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  1. #1
    VT1
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    Trail routes and/or ride ideas

    A couple buddies and myself will be staying at the Davidson Campground March 14-17 or 18. I've done some reading, and know of some of the trails at or close to the campground.
    Can anyone give me some ideas for trail rides? We like it rough, technical, flowy, and we know that there is plenty of climbing to get to the famous Pisgah style descents.
    Thanks for the advice!

  2. #2
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    Here you are sir!

    Pisgah MTB Project

    Look for the trails right in and around Pisgah Forest, NC off of Hwy. 276. That is where to bulk of the riding is in "Pisgah". You can ride straigh outta the campground and do Black Mtn., Bennet Gap, etc.

    For other rides you can also ride to them but you may be better off driving since they can be a ways away from the DRC.

    Make sure to swing into either Sycamore Cycles or the Hub and ask for ride suggestions. Get the Avenza PDF map and the Pisgah Map Co. South Ranger District Map. This is super nice to have because it locates you in real time on the trail.

    Also check out Ecusta Brewing across the street from the Hub. Great locally owned brewery.

  3. #3
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    Trail Forks app. Just checked on my phone, all the goods from the campground are on it.

  4. #4
    VT1
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    Banjopickin, that's awesome info. sir. Thank you very much! I just downloaded both the Avenza App and MTB Project. Working on downloading the trail maps we're going to need. I read about some of the trails you mentioned last night, and am glad to know we're that close to "Pisgah" riding!
    Thanks for the brewery info also.

  5. #5
    VT1
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    Mike, thanks for that info. I just downloaded the Trail Forks app, and will get the trail info loaded.
    Thanks for the quick reply! We're all excited to go ride the famous Pisgah trails!!

  6. #6
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    Can't say enough for banjo's suggestion of swinging by Sycamore or the Hub. Both are excellent shops, one like some kind of beer-and-bike loving amusement park - I mean, all the Hub needs is a waterslide and BOOOM! there it is, come on ownership stop being so slack- and the other a much more focused bike shop that also has delicious coffee and such. Sycamore is a quality shop.
    Those assessments are just my opinions.
    What's not an opinion is that both will give you solid beta on local trail conditions and other details. Have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Can't say enough for banjo's suggestion of swinging by Sycamore or the Hub. Both are excellent shops, one like some kind of beer-and-bike loving amusement park - I mean, all the Hub needs is a waterslide and BOOOM! there it is, come on ownership stop being so slack- and the other a much more focused bike shop that also has delicious coffee and such. Sycamore is a quality shop.
    Those assessments are just my opinions.
    What's not an opinion is that both will give you solid beta on local trail conditions and other details. Have fun!
    I.LOVE.THE.HUB.

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  8. #8
    VT1
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    What is everyone's preferred route to hit all of Black Mtn. downhill. We know there will be plenty of climbing, and would like to ride as much trail as possible.
    Thanks y'all

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VT1 View Post
    What is everyone's preferred route to hit all of Black Mtn. downhill. We know there will be plenty of climbing, and would like to ride as much trail as possible.
    Thanks y'all
    Preferred? I do an out and back on it. Just start riding up Black from Pressley Gap until you hit Turkey Pen. Then just turn around and hang on...

    I would say many people choose to go up Clawhammer Rd to the Buckhorn Gap intersection and hit Black Mtn. that way. You get some nice views but the hike-a-bike sucks after climbing Clawhammer and it takes way longer than just going out and back. You can go up Black Mtn. from the Ranger Station all the way and totally avoid Clawhammer... just keep your head up for riders descending. Thats a fast and very popular section.

    A super common route is up Clawhammer and do Black Mtn. left toward Club Gap. This way allows you to also ride Buckwheat and Bennet Gap trails. Then you can go back up Clawhammer and hit Black Mtn. proper all the way back to the Ranger Station.

    FWIW... the section of Black Mtn. from Turkey Pen to Pressley Cove isnt all that great. Its burly and blownout as hell... which makes it very fun... but I think the best of the descending is from Pressley Gap down to the Ranger Station.

  10. #10
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    I like to climb Avery Creek and Buckhorn Gap. Clawhammer is boring imo. I really enjoy the top part of Black above the Turkey Pen intersection. A lot of people think that it's all strictly hike a bike but you can ride a lot more of it than people think.

  11. #11
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    x2 on climbing Avery and Buckhorn, except also x2 on then turning left on Black and doing Buckwheat/Bennett (or eastside of Coontree until 4/15). I just enjoy those trails more than the gully on Black.
    Avery>Buckhorn>whatever that grassy road is that you turn right on when Buckhorn becomes hiking only >Claw>Black>Buckwheat>Bennett is one of my go-to rides right now.

  12. #12
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    Thanks y'all! We're trying to get our routes down, and this has really helped!


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  13. #13
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    Heads up, don't keep much in your tents when you leave for the day.

    I posted up in North Mills for a few days here and came back to find two good jackets I had used in a stuff sack as a pillow gone. Along with my liner, whatever, thing has my grime all over it.

    I'd break camp every day and stuff it in my car.
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

  14. #14
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    steve- were you roadside or in the campground

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Heads up, don't keep much in your tents when you leave for the day.

    I posted up in North Mills for a few days here and came back to find two good jackets I had used in a stuff sack as a pillow gone. Along with my liner, whatever, thing has my grime all over it.

    I'd break camp every day and stuff it in my car.
    +1 in N. Mills, Avery Cr. Rd, or anywhere along 1206. Those areas are frequented by a less than desirable lot of folks.

    Dont leave anything in plain view in your car and dont leave anything in your tent, etc. I have had a few run-ins with some seedy folks who are basically living out there.

    And dont stay at any of the campsites on 1206 between Laurel Mn. and the campground. I have seen some really awful stuff go down in those sites. If you do wear a hazmat suit haha.

  16. #16
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    Mike, campground.

    And yeah some seedy folks were making their way up and down the road and through the campground.

    I'd seen it before in my times out there. Luckily just a few jackets and a liner. Out a few hundred but it could've been worse. Just more reason to be careful.

    Not letting it dim my few days shredding Pisgah!

  17. #17
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    Well, that sucks. I usually feel my stuff is pretty secure in campgrounds. Guessing you reported to the hosts? Or were there any around this time of year?

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    That does suck. I've never stayed in a campground... always at the free places and never had a problem. It's good to leave a least one beat up IDGAF truck near the tents though :-)

  19. #19
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    Yep, sucks. I was planning some camping and riding in Pisgah this year. Looks like the fee at Davidson might be worth it since it's watched and patrolled by the staff. I don't feel like breaking things down every day.

  20. #20
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    Hey all! Didn't mean to scare everyone, just a heads up. They left $300 tent and 20 degree bag and nabbed a dirty bag liner and semi-expensive carhartt and work jacket.

    I always used the roadside during the spring-summer-fall and never had an issue. This time I stopped at North Mills because well it was easy...and I figured no one would make me pay. Karma for not paying?

    Eh. No hosts, too early. And not worth calling the cops.

    Glad I did Squirrel and Black, had I left from camp for Laurel or Trace who knows they would've got into the car, took the CX off the back, etc.

    I would think during the busy summer its less likely.

    Take it as a reason to not leave nice stuff in an easy place like a tent.
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

  21. #21
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    Dang, thanks for all the heads-up info fellas! I feel better about having chosen Davidson to stay at. lol It sucks that people are going around taking advantage of the people who are trying to enjoy there time there.
    We definitely didn't plan on breaking camp down daily, but we'll check with the rangers to make sure we're good.
    Less than 2 weeks, we're getting more excited every day that goes by.

  22. #22
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    Never had a problem camping off 475B or any of the other roads. The campsites on 1206 between 276 and Bradley Cr. are pretty nice and typically dont get as blown out as the ones closer to N. Mills.

    It seems to be concentrated around 1206 in N. Mills and off of 5000 as well. Probably has something to do with the close proximity to town and the mega-Ingles. I really wish the USFS had the means to enforce camping rules in there.

  23. #23
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    We have seen some shady people in that area. My favorite was one dawn patrol when we saw two Hispanic guys poaching Galax with hello Kitty backpacks and authentic music blasting from some kind of boom box in the packs.

  24. #24
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    The worst I have seen was a dude smoking a cig dropping trou in the middle of the first site on your right as you climb toward LAurel...

    Middle of the day on a weekend with people everywhere and he's taking a dump in the middle of the campsite for all the world to see. Like literally in the middle of the ten pad!

    We were pedaling by and the dude just waved at us like he was reading a book or something haha.

    Wont be staying at any of those sites any time soon. At least not without my vaccinations up to date.

  25. #25
    VT1
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    Quick breakdown of what we rode and what we thought.
    Wednesday we decided to hit DuPont. We hit Cedar Rock, Big Rock, Burnt Mtn, Micajah, then drove over to Lake Imaging and climbed up and then descended Ridgeline. One hell of a damn ride. Trails were in damn good shape, especially considering the weather.
    Yesterday, we parked at the bottom of Laurel Mtn on 276. We climbed and hiked-a-bike up Laurel, hit the connector to Pilot Rock, and descended Pilot Rock. Then we hit Yellow Gap, Squirrel Gap, South Mills River, climbed up Buckhorn Gap, and hit Black Mtn. The hike-a-bike on Laurel Mtn wasn't too bad. The connector was covered in snow, and Pilot Rock was slick and wild. The bike-a-bike on Black Mtn was absolutely insane. We ended up with just over 20.3 miles with almost 6hrs of ride time. We definitely learned the Pisgah Shuffle.


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