Beginner-ish friendly trails near Asheville?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Beginner-ish friendly trails near Asheville?

    The girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Asheville area next month and she is pretty new to riding anything more than rail-trails and bike paths so is there anything sort of beginner friendly in that area? I looked on trailforks/mtb project and there are lots of "green trails" but was looking for everyones go-to for newer riders in the area. Thanks guys!!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by crfnick56 View Post
    The girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Asheville area next month and she is pretty new to riding anything more than rail-trails and bike paths so is there anything sort of beginner friendly in that area? I looked on trailforks/mtb project and there are lots of "green trails" but was looking for everyones go-to for newer riders in the area. Thanks guys!!
    Look for routes in Bent Creek and DuPont.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Look for routes in Bent Creek and DuPont.


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    Dupont has a lot of connector trails that are wide and beginner friendly and go to cool waterfall locations and little side loops that are a little harder if you want to try. Bent Creek can be a bit more climby and could be tough if you're not in mountain biking shape, overall they aren't technical though.

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  4. #4
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    The Biltmore Estate also has trails that are all beginner friendly. Not really worth going, unless youíre planning to visit the estate anyway.


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  5. #5
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    DuPont is a good suggestion: 80 miles of riding options between "What were you thinking?" and " That was fun! ". Bringing/renting what kind of bikes? Do you want to get off of gravel & try some single track? Are you looking for 2-4 hours riding time or longer? All entrances are gated closed so other than forest trucks, usually no vehicles. Equestrians, bikers and bikers use the forest and there are no directional trails. Are you looking for route suggestions or just potential trails? Weekdays are much quieter than weekends.

  6. #6
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    I think I'd put Dupont as a better beginner location than Bent Creek.

    Bent Creek's fun beginner-friendly trails are kinda scattered about and on the short side, which means quite a bit of gravel. Plus, none of them really have the kind of interesting scenery you can get at Dupont.

    Even though the wife and I are annual passholders at the Biltmore, we haven't bothered with the mtb trails there. I like the Biltmore better for the paved greenway trails along the river, and the ability to buy a bottle of wine and go find a picnic spot.

  7. #7
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    Beginner-ish friendly trails near Asheville?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I think I'd put Dupont as a better beginner location than Bent Creek.

    Bent Creek's fun beginner-friendly trails are kinda scattered about and on the short side, which means quite a bit of gravel. Plus, none of them really have the kind of interesting scenery you can get at Dupont.

    Even though the wife and I are annual passholders at the Biltmore, we haven't bothered with the mtb trails there. I like the Biltmore better for the paved greenway trails along the river, and the ability to buy a bottle of wine and go find a picnic spot.
    Nevertheless, the trails at the Biltmore estate, are super beginner friendly, and a great option for visitors, if theyíre going anyway. And, you can still get wine, and have a picnic. Bent Creek is a good option if you donít want to drive over an hour to ride. But, yeah, more info from the op would be helpful, to those being helpful.


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  8. #8
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    Explorer Loop in Bent Creek, or the following route at Dupont:

    https://www.trailforks.com/route/3-j...rankjoy-route/

    That Dupont route will be FAR more rewarding and will pretty much have her instantly addicted to mtb, assuming all goes well.

  9. #9
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    There's a "SORBA Beginner Ride" posted on Mountain Bike Project. Looks pretty reasonable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamatt View Post
    There's a "SORBA Beginner Ride" posted on Mountain Bike Project. Looks pretty reasonable.
    I have done that ride. It is mostly good, but has some sections that will be a too much for someone's first time on singletrack. Notably from a steep climbing standpoint.

    I use that loop when I want a ride with challenging, but not long climbs.

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  11. #11
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    Glad to see this as I was looking for the same info. My extended family has rented a house near Asheville. Was thinking about taking some of them, including my cousins who are like 8 and 10 riding somewhere. I was thinking DuPont. The Ridgeline loop is my go-to for beginners but I don't know if the kids could handle that. It's the steep (for beginners) pitches up JB and Hooker I am worried about.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acme54321 View Post
    Glad to see this as I was looking for the same info. My extended family has rented a house near Asheville. Was thinking about taking some of them, including my cousins who are like 8 and 10 riding somewhere. I was thinking DuPont. The Ridgeline loop is my go-to for beginners but I don't know if the kids could handle that. It's the steep (for beginners) pitches up JB and Hooker I am worried about.
    We used to do ridgeline when my son was 8. He did it, with a little b!tching, but yeah. They could always walk that part. The explorer loop, clockwise, at bent creek is another good option.


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    I don't particularly like taking beginners to Bent Creek, because there are so many one off lines or features that can get people in a lot of trouble, like that roller at the bottom of Ingles Field. I don't think there is any consistency in how features are built there, so you end up with relatively benign trails having one or two features that could seriously mess someone up. DuPont is a lot more consistent and it's less busy.

    For younger kids, you could shuttle up to Guion parking lot and drop in Ridgeline from there, if you are worried about the climb up Jim Branch.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I don't particularly like taking beginners to Bent Creek, because there are so many one off lines or features that can get people in a lot of trouble, like that roller at the bottom of Ingles Field. I don't think there is any consistency in how features are built there, so you end up with relatively benign trails having one or two features that could seriously mess someone up. DuPont is a lot more consistent and it's less busy.

    For younger kids, you could shuttle up to Guion parking lot and drop in Ridgeline from there, if you are worried about the climb up Jim Branch.
    Youíre right about those inconsistencies, but thatís not really the case everywhere out there, especially explorer loop. Ingles field is definitely not a good place for first timers. DuPont is the best bet for beginners, but man, the drive from Asheville. Bent Creek is a closer, viable option. Lots of gravel there too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    For younger kids, you could shuttle up to Guion parking lot and drop in Ridgeline from there, if you are worried about the climb up Jim Branch.
    I was already thinking this.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    DuPont is the best bet for beginners, but man, the drive from Asheville.
    Yeah. This house is actaully north of Asheville close to Alexander MTB Park. I bet the drive to Dupont is over an hour...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acme54321 View Post
    I was already thinking this.



    Yeah. This house is actaully north of Asheville close to Alexander MTB Park. I bet the drive to Dupont is over an hour...
    No doubt about it. Probably an hour and a half.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I don't particularly like taking beginners to Bent Creek, because there are so many one off lines or features that can get people in a lot of trouble, like that roller at the bottom of Ingles Field. I don't think there is any consistency in how features are built there, so you end up with relatively benign trails having one or two features that could seriously mess someone up. DuPont is a lot more consistent and it's less busy.

    For younger kids, you could shuttle up to Guion parking lot and drop in Ridgeline from there, if you are worried about the climb up Jim Branch.
    There are lot of places at Bent Creek where the trail is inconsistent. I think the opportunities for blistering speed are just one of those inconsistencies. For that reason, I think it's generally better for beginners to stay at lower elevations in Bent Creek. One exception being if you do an out-and-back on Northern Boundary to get up to 5 points if they're fit but with beginner bike handling skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Youíre right about those inconsistencies, but thatís not really the case everywhere out there, especially explorer loop. Ingles field is definitely not a good place for first timers. DuPont is the best bet for beginners, but man, the drive from Asheville. Bent Creek is a closer, viable option. Lots of gravel there too.
    The explorer loop at BC is the one place there I think that's a solid choice. It does require you to either drive deeper inside to find the trailhead, or to ride some extra gravel from one of the other trailheads (it's too bad the best beginner loop isn't the closest one to the entrance to the place). Just leave out the "upper explorer" stuff that goes higher up the ridge and gives you a pretty steep and rocky intermediate-level stretch of trail. I've seen VERY small kids on the lower parts of explorer, and they've been doing fine.

    And of course Bent Creek has a ton of gravel and a couple other smaller stretches of beginner-appropriate trail scattered about. Boyd Branch is a good bit of trail for beginners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acme54321 View Post
    Yeah. This house is actaully north of Asheville close to Alexander MTB Park. I bet the drive to Dupont is over an hour...
    yeah, easy.

    KOLO is pretty beginner-friendly (though the main xc loop is surprisingly technical). Maybe not the best place for a first time rider. They apparently have a new beginner xc trail I haven't seen yet, though.

  18. #18
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    Having gone through the whole "teach me to mountain bike" with a few GFs and a bro-in-law the only advice I can give that worked for me is start with gravel and stay with gravel.

    Most new riders not only lack bike handling skills but fitness too. Even the gravel roads in Bent Creek can be a real challenge to the newbie. Start with a 5-10 mile gravel loop and get them used to that... maybe for the first 10-20 rides. Once fitness develops and they get their "sea legs" take them on double track or VERY easy singletrack like Boyd Branch or Hardtimes connector.

    Its more important that your GF, wife, BF, husband or whoever you are teaching to ride has fun first and foremost. Fun will keep them coming back and improving their skills and fitness. Putting someone on a trail they are not ready for is always gonna lead to bad times.

    OP... I would stick to gravel only until you see how your GF handles the climbing and terrain. We are blessed with a TON of gated gravel roads that are really pretty and plenty fun to ride.
    On your left!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    the only advice I can give that worked for me is start with gravel and stay with gravel.
    Since you mentioned it, one stretch of gravel that's quite nice for really raw beginners is the "neverending road" or 5097/Fletcher Creek Rd. out of the Trace Ridge parking lot. It'd be an out-and-back but there's only a difference of about 1,000ft of elevation in its whole length, and most of that after about mile 8. The individual rolling climbs along its length are mostly low grade and less than 150ft or so.

    Major drawback is that it doesn't go anywhere terribly interesting. It's definitely quiet, though.

    Hendersonville Reservoir Rd. (FR142) is shorter, has a bit of a bigger hill near the parking lot, but not too bad, and heads down to an old reservoir as an option from the Trace Ridge parking lot, too.

    The North Mills River trail is marked as easy on the maps, but don't be deceived by it. Aside from using either end to access the river, I wouldn't take anyone down there unless they were looking for a spot to fish. It crosses the river a LOT and becomes un-fun pretty quick.

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