ust a Gutr to keep sweat out of my eyes, though everybody seems to be pretty particular about their preferences on what they like).

    Gummies might have a LITTLE bit of electrolytes in 'em, but don't rely on them if electrolytes are a focus for you. My preference lately has been for a tablet to cover electrolytes out on the trail, but I also try to make sure I'm including them in my diet up until the breakfast before my ride. Tablets are nice because they're small, light, and very packable in a little baggie. They help me to stave of debilitating headaches on the trail when I get depleted. Cramps don't usually come up for me until the night after. Magnesium seems especially critical for me, which makes sense. I had some medical issues almost 10yrs ago that I needed prescription strength magnesium supplements for. Not surprising that I seem to have a lingering need.

    One thing to note for riding in this area is to include gravel roads in your ride options when you're looking at maps. In Pisgah especially, most rides climb up gravel and descend singletrack. There are some rides where you can include singletrack climbs (I know a guy who is a big fan of what he calls the Arena Loop, which involves climbing Bennett then Buckwheat, and then descending Black), or it's common enough to ride singletrack as an out-and-back (especially Squirrel). There's less of that in Dupont, but it will still be important to link the singletrack you want with gravel. My first time here, the gravel was a huge downer, but it really isn't so much. I find it nice sometimes to bang out the elevation a bit faster on the gravel. Singletrack that steep is often super gnarly and far more difficult to climb (usually involves lots of hike-a-bike).

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