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  1. #1
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    First Bent Creek Ride Report

    I rode Bent Creek for the first time last week. I had never been to NC, but I had heard and read a lot of good things about the BC trail network. The guys at Motion Makers recommended a loop that we modified to extend our ride.

    The trails were almost exclusively hardpack with no technical content. The only challenges that most riders would face are climbs. Some are long-ish, while others are shorter and steeper. Most of the ST trails had excellent flow. A great place to ride if you don't want to get beat up, but still want to get a good cardio workout and ride some flowey trails.

    The highlights were the descent along Little Hickory Top/Sidehill, Lower Sidehill and the Hardtimes Connector (high, sweeping berms).

    Ride:
    1. park at Hardtimes
    2. ??? to Deer Lake Lodge Tr (flat)
    3. Wolf Branch Tr (climb)
    4. Ledford Branch Rd (climb)
    5. Ingles Field Gap Tr (climb)
    6. Little Hickory Top Tr (descent)
    7. Sidehill Tr (descent)
    8. Laurel Branch Rd (descent)
    9. Lower Sidehill, west
    10. Sidehill Connector (descent)
    11. Bent Creek Gap Rd, sw (climb)
    12. Lower Sidehill, ne (climb/descent)
    13. Sidehill Connector, second time (descent)
    14. Bent Creek Gap Rd, sw
    15. Explorer Loop, northern leg, ne
    16. (cross creek north to) Bent Creek Gap Rd
    17. Bent Creek Gap Rd, sw
    18. Laurel Branch Rd, nw (climb)
    19. Lower Sidehill, ne
    20. Boyd Branch Rd, se
    21. Bent Creek Gap Rd, sw
    22. Explorer Loop, northern leg, sw [pick up point 15/16, above]
    23. Pine Tree Loop, southern leg
    24. Deerfield Loop, southern leg
    25. Small Creek Tr
    26. Homestead Tr, east
    27.short dirt road section
    28. Hardtimes Connector Tr, ne
    29. Deer Lake Lodge Tr to ???
    30. Hardtimes parking area

    In hindsight, I think we should have stayed on Lower sidehill (step 12) all the way to Boyd Branch Rd. From here we could have ridden sw, south of BCG Rd, to the Explorer Loop and actually done the whole Explorer Loop and ridden more of the Pine Tree Loop.

  2. #2
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    I've only ridden there once, but you missed the best downhill at Bent Creek IMO. When you climbed up Ingles Field Gap, and came out at 5 forks, you could have went up the gravel road for a bit and arrived at Greenslick, which is a pretty fun downhill. I will admit that Bent Creek isn't very technical though, at least not the parts I have ridden.
    2011 Trek Rumblefish 1

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowMTBer View Post
    I've only ridden there once, but you missed the best downhill at Bent Creek IMO. When you climbed up Ingles Field Gap, and came out at 5 forks, you could have went up the gravel road for a bit and arrived at Greenslick, which is a pretty fun downhill. I will admit that Bent Creek isn't very technical though, at least not the parts I have ridden.
    I considered this option, but many of the reviews I read said that Greenslick was overrated and not worth the dirt road climb. However, maybe next time I visit, I'll take that option at 5 forks.

  4. #4
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    I find nothing technical at Bent Creek
    Greenslick is a fun down hill. I dunno if you find the climb to be worth it or not but several people do it on a regular basis.

    You could try Dupont too.
    It has a great network of trails and a few of them are slightly technical.
    I think you get a little more variety out there and the scenery is also a better.
    Downfall is sometimes there is more traffic but I have gone out there before and not seen anyone.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I find nothing technical at Bent Creek
    Greenslick is a fun down hill. I dunno if you find the climb to be worth it or not but several people do it on a regular basis.

    You could try Dupont too.
    It has a great network of trails and a few of them are slightly technical.
    I think you get a little more variety out there and the scenery is also a better.
    Downfall is sometimes there is more traffic but I have gone out there before and not seen anyone.
    I actually rode at Dupont the day before I rode BC. Your assessment is spot on. We had a great time at Dupont, especially on the flowey ST (Ridgeline, Isaac Heath, Hilltop, Laurel Ridge, Cart Mountain).

  6. #6
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    Did you actually take Cart?
    The sign at Laural and Cart is all wacked out and you may have stayed on Laurel and not known it.
    Cart right now is pretty covered up and really hard to follow.

    Ridgeline is good but if you didn't hit Reasonover, Cedar Rock, Big Rock, Burnt Mtn, Airstrip, you missed some great trails. I have a course I ride leaving from Guion that is a little over 30 miles using very little service road and includes all those trails you mentioned, the ones I mentioned and a few more.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Did you actually take Cart?
    The sign at Laural and Cart is all wacked out and you may have stayed on Laurel and not known it.
    Cart right now is pretty covered up and really hard to follow.

    Ridgeline is good but if you didn't hit Reasonover, Cedar Rock, Big Rock, Burnt Mtn, Airstrip, you missed some great trails. I have a course I ride leaving from Guion that is a little over 30 miles using very little service road and includes all those trails you mentioned, the ones I mentioned and a few more.
    I do not think that we rode Cart. We rode up Corn Mill Shoals to Laurel Ridge to Mine Mountain towards Fawn Lake, and turned around to come back down Laurel Ridge and Corn Mill Shoals to Shelter Rock.

    We did a loop that an employee at the Hub mapped. We were a little sad with the amount of fire road and wide boring trails that we ended up riding. It looks like we could have easily picked up Airstrip and Reasonover. By that time, however, we were 4+ hours in and running out of daylight and energy.

    This was our loop:
    park at High Falls
    Buck Forest Rd
    Pitch Pine Tr
    Conservation Rd
    Joanna Rd
    Twin Oaks Tr
    Briery Fork Tr
    Grassy Creek Tr
    Sandy Tr
    Thomas Cemetery Rd
    White Pine Rd
    Hookers Creek Tr
    Ridgeline Tr
    Jim Branch Tr
    Isaac Heath Tr
    Locust Tr
    Hilltop Tr
    Lake Imaging Rd
    Buck Forest Rd
    Conservation Rd
    Bridal Veil Falls
    Corn Mill Shoals Tr
    Laurel Ridge Tr
    Mine Mountain Tr
    turn around at high point
    Mine Mountain Tr
    Laurel Ridge Tr
    Corn Mills Shoals Tr
    Shelter Rock Tr
    Conservation Rd
    Three Lakes Tr
    Joanna Rd
    Pitch Pine Tr

  8. #8
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    Starting from Guion Farms

    Buck Forest
    White Pine
    Hooker Creek
    Ridgeline
    Lake Imaging
    Jim Branch
    Isaac Heath
    Locust
    Hilltop
    Lake Imaging
    Buck Forrest
    Pitch Pine
    Three Lakes
    Conservation
    Shelter Rock
    Corn Mill Shoals
    Burnt Mtn (1st entrance)
    Little River'
    Cedar Rock (2nd entrance)
    Big Rock
    Corn Mill Shoals
    Shoals
    Laurel Ridge
    Mine Mtn
    Fawn Lake Rd
    Reasonover Creek
    Camp Summit
    Airstrip
    Shelter
    Conservation
    Three Lakes
    Pitch Pine
    Buck Forrest
    Lake Imaging
    Hilltop
    Locust
    Isaac Heath
    Buck Forrest back to Guion parking

    That is a little over 30 miles. If you have a little more in you take Jim Branch back down and Ridgeline back up to Hooker Creek then go back. There are a few more trails you can add in it if you like and I am adding more as I get better but I started riding 3-4 months ago so 30+ miles is where I am at.

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