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  1. #1
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    Downhill/Flow trails in Pisgah?

    Hi, I'm taking a vacation with my family to Asheville NC for a week at the end of May '17. Could someone please help me find some good shuttled flow trails? I'm from Memphis TN, and all we have here is flat, XC type trails and I'm wanting to ride without earning my turns lol. Of course I want to ride a diverse mix of trails as well, but I have no flow/shuttled trails anywhere near me and this a chance to try something new.
    Thanks!!!!

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    Pisgah sux... nothing but horses and Floridians.

    You need to go to Bentonville, AR. Thats the place to be...

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    Well was gonna go to Bentonville, AR but we couldn't find any cabins that we were happy with. It was all townhouses and stuff.
    Besides, we've already booked an awesome cabin in Asheville. As much as I've heard about Pisgah, and the fact that it's rated as the #5 best trails in the U.S., there must be some cool trails there.

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    Pisgah is not where you go to find flow trails. Did you do your research on the trails there before deciding to go? It is also not the best place to find downhill shuttles, either. Not saying you can't find any, but every time I've been, seeking any downhill has required pedaling up. one word has always defined Pisgah to me, and that's "rugged".

    DuPont has some ripping flow, but you also have to pedal up.

    A guy I know has been pretty involved in the downhill stuff in Boone, and you'll be able to find flow and shuttles there. I'm not sure what part of Pisgah you're visiting, so not sure how close to Boone you'll be.

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    The reason Pisgah is a huge mountain bike destination is for reasons that are kind of the opposite of what you say you're looking for... There are some trails that can be shuttled if you have a driver, but for the most part it is remote... the opposite of flow... and you have to earn damn near everything.

    If you want some smoother flow trails check out Bent Creek and Dupont. Both have fun riding. You're still gonna have to pedal though.

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    Only thing that even remotely comes close in pisgah is Kitsuma. You can sort of shuttle it and it is flowy from what I've heard. You do have to climb a bit from the drop off. Note that this isn't brevard pisgah. Its about a 20 minute drive from Asheville.

    Another option is to drive an hour-ish north to Bailey Mtn Bike Park. You'll pay $30 but they will shuttle you there. Some good steep flowy trails there and some more technical as well.

    Beech DH park usually doesn't open until sometime in June, but they may open earlier (doubt it).

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    Dont forget Windrock... They have on site shuttle wagons. Its 2 hours from Asheville though.

    If you're looking for the classic definition of "flow" for mountain biking... like nearly every video on PB of some dude on a DH bike riding a featureless dirt sidewalk 20ft wide...Pisgah is not the place. Pisgah is gnarly and technical... old school trail. Dupont has some flow but even there its alot of up-down-up-down and you're pedaling alot.

    Shuttling is out of the question for 99% of the trails here. You can do it but be prepared for an hour+ car ride for only about 30min of descending at most.... then you gotta ride another hour back to the car. 2 hours of driving for 30 minutes of descending. Most of the classic descents (Black Mtn. Farlow, Pilot, etc.) arent accessible by car anyway. Even to "shuttle" those trails you gotta pedal at least a few miles to get there.

    Pisgah is what mountain biking ought to be... hard, steep, technical, remote, fast, slow, walking, hiking, crying, smiling, beer.

    I would aim for Bailey or Windrock if DH shuttling is what you want. Bailey for flow...

    Unless you're cool with 20 mile days and 3000' of climbing per ride Pisgah might not be the place for you. its fun but you're definitely earning your turns

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    WR really has only one trail that can even be considered a flow trail. The rest is worse than most if not all of pisgah in terms of steep, technical terrain. So I wouldn't recommend it based on what he is looking for.
    Bailey really is the best option. They rent bikes as well, but if you stick to the flowy stuff you won't need one.

  9. #9
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    Not Pisgah, but Dupont. The closest thing I could think of would be shuttle to the top of Rocky Ridge, then ride back on RR and take Rifle/Boundary/Hickory to Ridgeline and get picked up at Lake Imaging. Only uphill would be the small hill up Rifle. Not a very long ride in total, but you could repeat.

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    Bailey Mtn Bike Park should tick all your boxes.

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    Thanks for information guys, really really helpful. My #1 priority is family vacation, so we were looking for a nice cabin and was hoping for good mountain biking. Flow trails aren't a necessity, it's just that I wanted to take the opportunity to ride something completely different from what I'm used to whilst away from home. Sounds like I'll still have a blast riding the rugged, technical trails of Pisgah. I'm about to research Bailey Mtn Bike Park now. Again, thanks for all the info, that's exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post

    Pisgah is what mountain biking ought to be... hard, steep, technical, remote, fast, slow, walking, hiking, crying, smiling, beer.
    This deserves being quoted again for relevance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profro View Post
    This deserves being quoted again for relevance.
    I rode Pisgah last spring for the first time and couldn't agree more. I got my ass handed to me, had a good time though. Looking forward to going back.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Pisgah is what mountain biking ought to be... hard, steep, technical, remote, fast, slow, walking, hiking, crying, smiling, beer.
    Well, I've ticked off all but crying. Then again, I haven't done all the trails there yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    Well, I've ticked off all but crying. Then again, I haven't done all the trails there yet.
    I wonder if it counts if you made someone else cry by taking them to Pisgah. If so, then I have them all.

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    I like how this thread went from "what are some fun flow trails?" to "most people that ride there end up crying" haha

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I wonder if it counts if you made someone else cry by taking them to Pisgah. If so, then I have them all.

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    LMAO! I'm sure some of my *****ing about climbing gravel roads when I was first introduced to Pisgah has been interpreted as crying.

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    I love taking first timers out in Pisgah. Its awesome to see the range of human emotion that comes out on a 20-30 mile Pisgah ride.

    The best part is when its all over and they're like "that was the hardest thing I have ever done... when can we do it again?" haha

    Or they sell their bike and take up golf...

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    I can't wait!!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    LMAO! I'm sure some of my *****ing about climbing gravel roads when I was first introduced to Pisgah has been interpreted as crying.
    I took my wife for her first Pisgah ride a couple years ago. We climbed up Buckthorn to Black, over to Rich Mtn and down Avery Creek. We stopped to have beer at the top of Rich Mtn and before our big descent, and the first mile of Avery Creek (coupled with the beer) made my wife cry.

    She won't drink beer on a ride anymore, but she harbors no ill will to the trails in Pisgah. In fact, she wants a rowdier FS bike!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I took my wife for her first Pisgah ride a couple years ago. We climbed up Buckthorn to Black, over to Rich Mtn and down Avery Creek. We stopped to have beer at the top of Rich Mtn and before our big descent, and the first mile of Avery Creek (coupled with the beer) made my wife cry.

    She won't drink beer on a ride anymore, but she harbors no ill will to the trails in Pisgah. In fact, she wants a rowdier FS bike!
    Ha ha, you're a lucky man Harold.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I took my wife for her first Pisgah ride a couple years ago. We climbed up Buckthorn to Black, over to Rich Mtn and down Avery Creek. We stopped to have beer at the top of Rich Mtn and before our big descent, and the first mile of Avery Creek (coupled with the beer) made my wife cry.

    She won't drink beer on a ride anymore, but she harbors no ill will to the trails in Pisgah. In fact, she wants a rowdier FS bike!
    Man, any women that can drink a beer and attempt to ride down Avery should be cloned for all men to enjoy...
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  23. #23
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    North Mills...some of the best downhills in pisgah proper...but still have to ride up gravel road and some short steep connector trail before you can hit the downhills.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    Ha ha, you're a lucky man Harold.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Man, any women that can drink a beer and attempt to ride down Avery should be cloned for all men to enjoy...
    She did it on an xc bike, too. She's pretty badass. We went to Sedona last month to ride, too.

    But more importantly than the riding, she puts up with my crap, and dishes it back, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    Not Pisgah, but Dupont. The closest thing I could think of would be shuttle to the top of Rocky Ridge, then ride back on RR and take Rifle/Boundary/Hickory to Ridgeline and get picked up at Lake Imaging.
    This is the shuttle/flow combo that you are looking for. This is great for the whole family. Finish off with taking the family to the Hooker/Triple Falls parking lot and hiking/swimming the waterfalls.

    Another easy shuttle option would be to shuttle up 477 to the top of Bennett (in Pisgah). GREAT trail, definitely not flow.... definitely not for the whole family

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkirby258 View Post
    This is the shuttle/flow combo that you are looking for. This is great for the whole family.
    I've only ridden Rocky Ridge once, but I recall it being fairly steep and a few of the berms dropping off a bit if you went over the top. I'm not sure I'd want to take younger kids there or people without much riding experience. It'd be better to pedal to Ridgeline.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I've only ridden Rocky Ridge once, but I recall it being fairly steep and a few of the berms dropping off a bit if you went over the top. I'm not sure I'd want to take younger kids there or people without much riding experience. It'd be better to pedal to Ridgeline.
    Was that the old Rocky Ridge or the reworked one (less than a year old)? Because I don't consider the reworked one much more "technical" than Ridgeline. Both trails are capable of causing injuries with out of control speed. Once at the bottom of Ridgeline we came upon a summer camp group where a number of kids had crashed into trees and sustained bloody injuries. Not happy campers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    Was that the old Rocky Ridge or the reworked one (less than a year old)? Because I don't consider the reworked one much more "technical" than Ridgeline. Both trails are capable of causing injuries with out of control speed. Once at the bottom of Ridgeline we came upon a summer camp group where a number of kids had crashed into trees and sustained bloody injuries. Not happy campers.
    It was the newer one.

    Not technical at all, it was smooth the entire way down, just steeper in sections than Ridgeline. I think Ridgeline has more sections that naturally help you control your speed, where RR is a bit steeper throughout.

    I was with a new-ish rider at the time I rode it and he was having some trouble with a few of the steeper corners. Not so much that he was going to crash or out of control, just harder for him to keep flow going because it required more braking effort.

    It's not that difficult, definitely not enough to earn the black diamond rating on TrailForks, but it is steeper relative to Ridgeline and it's not something I'd want to take someone on that wasn't confident in their braking and cornering technique.

    There were also a few spots like I mentioned before that seemed a bit more high consequence if you picked up some speed and screwed up. I remember a few of the berms seemed to drop off a fair ways on the other side.

    In all, not terribly difficult, but less forgiving than Ridgeline and not something I'd want to take someone that didn't have some riding experience down.

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    Really great information guys, thanks! My family doesn't mtb, just me. While I admit I'm not an expert on downhill, I think I'll be ok. I'll try not to ride over my skill level, but I do want to get out my comfort zone a bit. And if I have to pedal for an hour or so to get to the top that's fine.

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    One more question. I was thinking of renting a bike with a bit more travel(again to try something a bit different), but after checking out all the bike shop's websites, I couldn't find anything I was interested in. I found a shop that sold Yeti(I'd LOVE to rent an SB4.5c or maybe an SB5c!), but it looks like most of the shops only rent out pretty lame bikes. I've got a Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 cc with a 120mm '17 Fox 34. It doesn't look like anyone offers any rentals that would be much of an improvement.
    I've checked into the Bailey mtb park and they rent downhill bikes there. They rent the Norco Aurum 7.2

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    Why on earth do you expect to rent anything better quality than what you have already? That would be stupid from a rental provider's standpoint to buy, maintain, and rent a bunch of $10,000 bikes.

    You can definitely find something different than what you have, but stop your expectations before you get to "better" because you have an expensive bike already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    One more question. I was thinking of renting a bike with a bit more travel(again to try something a bit different), but after checking out all the bike shop's websites, I couldn't find anything I was interested in. I found a shop that sold Yeti(I'd LOVE to rent an SB4.5c or maybe an SB5c!), but it looks like most of the shops only rent out pretty lame bikes. I've got a Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 cc with a 120mm '17 Fox 34. It doesn't look like anyone offers any rentals that would be much of an improvement.
    I've checked into the Bailey mtb park and they rent downhill bikes there. They rent the Norco Aurum 7.2
    The Hub rents mainly Santa Cruz stuff, which includes Bronson's and the like. Not bad bikes. Sycamore rents Yeti's and Specialized. My son rented a SB5 when were there.

    But what Harold says is 100% right.
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    Thanks guys, I worded that badly.
    I was just curious to ride a bike more travel if it's detrimental (can't pedal it up hills and such), and the bikes I did find to rent were really low end builds

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    Thanks guys, I worded that badly.
    I was just curious to ride a bike more travel if it's detrimental (can't pedal it up hills and such), and the bikes I did find to rent were really low end builds
    If you are riding the flowier trails in DuPont then I wouldn't worry about it, even with a 120mm you'll be fine most places in Pisgah depending on your skill level.

    I wouldn't describe any of the builds as "low end", more "middle range". The Hub's builds are all stock C S builds but they have carbon frames, pretty decent suspension components, brakes, and wheels. Sure they aren't the full end builds, but they aren't the bottom end either. Same with the Yeti's at Sycamore.

    You'll find a lot of people riding here getting away with a lot less. IMO the builds stocked by The Hub are at the point where the returns you see from the upper end builds start to become less noticeable.

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    I'm certainly no expert, but concerning bikes to enjoy Pisgah, note that in the stage race last week, Gordon Wadsworth finished up 9th overall in the endure stages on a hard tail (Pivot Les). Of course he's a badass, but still, I think that shows that it's pretty rideable on nearly any good bike.

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    Hey thanks! The Hub and Sycamore wasn't on my list of bike shops I was looking at. Both of these shops offer exactly what I was looking for! Yeti and Santa Cruz for rent. Most of the other shops I was looking at just had like road, hybrid, cruiser bikes, hard tails, etc. I found one shop that rented a aluminum Cannondale Habit, that was as good as it got.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    Hey thanks! The Hub and Sycamore wasn't on my list of bike shops I was looking at. Both of these shops offer exactly what I was looking for! Yeti and Santa Cruz for rent. Most of the other shops I was looking at just had like road, hybrid, cruiser bikes, hard tails, etc. I found one shop that rented a aluminum Cannondale Habit, that was as good as it got.
    The Hub and Sycamore are two bike shops YOU MUST visit at Pisgah. Grab a coffee at Sycamore in the morning before the ride and get beer at the Hub after the ride!
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    Hey thanks! The Hub and Sycamore wasn't on my list of bike shops I was looking at. Both of these shops offer exactly what I was looking for! Yeti and Santa Cruz for rent. Most of the other shops I was looking at just had like road, hybrid, cruiser bikes, hard tails, etc. I found one shop that rented a aluminum Cannondale Habit, that was as good as it got.
    Lol. Where were you looking?

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    Downhill/Flow trails in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by notso View Post
    I'm certainly no expert, but concerning bikes to enjoy Pisgah, note that in the stage race last week, Gordon Wadsworth finished up 9th overall in the endure stages on a hard tail (Pivot Les). Of course he's a badass, but still, I think that shows that it's pretty rideable on nearly any good bike.
    We all used to ride the pisgah on hardtails. It's all we had.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    Hey thanks! The Hub and Sycamore wasn't on my list of bike shops I was looking at. Both of these shops offer exactly what I was looking for! Yeti and Santa Cruz for rent. Most of the other shops I was looking at just had like road, hybrid, cruiser bikes, hard tails, etc. I found one shop that rented a aluminum Cannondale Habit, that was as good as it got.
    There is also a newer shop in downtown Brevard in the Lumberyard District which has some nice rentals:

    Squatch Bike Rentals

    Looks like they have Intense, Rocky Mountain, and Kona's for rent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Lol. Where were you looking?
    Lol I looked on Google Maps at all the bike shops around the Asheville area, but apparently I didn't zoom out enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    Lol I looked on Google Maps at all the bike shops around the Asheville area, but apparently I didn't zoom out enough.
    The shops listed above are in brevard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    There is also a newer shop in downtown Brevard in the Lumberyard District which has some nice rentals:

    Squatch Bike Rentals

    Looks like they have Intense, Rocky Mountain, and Kona's for rent.
    Nice find. I missed that shop completely. Nice range of bikes, including Pivot as well.

    The Hub and Sycamore have location on their side - they are literally at the entrance of Pisgah.
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    Not exactly Pisgah and not exactly all downhill, but I rode Lake James State Park near Marion this past Sunday. That's about as flowy as it gets. 14 miles of trail. All machine made. No rocks or roots to speak of. Very big fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Not exactly Pisgah and not exactly all downhill, but I rode Lake James State Park near Marion this past Sunday. That's about as flowy as it gets. 14 miles of trail. All machine made. No rocks or roots to speak of. Very big fun.
    Sounds worth checking out. Any recommendations for where to park and what trail(s)? I've never been there and never even heard of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    Sounds worth checking out. Any recommendations for where to park and what trail(s)? I've never been there and never even heard of it.
    Park at the Paddy Creek area. From there ride the intermediate trails. They are very well marked and one-directional. Map/sense of direction not required. Perfect place for a hardtail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    Park at the Paddy Creek area. From there ride the intermediate trails. They are very well marked and one-directional. Map/sense of direction not required. Perfect place for a hardtail.
    Sounds very un-pisgah like!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Sounds very un-pisgah like!
    Well it's definitely not Pisgah, but it is good fun. I find that the older I get, the more I enjoy smoother trails as opposed to worrying about whether I am going to break any bones on a downhill (I have done that before). I still enjoy the technical stuff, but I am not opposed to a day at FATS or Warrior Creek, where you can just let it hang out without worrying about anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    Park at the Paddy Creek area. From there ride the intermediate trails. They are very well marked and one-directional. Map/sense of direction not required. Perfect place for a hardtail.
    Thanks I think I will hit it next week with a hardtail.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Sounds very un-pisgah like!
    Sounds like a nice change, I'm in Pisgah a couple blocks from my house.

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