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  1. #401
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    I wonder if 5000 is still closed? Is there a resource for these closures or just good ol fashion reconnaissance?

  2. #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    I wonder if 5000 is still closed? Is there a resource for these closures or just good ol fashion reconnaissance?
    Still closed. Will be for a while. I'm fairly certain the FS has a website for such things. I have no link to it though. Sorry.

  3. #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    I wonder if 5000 is still closed? Is there a resource for these closures or just good ol fashion reconnaissance?
    Yep still closed.

    I rode up it Wednesday night and the gravel was really soft. Soft enough that my tires were leaving ruts. Kinda like the consistency of peaches and cream oatmeal if you let it sit for a while. Felt like my front brake was stuck and I actually stopped to check it.

    great resistance training! haha

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Still closed. Will be for a while. I'm fairly certain the FS has a website for such things. I have no link to it though. Sorry.
    National Forests in North Carolina - Alerts & Notices

    However no updates for the Pisgah District, you would think the most used district would be on top of this type of thing.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  5. #405
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    Parkway is closed too, which surprised me in 54 degree weather. Looks like they have tunnel projects going on. If you are coming from AVL and want to ride Trace Ridge area, you have to drive around to N Mills rec area and bike up to the goods from there.

  6. #406
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohkeepah View Post
    Parkway is closed too, which surprised me in 54 degree weather. Looks like they have tunnel projects going on. If you are coming from AVL and want to ride Trace Ridge area, you have to drive around to N Mills rec area and bike up to the goods from there.
    Or ride from Bent Creek. Personally, I love it when that section of the BRP closes. Makes for a nice loop.

  7. #407
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    Pisgah was not as good as I hoped yesterday. Lower Bennet Gap was a mud fest and alot of damage was occurring to the trail. I would stick to gravel still but if you do hit the trails try and stay on the ridges and southern slopes. And tomorrow the rains return, I'm starting to miss the drought.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  8. #408
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    I think we must finally be coming out of a deep freeze because, like you said, conditions have been decreasing all week. I've watched the gravel roads get worse and worse all week up here. Trails on southern slopes are good to go though, choose wisely.

  9. #409
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    I was dying for some real riding so I went up Friday and rode up Long Branch, up to Butter, then over to Cove and down Daniels. Those trails all seemed good to me. The forest roads were the worst, one dual sport guy was stuck. First time doing Long and Butter, what a blast.
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

  10. #410
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    Any thoughts on the conditions for laurel/pilot for tomorrow?

  11. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmtb1 View Post
    Any thoughts on the conditions for laurel/pilot for tomorrow?
    Given the exposure and pending rain, I'd guess conditions will suck. YMMV. That said, cove creek/Daniel ridge areas were spectacular. Cove creek connector had one spot of slop.

  12. #412
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    Cool thanks man

  13. #413
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    Just bust out the skis, snow on Thursday in the higher mountains. It's been good all through Feb!

  14. #414
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    Wondering if any locals would be able to guess the condition of the Trace area and Laurel/Pilot for Saturday? Also I don't know the road numbers, but are the roads open past North Mills to get to the respective trailheads for these two areas? Debating between the two for a Saturday trip from the big city. Thanks!
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  15. #415
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Wondering if any locals would be able to guess the condition of the Trace area and Laurel/Pilot for Saturday? Also I don't know the road numbers, but are the roads open past North Mills to get to the respective trailheads for these two areas? Debating between the two for a Saturday trip from the big city. Thanks!
    So much rain. Seriously- so much. All trails will be somewhat wet still on Saturday. If you do come up, Laurel/Pilot might be ok but also might have significant snow at the top. Trace area will likely still be pretty muddy; Trace Ridge trail itself is your best bet if you do that area because its drains so quickly. New Spencer might be OK, but the bermed corners will probably be small disaster areas. The bottom rails like Fletcher should be avoided. Note the use of might, probably, likely- I've ridden here for almost 19 years now and don't trust my ability to predict trail conditions as this amount of rain is quite unusual.

    As far as I know, gravel roads past Mills River campground are still gated/shut.

  16. #416
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    Thanks for the quick reply! Wasn't sure how much rain y'all got but now I know.

    Would anyone recommend anything good to ride in these conditons? If nothing I won't make the big trek.

    I did Long/Butter/Cove/Daniels last weekend, they were great, few mud spots on Long/Butter, the worst were the roads.
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  17. #417
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    Yes those roads are closed, meaning you would have to bike your way in. I would not anticipate the trace area to be in any kinda good shape. I'd lean towards laurel due to its south facing wind exposed slope and pilot rock being full of rocks....if at all.

  18. #418
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Note the use of might, probably, likely- I've ridden here for almost 19 years now and don't trust my ability to predict trail conditions as this amount of rain is quite unusual.
    Ain't that the truth. I may be a little too optimistic, but sometimes when it rains that hard the water just sheets off rapidly and the trails dry much faster than you would think. Especially with this wind. The biggest challenge is choosing the right trails with south facing slopes and lower elevations.

  19. #419
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    Any idea of how Kitsuma and the Black Mountain trails will be this weekend? Have to go to a wedding this weekend and have not ridden there before. Don't want to damage the trails, but don't want to spend any more time on my road bike, either

  20. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by SangamonTaylor View Post
    Any idea of how Kitsuma and the Black Mountain trails will be this weekend? Have to go to a wedding this weekend and have not ridden there before. Don't want to damage the trails, but don't want to spend any more time on my road bike, either
    Kitsuma will probably be pretty rough, especially the bottom 1/2 mile or so.
    An out and back on Rainbow/Old Toll is often a good option when conditions are less-than-perfect. Might be worth it.

    Taking Old Toll all the way to Heartbreak...bet there's significant snow at the top. If there isn't, it will have melted recently, leaving things a mess...but that's just my guess.

  21. #421
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Kitsuma will probably be pretty rough, especially the bottom 1/2 mile or so.
    I live about 5 min from Kitsuma and 2nd this. Especially the bottom....that trail got tore up this year.

  22. #422
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    Pisgah Trail Conditions

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  23. #423
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    I rode old mitchell toll road to heartbreak yesterday. The toll road was sloppy/icy/snowy in places but once I got over to heartbreak it was dry with perfect conditions.

  24. #424
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    Tackled Kitsuma-Lower Heartbreak Ridge-Star Gap-Mill Creek Road on the single speed yesterday, and conditions were fantastic.

    Of course, more rain/snow is forecast, so these conditions could deteriorate quickly.

    --Dean

  25. #425
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    Conditions in the other Pisgah (Wilson Creek) were perfect last weekend, the roads had mostly dried up and at least the lower elevation trails were near perfect. Yancy Ridge and Schoolhouse Ridge were looking the best I've ever seen them.

  26. #426
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    Farlow/Daniels is great. Snow still at the top of Farlow.

    Long Branch and Cat are great too. Huge deadfall down on Long Branch right before it pops out at the top of FR-5095. If you know that trail, the tree is right in the middle of the fast bermed section before you pop out into the clearing. Im usually rolling mach F*ck down that section so its pretty dangerous. Keep your head up through there.

    Everything else is real nice...

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  27. #427
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    ^^lol

  28. #428
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    When is Pisgah usually good to ride in the spring? Trying to plan a trip

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  29. #429
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexk243 View Post
    When is Pisgah usually good to ride in the spring? Trying to plan a trip

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    all the time.

    You can ride year round here. However, springtime in the mountains can be volatile. It usually mellows out by the end of April. You can still get the random snow shower and cold snap though.

  30. #430
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    Trying to plan a 3-4 day camping trip down there. Would love for everything to be in bloom too, much prettier that way

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  31. #431
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    Stuff starts blooming at the lower elevations in April, May for higher up. If you want to play it safe I'd shoot for the last 2 weeks of April/first 2 weeks of may. Temperatures should be nice by then. Just gotta mind the spring rain showers and the rattlesnakes coming out of hibernation.

    Might want to start planning/calling about camping reservations if you plan on staying in a campground. They fill up quick. Otherwise there is plenty of free camping all over the place.

  32. #432
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    Where is the free camping?

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  33. #433
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexk243 View Post
    Where is the free camping?

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    In designated spots along most FS roads in the Pisgah.

  34. #434
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexk243 View Post
    Where is the free camping?

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    In the woods...
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

  35. #435
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    In designated spots along most FS roads in the Pisgah.
    mbm65 has it right

    You have to stay in designated spots on the Forest roads. You can't just pull over and pitch a tent

    477 , 475B and 1206 all have free camping at designated spots

  36. #436
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    mbm65 has it right

    You have to stay in designated spots on the Forest roads. You can't just pull over and pitch a tent

    477 , 475B and 1206 all have free camping at designated spots
    You can sleep in a truck/camper on the side of the road though. Most of the camping rules in Pisgah arent enforced in my experience.

    FYI...The gate is open on 5000 at N. Mills Campground. Not sure about the one up 1206. Everything N. Mills way is riding great.

  37. #437
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    Anyone head out from Turkeypen recently? What condition is Turkey Pen Rd in? Passable by car? Potholes?

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  38. #438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy G. Parrish View Post
    Anyone head out from Turkeypen recently? What condition is Turkey Pen Rd in? Passable by car? Potholes?

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    Plenty of potholes but I took the Matrix up there yesterday afternoon.

  39. #439
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    Does anyone know what parking options are open and available to do a Laurel/Pilot/Pilot cove loop?


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  40. #440
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    I can't totally agree with this.

    Stealth camping at a trailhead or pull-off in the vehicle?. Probably fine. Parking a car in an established area and hiking back a bit to camp? Also probably ok.

    If you obviously set up a campsite in a non-designated area, you will get busted. This is especially true if your vehicle is parked illegally. Twice now, I've seen people who drove their vehicles up to the campsite just above the Laurel trailhead looking really sad as the LEO was looking really happy. And I mean that last description...the main LEO on Pisgah district likes his job a lot. Be smart!

  41. #441
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolhand80 View Post
    Does anyone know what parking options are open and available to do a Laurel/Pilot/Pilot cove loop?


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    As of today, the gate was open. We parked at the base of Pilot plenty of folks back in there.
    Last edited by Lithified; 03-19-2016 at 05:26 PM.

  42. #442
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    As of today, the gate was open. We parked at the base of Pilot plenty of folks back in there.
    Wonderful. Thanks for the update


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  43. #443
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    Point Lookout Trail closing for repairs...

    <NEBO, N.C., May 16, 2016 - The Pisgah National Forest will temporarily close the Point Lookout Trail on the Grandfather Ranger District for repairs starting May 31, 2016.

    Repairs to the paved walking and biking trail are expected to take 90 days, and the trail is anticipated to reopen by September 1.

    The Point Lookout Trail connects Mill Creek Road in Ridgecrest to Old U.S. 70 in Old Fort along the historic motor route into the mountains.

    The trail was briefly closed last fall after heavy rains caused a landslide that damaged the trail and covered it with large rocks. Repair work this summer will fix damage caused by last year's slide, as well as construct retaining walls to prevent future slides.

    The U.S. Forest Service urges the public to heed trail closures and avoid the area. Heavy machinery used on the trail will prohibit passage during construction. Mill Creek Road may be used as an alternate route. >

  44. #444
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    Point Lookout is now open again!

    Point Lookout Trail Reopens on the Grandfather Ranger District

    Date(s): Aug 31, 2016

    NEBO, N.C., August 31, 2016 – The Pisgah National Forest has reopened the Point Lookout Trail on the Grandfather Ranger District following repairs to the paved walking and biking trail.

    The trail was closed this summer to fix damage from a landslide as well as construct retaining walls to prevent future slides. The reopening occurs just in time for Labor Day Weekend.

    The Point Lookout Trail is a family-friendly greenway for hiking or biking that connects Mill Creek Road in Ridgecrest, NC to Old U.S. 70 in Old Fort along the historic motor route into the mountains.

  45. #445
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    There are a lot of trees down after the cane. Trails are riding great after the rain.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  46. #446
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    Yep, ground condition is good, but lots of debris on the trails right now

  47. #447
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    Cove Creek has some massive trees down on it right now. Daniel Ridge has a couple down on the bridge side. Butter Gap is clear all the way down to Long Branch. Anybody know the status of Bennett, Black, or the other trails in the Davidson River vicinity?

  48. #448
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    There's a big messy tree with lots of branches down on black.
    About half way down from the top of hickory knob to the junction of Thrift cove

    You come around a curve to the right at high speed and there it is
    So be carefull

  49. #449
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    How are things looking on Middle / Lower Black?

    I haven't been up there since April and was thinking about riding it, but I heard it's gotten a lot more washed out and difficult. Any truth to that? Trying to stay within my limits

  50. #450
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    I was on Cove creek trail yesterday.

    There are 3 very large trees across the trail and one that you can duck under.


    I GPS'd the locations for the forest service
    I attached a zip file to this post with a .gpx file inside
    There are four waypoints in the .gpx file
    Attached Files Attached Files

  51. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    I was on Cove creek trail yesterday.

    There are 3 very large trees across the trail and one that you can duck under.


    I GPS'd the locations for the forest service
    I attached a zip file to this post with a .gpx file inside
    There are four waypoints in the .gpx file
    Two FS sawers were cutting these trees as we rode up CC today. They started at the top, we told them most were near the bottom between the 1st and 2nd bridge coming up, don't know if they got to all of them.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  52. #452
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    Going up CC, the first one was on a right hand curve where you had to climb through all the limbs and debris.

    Then there were a cluster of two together right after that
    Just the large trunks across the trail
    Those were the main problem trees

  53. #453
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    How are things looking on Middle / Lower Black?

    I haven't been up there since April and was thinking about riding it, but I heard it's gotten a lot more washed out and difficult. Any truth to that? Trying to stay within my limits
    Middle Black is a little more washed out than usual but about nothing significantly more challenging. As El34 mentioned there's a nasty tree down between the stairs and Lower Black intersection. I think you'll see it in plenty of time if you're looking ahead. Lower Black is in perfect condition. The big wash outs that have made significant changes to the trail are on Upper Black, between Turkey Pen intersection and Pressley Gap.

  54. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt7152b View Post
    Middle Black is a little more washed out than usual but about nothing significantly more challenging. As El34 mentioned there's a nasty tree down between the stairs and Lower Black intersection. I think you'll see it in plenty of time if you're looking ahead. Lower Black is in perfect condition. The big wash outs that have made significant changes to the trail are on Upper Black, between Turkey Pen intersection and Pressley Gap.
    Thanks for the info.

    I rode upper/middle/lower and I think the tree has been cleared, you can see where it was chopped up and I didn't have to stop or dismount to get around a tree. It's obviously loose ground with all the woodchips, but at least the tree is gone. I don't remember the exact spot I saw it cut up, so I'm assuming it's the tree you were talking about. There was a tree that appears to have split and part of it fell over the hike a bike section, but I don't know if that was new or had been there.

    Lower ran great, no issues there. It was leafy in sections, but a well defined path is there and I didn't have any issues with traction due to the leaves. Some of the rocks seem a little more exposed than I remember them being, but nothing horrible, just a little chunkier and I could be remembering wrong.

    Middle was a bit looser than I remember it being before, the larger rocks that are on the trail and were seated into the dirt have come loose and were moving around as I rode over them ("ker klunk!"). There were also a bunch of babyheads on the trail. It was really dusty, but didn't seem much more washed out except in one or two sections. I personally wouldn't bomb down it out of fear of the loose rocks, but it didn't seem overly rutted out, only a few sections seemed a little more washed out. Like you said, nothing that added too much difficulty over what it was before, although it was hard for me to gauge due to my accidental upper black that wore me out.

    Upper...I took a wrong turn and ended up on upper, it was my first time up there, so I don't have anything to compare it to. It was loose like middle black in terms of rocks and dirt. Some of the drops in the middle of the ruts seemed pretty washed out, but I have no idea if that's new or if it's been that way.

  55. #455
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    5000 from NMR Recreation Area was gated off to vehicular traffic today. Logging the signs would suggest but I don't really have any more info....

  56. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    5000 from NMR Recreation Area was gated off to vehicular traffic today. Logging the signs would suggest but I don't really have any more info....
    The USFS Ranger told me that it would be about a month or two for them to finish logging up Bear Branch area. Still open to bike, horse and foot traffic though

  57. #457
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    The USFS Ranger told me that it would be about a month or two for them to finish logging up Bear Branch area. Still open to bike, horse and foot traffic though
    When did it start do you know? I've been a giant turd bucket as of late, not riding so I only noticed heading in there to fish! Ha

  58. #458
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    Actually I believe that Wash Creek Rd (5000) is closed to all traffic at this time. But all of the trails are open. Time to climb Lower Trace Ridge and Spencer if you haven't...

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    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  59. #459
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    It started last week. 225 over by Cove Creek is open for vehicular traffic

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    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  60. #460
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    They started grading and what not up bear branch a whiiiiile back. They graded it very nicely and put a bunch of stone down. I rode my CX bike up as far as I could go and found the trucks, etc. close to the end of the road. I was told a month or so but who knows how long it will actually take.

    USFS never told us that we couldnt use 5000 but if it says on a sign I wont take the chance. Gotta come in from the PKWY down 5000 (that side is still open to foot/bike traffic I assume) or get wet feet starting out from the campground. Really wish there was a dry crossing there since its nice to start a ride on singletrack up Lower Trace...

  61. #461
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    banjo thanks to the severe lack of rain in our parts, I've been able to pedal across the lower trace/mills river crossing without getting my feet wet ("ratcheting") for some weeks now.
    I'm planning on riding from BC gap tonight, if there's a sign saying the road is closed to all traffic I'll pedal up the parkway and walk in on upper upper trace...wait, no, how will I get back?
    Anyway, I'll post if there's a sign saying closed to all traffic.

  62. #462
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    Whoa whoa cool your jets duders. Sign very clearly said open to foot bike and horse travel. A clear path around the 5000 gate. You be all good in da hood.

  63. #463
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    Glad to hear it.

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    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  64. #464
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    any idea if yellow gap road (1206) is still closed from n mills river campground?

  65. #465
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    Several large trees down on Trace Ridge...

    None in high speed areas but keep your head up anyway.

    Trail is riding great!

  66. #466
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    There are also trees down on Cove Creek (near the fire pit) and the creeky side of Daniel's Ridge (just after the intersection from Cove Creek Rd).

  67. #467
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    Cove Creek and Avery Creek are cleared of trees.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  68. #468
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    Anyone ridden out of Turkey Pen lately? Is it a mess from freeze-thaw? Wanting to get out this afternoon, but it was upper 20s at my house this morning...what say ye?

  69. #469
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    Have not been down in Turkey pen lately, but other places in Pisgah that have soft soil are muddy because of frost heave

    But hard packed trails seem to be ok because the soil is not loose
    I did 225 connector up to Daniel on Sunday and they were both fine

  70. #470
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    Whats up with the Trail work on upper S. Mills at the gauging station?...

    Someones been in there with a walk behind cutting in grade dips, etc.

    Bout time!! haha...

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