Asheville area shuttle advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Asheville area shuttle advice

    I will be spending Labor Day weekend in Asheville. This will be my first trip to the area and I hoping you folks can share some tips on shuttle routes.
    We will have two vehicles allowing us to shuttle a few places. I imagine there are some trails that are frequently shuttled such as kitsuma. What about the Pisgah area or DuPont?
    Any tips about the area would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    And He was Not
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    Do people actually shuttle Kitsuma? I'm sure you could, but you can ride the loop in about a hour. The toughest part can't be shuttled.
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  3. #3
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    Typically, the only trails that are shuttled are in Pisgah. Shutting Dupont isn't worth it. 99% of those trails can be pedaled and the ones you would shuttle, are not accessible to vehicles. That being said, trails in Pisgah are those in the North Mills recreation area: Trace Ridge, Spencer Gap; Avery Creek area: Bennet Gap, Black Mountain, etc.; stuff near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education ('Fish Hatchery'): Daniel Ridge, Farlow Gap. Stuff in the Wilson Creek area as well. Kitsuma isn't worth shutting as others have mentioned. You just pedal back up the Greenway (Old US 70). Get the Pisgah Map Company's Pisgah maps. Look for trails with forest roads close to them; those will be the easiest to shuttle (if the roads are open, which currently most are).

  4. #4
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    What bikes are you guys on? If pedaling isn't your thing you should look into the local gravity bike parks. Bailey Mountain Bike Park is 30-45 min North of Asheville.

  5. #5
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    Yea thanks for the info. Good to know about kitsuma.

    Our bikes are plenty efficient enough to pedal, but we are just looking to maximize our time in the area.
    Also we are stopping in Chattanooga and likely Birmingham over a 4 day period. I am in decent shape but I don’t know how much I will have left in the tank by the time we make it to Asheville.

  6. #6
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    Heartbreak is a good one to shuttle - eliminates about 3 hours (or more) and 15+ miles of uphill pedaling (unless you do an out and back, which isn't that much easier). Also shuttling up to Club Gap to run Avery Creek is a really good one, too. Probably my two favorite shuttle routes that aren't hard to figure out if you are new to the area.
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  7. #7
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    Also is Bennet gap open to bikes now? I read some where that it is open only fall and winter. Is that true?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky789 View Post
    Also is Bennet gap open to bikes now? I read some where that it is open only fall and winter. Is that true?
    Its open to bikes. A fun shuttle is... going up club gab, down buckwheat, and then down bennett.

  9. #9
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    I agree, good one

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  10. #10
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    I also am a big fan of pilot rock, it can be shuttled but you have to walk your bike on the connector from the parking lot to top of pilot rock. I generally climb up Laurel to get there though. Laurel is a very easy climb by Pisgah standards and the scenery is awesome.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Its open to bikes. A fun shuttle is... going up club gab, down buckwheat, and then down bennett.
    That's a good route and climbing Club Gap is no cakewalk.

  12. #12
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    Laurel is an awesome trail, and totally worth riding to access Pilot.

    The problem with a lot of shuttle routes is that you're still going to spend a lot of time sitting in a car because the gravel roads are slow and twisty.

    FWIW, I rode Kitsuma the other day, and the greenway (Old US 70) is still closed due to landslide issues. One local I ran into out there said that they've been doing this neverending cycle of repairing the landslide, and then it fails again. Repair, fail. And on and on. I detoured north of it on Mill Creek Rd, which is mostly gravel. Put the whole loop at a shade under 12mi. And yeah, you can shuttle Kitsuma, but you can't shuttle the hardest part. Same story with a lot of others. You can shuttle Trace/Spencer by driving up Wash Creek Rd., but the hardest part of the climb STARTS where the trail intersects with Wash Creek Rd.

  13. #13
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    tagging...

    Brand new to the forum and to Mtn Biking. I've been trail running/hiking/walking at Dupont for the last couple years and looking to switchover to wheels.

  14. #14
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    Bennett is open year round now, it used to be seasonal but some folks haven't gotten the message on that yet despite it happening two years ago. Earlier this season there was some salty hiker that kept putting signs up on the marker about bikes not being allowed. Ugh.

    All of the shuttles in this area will involve some climbing still, of varying levels, and aren't the type of shuttles you see in other areas where you can just ride a road for a few minutes, then repeat the trail again. Most of the shuttles are still slow going, so all you are really doing is saving your legs. If you really want to hit some repeat descents, I'd go up to Beech or Bailey, because anything else is still gonna be slow going and isn't exactly an easy shuttle.

  15. #15
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    Any shuttle you do up here will still require some uphill pedaling...

    I would do the Bennett shuttle since that is by far the easiest/most convenient. 15 minutes up 30 minutes down.

    I did a fun "shuttle" a while back... Park at Club Gap and leave the shuttle truck at the Hub. Go up Club and do all of Black Mountain to the Ranger Station. Aside from a few hike-a-bikes its mostly down hill.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Any shuttle you do up here will still require some uphill pedaling...

    I would do the Bennett shuttle since that is by far the easiest/most convenient. 15 minutes up 30 minutes down.

    I did a fun "shuttle" a while back... Park at Club Gap and leave the shuttle truck at the Hub. Go up Club and do all of Black Mountain to the Ranger Station. Aside from a few hike-a-bikes its mostly down hill.
    That sounds like fun!

    Another one is to park at the parkway, hike the connector to pilot, descend pilot. Pedal 1206 to buckhorn to go back up to 5 points. Then you can do black back to the hub, or go the other way and do black to buckwheat to Bennett.

    Not exactly a traditional shuttle, but the pedaling isn’t too hard in terms of a traditional big ride


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  17. #17
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    Great info.
    I welcome some pedaling just not looking for an hour+ long climb.

    Thinking of parking up top near black mountain start and at its finish. Ride black mountain then shuttle back to top to ride down buckwheat-bennet-Avery creek back down to the bottom.

    Maybe swing to DuPont after to get some miles in after depending on time.

  18. #18
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    Assuming you're talking about parking at Club Gap, so you're aware, anything involving the top of Black is going to involve some mandatory hike-a-bike that'll take awhile.

    I don't know how fit you are, but there's no way I'd be fitting any riding at Dupont AFTER doing those shuttles.

    And plus, driving 276 on labor day weekend? For multiple shuttles? LOL I'll bet you spend nearly as much time in traffic as you do on the trail.

  19. #19
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    Unrealistic?

  20. #20
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    If you go early in the morning it probably won't be too bad but around 10 or 11 there will be hordes of families traveling and parking on 276 (yeah on 276, as in halfway in the road) and cluelessly walking in front of cars.

  21. #21
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    Yeah, getting up there to start the shuttle, you can avoid the worst of it. But it sounds like you'd like to do 2 runs, which would likely involve 3 trips up to Club Gap, which means 2 of them would be when traffic would be terrible.

    My riding on labor day weekend (if I ride locally in the first place), will be to intentionally avoid the big crowds.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky789 View Post
    Unrealistic?
    If you're planning on parking at Club and doing the Full Black Mtn. ride it took me about 1.5-2 hours at a steady pace from the bottom of Club Gap to the Ranger Station. We only stopped at the overlook on Black to grab a snack etc...

    Im not "racer fit" but totally comfortable doing 20+ milers in Pisgah a a steady pace...

    Just as a point of reference.

    If you still have legs and a means to shuttle after that I would go do Bennett. That would give you lots of great Pisgah descending. The hike-a-bike(s) on Black might prevent that... they are burly.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wytemike21 View Post
    I also am a big fan of pilot rock, it can be shuttled but you have to walk your bike on the connector from the parking lot to top of pilot rock. I generally climb up Laurel to get there though. Laurel is a very easy climb by Pisgah standards and the scenery is awesome.

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    We have shuttled Pilot/Black from the Pisgah Inn a few times and it's pretty good. Dropping down Pilot then climbing up and dropping down Black from the top is a good time. One of the only Pisgah rides worth shuttling other than quick Bennet runs IMO. Farlow used to be another good one until they closed the gate.

  24. #24
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    On a different note. Where would be the best place to watch college football in Hendersonville nc?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimLau View Post
    tagging...

    Brand new to the forum and to Mtn Biking. I've been trail running/hiking/walking at Dupont for the last couple years and looking to switchover to wheels.
    How's it goin' eh?
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky789 View Post
    Unrealistic?
    Lived here since 2006 and haven't shuttled anything and never felt the urge to be honest. You're gonna climb no matter what, and some of the climbs and "flat" trails have great little descending bits mixed in. Buy the good map and put together a couple classic Pisgah loops. You're gonna love it!
    "Big Gulps huh?...Allllriggghhht....Welp, See ya later!"

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky789 View Post
    On a different note. Where would be the best place to watch college football in Hendersonville nc?
    yeah...Hendersonville isn't exactly "Sports Bar" type of crowd. More like Early Bird Senior Plate special.

    There is a place called "The Dugout" on Main Street. Typical dive bar with a couple TVs. That's about it.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimLau View Post
    yeah...Hendersonville isn't exactly "Sports Bar" type of crowd. More like Early Bird Senior Plate special.

    There is a place called "The Dugout" on Main Street. Typical dive bar with a couple TVs. That's about it.

    How about Asheville?

  29. #29
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    Hickory Tavern in Biltmore Park (just off I26, Long Shoals exit between Airport and Asheville) is pretty good for TVs, food, beer, etc.

  30. #30
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    Been to a few places, but honestly don't remember the tvs much. Asheville isn't much of a sports bar town, either, and that suits me fine.

    Papas & Beer (cal mex type place, tons of mtbs in the parking lot off Brevard Rd near Bent Creek) has a bunch of tvs scattered around, but no idea how big they are on college sports.

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  31. #31
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    Shuttled Heartbreak yesterday and added in the Kitsuma loop. Trails are in great condition. I don't mind long uphill pedals and can clean some fairly technical uphill stuff, but shuttling heartbreak in the summer is the way to go. When it gets cooler, I don't mind the Toll Road route too much. All together one of my favorite combos for a day in the woods.
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying"

  32. #32
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    Pretty much any place with a bar will have a few tvs. So there are quite a few on those in hendersonville. Fats Cafe is one, papas and beer (in hendo) and your usual chili's type places. Quite a few in DT hendo and along 64 heading east from DT. In the area between Asheville and Hendo there are tons of places. There are probably 5 places alone in biltmore park (bricks, pf changs, etc). No clue if one is better than the other for sports. I'd look more towards the type of food/drinks you are interested in and go from there.

  33. #33
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    Great information.
    The weather this weekend has me a bit nervous

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky789 View Post
    On a different note. Where would be the best place to watch college football in Hendersonville nc?
    Sanctuary Brewing shows NFL so they probably will show college too. I think they have 2 TVs

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimLau View Post
    Hickory Tavern in Biltmore Park (just off I26, Long Shoals exit between Airport and Asheville) is pretty good for TVs, food, beer, etc.
    +1. Some of the TV's at Hickory are taller than my house. Not my scene, but definitely a good place to watch sports if that's what you're looking for.

    Also very convenient to riding at Mills River, Bent Creek, Laurel/Pilot, etc.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    Sanctuary Brewing shows NFL so they probably will show college too. I think they have 2 TVs

    Just don't try to bring in a pepperoni pizza...All vegan, all the time, no exceptions.

  37. #37
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    All vegan! No thank you

  38. #38
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    Edited because I did not read any other replies in the thread and my reply makes no sense, I need to check Sanctuary out !
    Last edited by Mike Brown; 08-28-2018 at 11:29 AM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimLau View Post
    Just don't try to bring in a pepperoni pizza...All vegan, all the time, no exceptions.
    LOL I don't think that's true as I've been there on a Sunday when they were serving hot dogs, which is the opposite of Vegan.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    LOL I don't think that's true as I've been there on a Sunday when they were serving hot dogs, which is the opposite of Vegan.
    Likely vegan “dogs”. My office is right around corner from them, the whole animal advocacy thing (cool by me) has been their hook from day one.

    Sanctuary Brewing Company - Sanctuary Brewing Company - Craft Brews & Rescues


    Their on-site cafe is “Jazzy Vegetarian Vegan Cafe”
    https://www.hendersonville.com/news/2018/03/the-jazzy-vegetarian-vegan-cafe-to-open-in-early-may/
    Last edited by TimLau; 08-28-2018 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Info

  41. #41
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    Great to see lots of helpful replies to this topic rather than the usual tiresome "man-up and ride up the hill" posts

  42. #42
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    Thanks for everyone’s input. We had a great time.
    That hike bike up black mountain was tough but a blast.

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