Thanksgiving Weekend in the Southeast- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thanksgiving Weekend in the Southeast

    I can move this thread to a more regional location if needed but I wouldnt mind everyone's input.

    My wife and I are trying to plan a last minute long weekend excursion somewhere in the Southeast. We are going with another couple who does not mountain bike but enjoys hiking and the outdoors in general. We would like to rent a cabin and are not too worried about modern amenities or a nightlife.

    We are looking for a location within 5 hours of the Asheville, NC region (yes we are leaving asheville to explore somewhere else).

    Right now I have been recommended the Big South Fork area of Tennessee/Kentucky. Does anyone have experience with mountain biking in this area? Trail descriptions seem a bit tame. I have done a little riding in the Roanoke-harrisonburg corridor of VA but I am hesitant to drive north. What about areas of Northern Georgia or anywhere else I should be thinking of?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Rabid Lana Fan
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    Check out Monte Sano in Huntsville, AL. Cabins available, with very technical hiking/biking.
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  3. #3
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    Assuming you havent been to Knoxville before, it might be another option, Haw Ridge and Knoxvilles Urban Wilderness(also called the Dirty South) have roughly 40ish miles of trail each. If more DH trails are your style there is Windrock OHV(sadly the Downtown Downhill isnt open yet). Assuming it rains, the Norris watershed area offer 20ish miles of wet/dry trails and across the lake from that is Loyston Point with a 5mile loop thats also wet/dry(its more of a shale type dirt so its just as tacky wet as it is dry, its machine cut so its pretty fast and flowy). If you are looking for more info check out the Knoxville Cycling group(on Facebook) or Outdoorknoxville.com, there are always group rides going on if you would rather ride with locals.

    Oh, also missed the part about your friends, most all of the trails in the area are multi-use.

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    don't know much about Big South Fork. It's on my list as it's not too far from me. But it's far enough to need lodging and I haven't managed to find many lodging options.

    Not sure exactly how far it is from you, but the Sheltowee Trace is popular with a few folks I know and is also on my list. A guy I know rides that trail out of London, KY quite a bit.

    I'll second Knoxville, TN.

    Also Mulberry Gap in GA. Mulberry Gap has some pretty nice cabins, and great food.

  5. #5
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    I have hiked at BSF but never biked there, I have friends that have and they say there are more trails than what they can do in a day. If im not mistaken there are cabins there, definitely campgrounds, and back country camping as well. Ill ask my sister and her boyfriend since they spend a lot of time up there about the lodging situtation, and realisticly its only about an hour or so from Knoxville, so you could really hit up both in the same weekend(assuming Thurs to Sun). If im not mistaken BSF has an IMBA Epic trail also.

  6. #6
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    Mulberry Gap / Pinhoti trail system in Elijay, GA.......been there over Thanksgiving weekend myself (for my birthday) and it was great........both cabins and camping but you have to be quick - they have an event they run but I was able to pick up a cabin without too much hassle......there is a website.........
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  7. #7
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    +1 on Mulberry Gap. Here's the link: Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway - Ellijay, Georgia

    It's out in the boonies in N. Ga but beautiful, quiet cabins, and the ladies there cook you FANTASTIC huge breakfast and dinners. They also keep their beer fridge fully stocked with all the fancy craft beers you could dream of.

    They run shuttles on the Pinhoti trail right out the driveway, plus other fantastic mountain bike areas are less than an hour away (Bull/Jake Mtn, etc.)

    Your friends can drive a little ways west and hit Amicaloula Falls State Park where the Appalachain Trail starts, so endless options for hiking for them.

    Awesome place, I stayed there in September and had a great time.

  8. #8
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    Everyone has been great with the suggestions. Thank you!

    We are looking into Mulberry Gap.

  9. #9
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    Loved my visit to Mulberry Gap this year. I hit up Bear Creek, some of the nearby Pinhotis, and the Jake/Bull Mtn area while I was there. I also stopped to ride Raccoon Mtn in Chattanooga on my way down. It's close enough that you can day trip there from Mulberry Gap, too.

  10. #10
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    Tsali, Tsali, Tsali!!! in North Carolina. Some of the best riding in the southeast when I lived in Atlanta 15 years ago. That was the weekend roadtrip of choice for the best flowing single track in the southeast. That's just my opinon.

    If you are in Asheville NC goto Tsali.

    Haven't been to the southeast in years but Tsali is the place.
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    I remember Bear Creek being awesome along with Bull Mountain. But Tsali is king of the trails from my scattered brain.

    Did I mention Tsali?

  11. #11
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    Tsali is OK. But the dude is FROM Asheville.

    There are literally dozens of other trails and trail systems I'd do before Tsali.
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  12. #12
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    Opps. sorry about that. I thought he was visiting Asheville for the weekend.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Tsali is OK.
    No, Tsali tsucks.

  14. #14
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    Tsali is OK if you can ride fast enough to make it technically challenging. I'm guessing that isn't the case for most.
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  15. #15
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Tsali is OK. But the dude is FROM Asheville.

    There are literally dozens of other trails and trail systems I'd do before Tsali.
    I rode there right about 15 years ago for the first time. Yeah, that was the trail system getting all the mag press back then. I rode it again a few years later. It didn't suck then (no idea if it's any different now), but it's nothing terribly special. There are trail networks very similar to it all over the place. There's one roughly an hour and a half from where I live now. Why would I drive an extra several hours to ride Tsali as a destination when it's so much like other stuff I have available to me? If I was putting together a road trip that sent me past there, I'd definitely stop and take a day or two to ride it. But it's not worth going out of my way for when there are other opportunities that are markedly different from my local goods which are a similar transit time to reach.

  16. #16
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Tsali is OK if you can ride fast enough to make it technically challenging. I'm guessing that isn't the case for most.
    Technically challenging? No. Fast? Yes. Boring? Without a doubt. Some folks have higher expectations I reckon.

  17. #17
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    Here's a look at what the trails at Monte Sano are like.

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  18. #18
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    Another vote for Knoxville. Ok I live here so I am biased but you will have access to all types of trails and they are all multi use. I've never biked Big South Fork but have hiked there many times and the scenery is beautiful. You could rent a cabin in Norris and ride the trails there and at Loyston. You are only 30 to 45 minutes from Haw Ridge and downtown Knoxville so you could easily ride at least 3 or 4 trail systems.

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