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  1. #1
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    stupid out of towner, but how stupid?

    So having returned last night to the comparative s*hole of Washington, DC, from my Second Annual roadtrip to Pisgah and Dupont, I want to thank you North Carolinians for having such a great place to ride. I did spend some tourist dollars on barbeque (yes, western style, it is yummier than eastern).

    My question is this: I am fairly certain I stumbled onto a ride no local would be stupid enough to do, but I've been eagerly anticipating posting on this board to check: On Friday, starting from the Turkeypen TH, I rode up Riverside/Bradley Creek to Bradley Creek, then rode all of Squirrel from Pea Gap to where it finally descends back to the South Mills River Trail. Oh my god the return trip on the SMRT was a slog after that. It just went on forever [insert Simpson's geeky scientist voice] what with the wet river crossings and the mud and the barely visible trail. . . At Cantrell it totally changed character, which was fortunate as I was starting to worry about getting to the car before dark. Is there a better way to include Squirrel in a ride? I did enjoy those sidehills.

    Overall an epic day and in retrospect a great adventure, but I probably wouldn't repeat the SMRT part. What do the locals say?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wunderhorn
    So having returned last night to the comparative s*hole of Washington, DC, from my Second Annual roadtrip to Pisgah and Dupont, I want to thank you North Carolinians for having such a great place to ride. I did spend some tourist dollars on barbeque (yes, western style, it is yummier than eastern).

    My question is this: I am fairly certain I stumbled onto a ride no local would be stupid enough to do, but I've been eagerly anticipating posting on this board to check: On Friday, starting from the Turkeypen TH, I rode up Riverside/Bradley Creek to Bradley Creek, then rode all of Squirrel from Pea Gap to where it finally descends back to the South Mills River Trail. Oh my god the return trip on the SMRT was a slog after that. It just went on forever [insert Simpson's geeky scientist voice] what with the wet river crossings and the mud and the barely visible trail. . . At Cantrell it totally changed character, which was fortunate as I was starting to worry about getting to the car before dark. Is there a better way to include Squirrel in a ride? I did enjoy those sidehills.

    Overall an epic day and in retrospect a great adventure, but I probably wouldn't repeat the SMRT part. What do the locals say?
    I took my friends on this ride earlier this year. . . Some of them didn't show up for yesterday's ride if ya get my drift

    The way to skip all the wonderful features on SMRT is to go the long way around to Davidson River but ya either got to ride the pavement back or carpool or be prepared for a long day coming back on Turkey Pen.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

    Supporting PAS
    Upstate SORBA
    SORBA

  3. #3
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    That's my backyard trail. I'd suggest starting from Turkeypen, head down to the river, go left on S. Mills R Tr., Take a right on Mullinax to where it intersects Squirrel. Go left on Squirrel to the end. Take a right on S. Mills R Tr, About 2-3 miles in you take a left on Buckhorn Tr.. take it to Buckhorn Gap and go left on Black Mtn. Climb up that and right after you start going down, take a left on Turkeypen Tral. 11-12 knobs later you find yourself back at the parking lot. It probably takes the average rider(within the category of folks who do those types of rides) 4-5 hrs. It's full-on technical as well as physical. It's my favorite loop. Heading that way this afternoon, but I'm going tp take a left on Hose Cove and go back on S. MIlls with the two bridges out.

  4. #4
    pronounced may-duh
    Reputation: Maida7's Avatar
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    OR start at yellow gap and ride yellow gap rd toward the cradle of forestry turn left on south mills river road continue onto south mills river trail for just a mile or 2. Cross one swinging bridge and begin squirrel gap trail. at some point (i forget the name of the trail) you turn off and get to Bradley creek trail. DO NOT take Bradley creek trail. It's got a ton of deeep river crossings. Unless your into swim-a-bike. There is a road that parallels Bradley creek trail that returns you to yellow gap.

    If thats to boring you can always throw in Laurel mtn and Pilot for added excitement.

  5. #5
    Heads up Flyboy!!
    Reputation: mountaingoatepics's Avatar
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    Heres directions with a link to a map for a modification to Old Dude's ride above. Just remember to either go down Avery's Creek or continue on Bennet Gap instead of Perry's Cove as it has been offically closed to bikes.

    An alt Route:

    Start at Turkeypen parking lot, head down to the river, go left on S. Mills R Tr., Take a right on Mullinax to where it intersects Squirrel. Go left on Squirrel and take a right on Laurel Creek. Laurel Creek T's into Bradley Creek. Take a left. Personally I dig the climb up Bradley during the warmer months but most riders don't so you could take a right up the grassy 5015 to 1206.
    Take a left on 1206 and take a right up Slate Rock Creek. Climb with some short hike a bikes to the Pilot Cove Loop trail. Its always a toss up in which part of the loop to ride. Take a left and you get a gorgeous view of the valley from Slate Rock. Stay straight and you get a awsome descent through a cool cove of Ferns.
    Hit 1206 again and take a right.
    Take a left on 476 and take a left again up a old rough grassy roadbed to climb to Horse Cove Gap. In about 4 miles the road dead ends and the trail picks up on the right. Descend to Squirrel Gap and take a left. follow back to descend Mullinax and climb out via 66 jumps to the parking lot.

    Jeremy

  6. #6
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    Hey Wunderhorn,

    Don't know if you have checked it out, but there is great MTB'ing in and around Richmond VA. The course used for the XTerra is downtown by the river and is a lot of fun. Ashland is about 30min closer to you, and Pocohantas ST Pk is great as well. It's well worth a day trip or a weekend trifecta!
    Hi!
    Location: Richmond, VA
    Style: XC, Mid-Atlantic roots, rocks, & poison ivy
    Rides: '06 K2 Apache 6.0, '01 K2 Razorback Team

  7. #7
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    Ha ha! Yep, I took a group of friends on that very ride several years back. They coined a name for it: Hell's Canyon.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone, now I'll know what to do next time. We do have our good trails up here. But you all have it great. Whoever defined "adventure" as something that entails hardship and discomfort at the time and seems exciting and great only in retrospect was onto something; I can't come up with a reason to voluntarily do that ride again and was definitely getting a bit freaked slogging along solo as the sun waned, but a lot of small features of that ride really stick with me as cool.

  9. #9
    Third Degree Hater-Fu
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    So having ridden Pisgah for 10 years now and never hit up Turkey pen...I am reaffirmed as to why I have never had anyone offer to take me there. It's a nightmare if you're into "climb ot the top then drop back to the bottom" trails like Black Mtn and Bennett.

    It sounds like a maze of short up and down trails with bogs and suffering and not much flow. Am I right?

    Sort of reminds me of what I've heard of Pink Beds too...the kind of trail you take if your name is Lewis...or Clark...???
    I am not a "Role Model"

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