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  1. #1
    drunken pirate
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    Pisgah Trail Conditions

    I was out in Turkey Pen this morning and it looks like last night's storms put a lot of tree crowns and branches on the ground. Nothing like what we see in the winter but there are still a lot of scattered branches and trees down. I cleared what I could by hand on Squirrel from Cantrell to Bradley but there are a few trees that will need a saw. Bradley Creek is impassable just before the Eastern intersection with Riverside. A very large tree is down and the only way around it is to wade up the river. The worst of it seemed to be down low by the creeks and rivers.

    Anyone riding this weekend feel free to help out and play pick up sticks!

    In other news there was quite a bit of water in the river! During one of the waist deep crossings I was a little worried about losing my bike
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  2. #2
    2 wheels & a meat motor
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    The storm that came through yesterday afternoon was very intense. I was at Sycamore Cycles at about 5:45pm, the sky got scary dark, and for about 5 minutes, all that was falling from the sky was chunks of ice up to a half inch across. Then came the rain and a very intense wind.

    At about 5:15pm Art and Wes had gone up 276 for a road ride. Needless to say, they got front row seats to this event. They made it as far as Sliding Rock before turning back.

  3. #3
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    I was out on Cove Creek this morning and there is a small log-over that could be gotten with a handsaw and a very large one that would be best cleared with a chainsaw. They're about 1/4 of the way up from the campground. Both are passable, although the large one requires an over the head bike lift. Otherwise the trail was in great shape except for at the top where there are usually mud puddles. The old familiar ones are same as always but there's a new one at the bottom end of the little rock armored section that's over the hubs deep.
    many gears, some pies

  4. #4
    good ol dog dreams
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    Instead of starting a new post I thought I'd piggyback on this one. Haven't been to Pisgah since the summer and will be spending a few days up in the hills.
    I'm taking my nephews, pisgah virgins other than bent creek, with me tomorrow and thought Laurel Mountain out n back would be a good ride. I don't think they could handle going down Pilot. Anybody ridden Laurel recently and got any updates on conditions? If nothing else we can park at the hatchery and ride the trails in that area.
    Thanks in advance!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackMoth View Post
    Instead of starting a new post I thought I'd piggyback on this one. Haven't been to Pisgah since the summer and will be spending a few days up in the hills.
    I'm taking my nephews, pisgah virgins other than bent creek, with me tomorrow and thought Laurel Mountain out n back would be a good ride. I don't think they could handle going down Pilot. Anybody ridden Laurel recently and got any updates on conditions? If nothing else we can park at the hatchery and ride the trails in that area.
    Thanks in advance!
    DANG. I started reading this thread and got all worried, all over again ... and then I saw the dates. Whew!

    Laurel is in GREAT shape. I've been on it each of the last couple of weekends, no problems at all. We did get some wind and rain this week, but nothing like back in June.

  6. #6
    good ol dog dreams
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy View Post
    DANG. I started reading this thread and got all worried, all over again ... and then I saw the dates. Whew!

    Laurel is in GREAT shape. I've been on it each of the last couple of weekends, no problems at all. We did get some wind and rain this week, but nothing like back in June.
    Thanks Crossboy! Sounds like we'll be hittin' up some of the goodness o' Pisgah.

  7. #7
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    2 trees are down on Laurel, as of last Sun 11-12-11, with one causing tread damage. approx 12 and 18". I didn't pay attention to how far in they are. Maybe someone else knows.

  8. #8
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    Conditions are very leafy. Would someone please go out with a leaf blower and clear all the trails so I can see the giant rocks before I hit them.

    Thank you.
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  9. #9
    And He was Not
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    Blasted down Trace and couple of other trails in MIlls Creek area. I think I went down Trace faster than I did a month ago. I couldn't see any rocks, so I didn't have to worry about dodging them. all of that area is good

    Met some Nice Horse people @ Fletcher (2), Probably some of the best mannered Horses and riders I 've ever met. It was pleasant expirience.
    Last edited by Enoch; 11-19-2011 at 07:10 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Riding from the Hatchery is golden -- a bit muddy on Butter in the usual spots, but SWANK mulched down a lot of the leaves so the lines on Davidson, Cove Creek and Daniel are nicely bedded in. Cemetery Loop has a few trees down, but all in all it's a great time to be in Pisgah!

  11. #11
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    Bottom of Sycamore has multiple trees across the trail just in from 276. They're together as a bunch but big ones, in need of a chainsaw.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  12. #12
    drunken pirate
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    Update 1/11/12:

    Lots of rain recently and freeze/thaw has many trails very soft. I'm not going to tell anyone they can't or shouldn't ride but it is in the best interest of the trails and your equipment to pick your routes carefully. Much of the North slopes in Bent Creek are very sloppy. All the new machine work in Pisgah on Fletcher Creek and Squirrel Gap is very wet and delicate as well. I'd assume most of Dupont should be avoided.

    Best bet are the higher ridge trails. I rode over the top of Black Mtn. in the rain on Monday and it wasn't bad (other than the severe erosion caused by lack of maintenance and riders cutting waterbars).
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Update 1/11/12:

    Lots of rain recently and freeze/thaw has many trails very soft. I'm not going to tell anyone they can't or shouldn't ride but it is in the best interest of the trails and your equipment to pick your routes carefully. Much of the North slopes in Bent Creek are very sloppy. All the new machine work in Pisgah on Fletcher Creek and Squirrel Gap is very wet and delicate as well. I'd assume most of Dupont should be avoided.

    Best bet are the higher ridge trails. I rode over the top of Black Mtn. in the rain on Monday and it wasn't bad (other than the severe erosion caused by lack of maintenance and riders cutting waterbars).
    Nice bump and thanks for the heads up. In case y'all haven't heard, we're expecting 2" more of rain today (Wednesday 1/11/12), with 3-4" predicted for the eastern slopes -- which could mean Brevard and Mills River may be washed into the French Broad. Batten down the hatches boys, this is going to get rough!

  14. #14
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    Do you guys think that some trails will be dry enough to ride by saturday. If so which ones would you stick to?

  15. #15
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbolsvt View Post
    Do you guys think that some trails will be dry enough to ride by saturday. If so which ones would you stick to?
    Laurel > Pilot, Black, Turkey Pen Gap, Trace Ridge (gonna get logged anyway)....

    The freeze/thaw is what is really bad right now. Try and ride while the ground is still frozen.

    Of course, I'm likely gonna ride today though . If I do I'll report back.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Laurel > Pilot, Black, Turkey Pen Gap, Trace Ridge (gonna get logged anyway)....

    The freeze/thaw is what is really bad right now. Try and ride while the ground is still frozen.

    Of course, I'm likely gonna ride today though . If I do I'll report back.
    If you could let me know that would be great!

  17. #17
    drunken pirate
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    I rode

    276 > Clawhammer > Maxwell Cove > Black > Thrift

    today in the rain and Maxwell Cove was the wettest. the tread on Black was solid but I opted for Thrift at the bottom instead of what was sure to turn into a slop fest.
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  18. #18
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    I'm trying to think how to stay slop-free on Saturday (assuming the ground unfreezes at all). If you went up 229 towards Farlow Gap, then took 140A, 5031,140,140A,5003 back to Glouchester, is that route clear and how does it drain? I almost never go over that way, so I don't know what to expect...but it seems like it's "high". Are the roads marked at the gates? how lost could I get?

    Advice appreciated.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick View Post
    I'm trying to think how to stay slop-free on Saturday (assuming the ground unfreezes at all). If you went up 229 towards Farlow Gap, then took 140A, 5031,140,140A,5003 back to Glouchester, is that route clear and how does it drain? I almost never go over that way, so I don't know what to expect...but it seems like it's "high". Are the roads marked at the gates? how lost could I get?

    Advice appreciated.
    Yes, probably decent since it's roadbed though 140A might be a bit muddy, no and very.

    Good luck.

    That's old Pisgah back there. If you drop down from Farlow, look for the ribbons in the trees marking the roads and make sure you have a map. And everything is farther than you think it is. Except when it's not and you missed a turn.

    Good news is, this time of year you can sort-of align yourself with the backside of Pilot Mtn. and its corresponding gaps. If you know which ones they are.

  20. #20
    endorphin junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy View Post
    And everything is farther than you think it is. Except when it's not and you missed a turn.
    There's a life lesson in there somewhere, but I don't learn so good.
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
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  21. #21
    drunken pirate
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    Woo - hoo! My first sticky! Now I just need to get a mod to tell me how to edit the first post and I'll keep it updated up there.

    Freeze/thaw is likely going to be in full effect this weekend. Best bet is to ride early when the ground is still frozen. I'm heading out now
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Woo - hoo! My first sticky! Now I just need to get a mod to tell me how to edit the first post and I'll keep it updated up there.

    Freeze/thaw is likely going to be in full effect this weekend. Best bet is to ride early when the ground is still frozen. I'm heading out now
    I am in route to the trails! Which trails you riding today?

  23. #23
    endorphin junkie
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    Did my first ever ride of Squirrel Gap (now I see why it's such a favorite!) out and back. Trail was mostly frozen at 1pm, but it did soften up a bit as the afternoon got warmer. We walked a few sections where work has been done recently and were slick, so as not to trash them. Looks like they'll refreeze again tonight and with sun and 40 degree high for Sunday, I agree with Driftwood... better to get out early.
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
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  24. #24
    Big Mac
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    Good idea. A sticky with some meaning. I do think that in order to keep things current and uncluttered the content should remain pertinent to the title, ie. trail conditions and not ride reports. So, Hardtimes connector and Powerline should be avoided at all costs. An absolute slop fest.

  25. #25
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    From the Hatchery, 475C is a blast, Davidson River is in pretty good shape, and Butter and Daniel were solid on Saturday -- though the approach up 471D was pretty soft, and the seep on Butter was a solid sheet of ice. Shee-t!

    There's snow above about 3500ft, which made yesterday's descent of Farlow pretty ... um ... interesting -- actually, it was quite fun, since the ground below was frozen (where there wasn't water), so I was just bike-skiing down ...

    The lower sections were in good shape, just slightly soft. There are a couple of trees down that need a sawyer, and watch out for sticks -- blew apart a rear derailleur pulley wheel and hanger yesterday.

    The west side of Daniel Ridge (the rocky side) was just fine.

    We're expecting more rain this week, and warming temps ... could get nasty by the weekend ... or could be awesome ...

  26. #26
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    Mods: How bout some similar stickies for other areas?

    dupont, bent creek, kitsuma, etc? they seem to get the most questions. it would help the out of towners as well when asking where to ride after a rain.

    another sticky option would be "where to ride"....we seem to get many "i'll be in wnc from x through x, where can i go?" threads.

  27. #27
    drunken pirate
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    More rain last night and still unseasonably warm temperatures mean lots of wet trails.

    I would stick to ridge line trails and avoid north slopes. Pisgah dries fast so don't let a little rain scare you away from riding.

    Due to brand new machine cut tread Fletcher Creek and either end of Squirrel Gap should be avoided. Powerline and Hardtimes Connector in Bent Creek should also be avoided.
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  28. #28
    endorphin junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Powerline and Hardtimes Connector in Bent Creek should also be avoided.
    Same with the lower part of Lower Sidehill (between Boyd Branch and Laurel Branch Rd.), and Pine Tree where trail work was recently done.
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
    T.S. Eliot

  29. #29
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    Current trail conditions are why I own a road bike.

    That is all.

  30. #30
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    I plan on making another trip this weekend! It looks like its going to rain down there this friday! With the warm weather and no freezing do you think they will be ok Saturday Morning?

  31. #31
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbolsvt View Post
    I plan on making another trip this weekend! It looks like its going to rain down there this friday! With the warm weather and no freezing do you think they will be ok Saturday Morning?
    Define 'ok'.

    It is very wet here. I ran Black on Saturday and even it was wet. My shoes were sliding all over the place and I felt bad about running it.

    That being said should not discourage you from coming here and riding. Just pick your trails carefully: stick to the ridges or the Trace Ridge area which is about to be logged into oblivion and have fun! I would avoid Bent Creek and Dupont at all cost (out of respect to the trails).

    Pisgah is a temperate rain forest. I'm gonna ride tomorrow - mostly gravel - but I'm still gonna ride
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  32. #32
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    logging?

    hey drift-
    whats up with the logging? i hadn'tseen anything about that. is trace going to be closed? any details are appreciated. damn it!

    b

  33. #33
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by hosercom View Post
    hey drift-
    whats up with the logging? i hadn'tseen anything about that. is trace going to be closed? any details are appreciated. damn it!

    b
    I really don't know about the logging. I was just being bitter

    To keep the thread topical I'll report that as of 1-25 I rode Maxwell > Black > Thrift Cove and it was all fine. A little soft but not bad at all. Another inch or two of rain tonight though. So, for anyone wondering if it is worth the drive this weekend I would say:

    I would stick to ridge line trails and avoid north slopes. Pisgah dries fast so don't let a little rain scare you away from riding.

    Due to brand new machine cut tread Fletcher Creek and either end of Squirrel Gap should be avoided. Powerline and Hardtimes Connector and lower part of Lower Sidehill (between Boyd Branch and Laurel Branch Rd.), and Pine Tree where trail work was recently done in Bent Creek should also be avoided.
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  34. #34
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    So how much rain fell in PNF yesterday/last night? Planning to hit Laurel/Pilot/Squirrel/Slate Rock tomorrow 11'ish.
    Everybody should believe in something...I BELIEVE I'll have another BEER!!!!

  35. #35
    ohhman
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnmtnbkr View Post
    So how much rain fell in PNF yesterday/last night? Planning to hit Laurel/Pilot/Squirrel/Slate Rock tomorrow 11'ish.
    1"+ of rain. I would stay away from both ends of squirrel.... Stick between Horse Cove and Laurel Creek.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by salmansp View Post
    1"+ of rain. I would stay away from both ends of squirrel.... Stick between Horse Cove and Laurel Creek.
    +1 on that. You should be fine Laurel > Pilot > Horse Cove > Squirrel. I'll be out there Sunday probably.

  37. #37
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    Trace

    Trace was in great shape today- just a touch mushy in the ruts that are right after the 90 degree left about 25% of the way down. On a sadder note, I lost my glasses, see posting below.
    Thanks.
    Tim

  38. #38
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    Trail conditions couldn't have been better yesterday w/ the exception of Laurel Creek. It was literally a creek from Squirrel to Bradley. Otherwise, couldn't have asked for a better day in Jan. w/ short sleeves and sunshine.
    Everybody should believe in something...I BELIEVE I'll have another BEER!!!!

  39. #39
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    Hi all,
    looking for a little guidance for my first visit to the heralded, golden lands of Pisgah next week....
    From business trip to Nashville TN, I'm then driving towards Asheville NC for a couple days R&R (aka gorging myself on singletrack ) What can I expect for trail conditions, and seasonal weather conditions?
    Should I come prepared for lots of mud?

    Also -- what trails are not to be missed for someone with only two or three days in Pisgah?!? (I dig both flowy singletrack and technical rocky stuff, basically love it all -- climbing included -- though I don't be needing any drops over 2-3 feet to get my fat-tire satisfactified-groove on ).

    I don't know if there's a better thread to post this in, please advise if so! Thanks!!!

  40. #40
    drunken pirate
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    Trails are good to go with the same notable exceptions as mentioned above.

    There are plenty of threads with trail suggestions but with only two or three days I would try to hit Laurel > Pilot, Black Mtn., Bennett Gap....
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  41. #41
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    How is Dupont?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbolsvt View Post
    How is Dupont?
    Good to go. Look out for closings around Guion Farm. Be gentle if you ride Wilkie (near cornmill shoals access), it's rideable, but still a little loose from the work this past weekend.

    Also, we're expecting rain this weekend.

  43. #43
    "Ride Lots" Eddy Merckx
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbolsvt View Post
    How is Dupont?
    Was out for almost 3 hrs last night...it's fine. The closures around Guion are a non issue...just access Ridgeline via Hooker Creek...I like that route better anyway.
    "Big Gulps huh?...Allllriggghhht....Welp, See ya later!"

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Trails are good to go with the same notable exceptions as mentioned above.

    There are plenty of threads with trail suggestions but with only two or three days I would try to hit Laurel > Pilot, Black Mtn., Bennett Gap....
    Thanks for the suggestions driftwood! I'll be hoping to stay high n dry, trying out some good stuff. as I mentioned in a couple other threads, please let me know if there are any other group rides this thursday friday saturday, or if anyones up for joining me anywhere in western north carolina or eastern tennessee- have car - am (usually ;-) a skilled rider in good shape - here to visit friends and RYDE!

    Cheers!

  45. #45
    drunken pirate
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    With temperatures once again dropping below freezing the freeze/thaw cycle is in full effect once again so try and ride when the ground is still frozen...

    I was up on Laurel Mtn. this morning and other than minor accumulation of snow above 4000' the trail was good to go!

    Winter is on, get it while you can
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  46. #46
    Brant-C.
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    With temperatures once again dropping below freezing the freeze/thaw cycle is in full effect once again so try and ride when the ground is still frozen...

    I was up on Laurel Mtn. this morning and other than minor accumulation of snow above 4000' the trail was good to go!

    Winter is on, get it while you can
    hi driftwood. there are 5 of us coming from illinois april 21 weekend. i hear the trails are so steep the we don't have to worry about the rain. can you shed some light on this? thanks!
    i've also been reading your blog from your link here on mtbr.com.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  47. #47
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    Everytime I bring my bike to work with me for the week (I live in Columbus Ohio but work in Cincinnati Ohio) to head down to Pisgah for the weekend they change the weather from sunny to rain

  48. #48
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcaronongan View Post
    hi driftwood. there are 5 of us coming from illinois april 21 weekend. i hear the trails are so steep the we don't have to worry about the rain. can you shed some light on this? thanks!
    i've also been reading your blog from your link here on mtbr.com.
    Pisgah is a temperate rain forest and as such rain can be the norm. Many of the trails are very steep and do drain extremal well, some of the trails (especially in Bent Creek and Dupont) do not drain as well and can remain wet after rain.

    I would not worry about rain. Come on down and be prepared to ride, rain or shine
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcaronongan View Post
    hi driftwood. there are 5 of us coming from illinois april 21 weekend. i hear the trails are so steep the we don't have to worry about the rain. can you shed some light on this? thanks!
    i've also been reading your blog from your link here on mtbr.com.
    That's not true. SOME trails drain well, others can seep and stay wet for a week after a good soaking rain.

    You can't plan your vacation around a weather forecast, so the thing to do (rain or shine, really) is to stop in at one or both of the LBS in Brevard, buy a map, and ask them to sit down with you and draw up a few loops. Only folks who ride the trails a lot are going to know what is going to be good to go after weather moves through.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcaronongan View Post
    hi driftwood. there are 5 of us coming from illinois april 21 weekend. i hear the trails are so steep the we don't have to worry about the rain. can you shed some light on this? thanks!
    i've also been reading your blog from your link here on mtbr.com.
    Tee-hee. It's probably too soon for me to gloat about this (it's only been 2 years since I moved here), but beating up on Flatlanders is sort of a hobby 'round here.

    Seriously: Don't sweat it. Like as not, you'll be able to ride something -- this isn't Palos, thank FSM. Worst-case scenario, you ride gravel -- even then, you'll have an awesome time, since the terrain here is unlike anything you'll find within 200 miles of Chicago. Maybe even twice that distance.

    Or "worst" worst-case, you hang out at the Hub and join the drinking club.

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