Bent Creek, not what it used to be?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bent Creek, not what it used to be?

    4 to 5 years ago when I was riding up that way a lot, Bent Creek had some awesome trails. I remember parking inside the park and hitting some great singletrack, with some fairly long, downhills. I have read some posts concerning logging and trail loss. Does BC still have the same trails I remember from a few years back, or have many changed or disappeared? I am looking at making a trip up there soon and would like to hit the best trails w/o going much further west than Asheville.

    gmoss

  2. #2
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    The trails are still there but they have been "worked" on. They are now wider and smoother and easier. There is a new trail called greens lick that is lots of fun. A big section of sidehill was torn out and converted to an ugly gravel road. So the layout is the same but the character of the trials has changed slightly. Still worth riding. I ride there regularly and have lots of fun doing so.

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    so, the technical aspect of the trails has been compromised? I really enjoyed the technical climbs, roots, and long rooty, rocky downhills. I guess it's more high speed snoozer type stuff then.

    What other trails are close by to consider hitting as well?

  4. #4
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    Exactly, it's like they took out all the rocks and roots. Some would say sanitized. There are still some challenging climbs and fast downhill runs.

    I take my kid there alot. It's a great place for beginner riders but it can be enjoyed by most experts.

    If you want something more technical check out the other areas of the Pisgah Ranger District.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    Exactly, it's like they took out all the rocks and roots. Some would say sanitized. There are still some challenging climbs and fast downhill runs.

    I take my kid there alot. It's a great place for beginner riders but it can be enjoyed by most experts.

    If you want something more technical check out the other areas of the Pisgah Ranger District.
    could ya help me out with a quick link to the other trails of the Pisgah Ranger district? I have probably ridden many of these trails, but don't want to drive over an hour and end up on some horse trail.

  6. #6
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    gmoss- BC is still a great great place to ride. It's just faster and more hardpack than before. I can't tell where you're from by your riding profile, but BC, again, is still a worthwhile destination. I mean, 20-30 miles of singletrack and equal that of gated roads?? 5-plus mile climbs followed by 3 mile descents? Yeah, we're a little bit spoiled that a system like this gets dissed so much.

    For a good sample of the "rest of Pisgah", try Clawhammer to Black Mountain or Laurel to Pilot. Fantastic rides that are definitely more "technical" than Bent Creek. Get the Trails Illustrated map. If you do Laurel/Pilot, stay on the main trail up Laurel for the most part. There's one confusing fork where you can't tell which one is the main trail- stay to the left here into the Rhodo tunnel, you'll see some blazes (orange maybe) about 20 yards up the tunnel. Going to the right is the Mountains-to-Sea, closed to bikes. We considering some signage at this fork, although personally I enjoy having to navigate some and am not in favor of said signage.
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    gmoss- BC is still a great great place to ride. It's just faster and more hardpack than before. I can't tell where you're from by your riding profile, but BC, again, is still a worthwhile destination. I mean, 20-30 miles of singletrack and equal that of gated roads?? 5-plus mile climbs followed by 3 mile descents? Yeah, we're a little bit spoiled that a system like this gets dissed so much.

    For a good sample of the "rest of Pisgah", try Clawhammer to Black Mountain or Laurel to Pilot. Fantastic rides that are definitely more "technical" than Bent Creek. Get the Trails Illustrated map. If you do Laurel/Pilot, stay on the main trail up Laurel for the most part. There's one confusing fork where you can't tell which one is the main trail- stay to the left here into the Rhodo tunnel, you'll see some blazes (orange maybe) about 20 yards up the tunnel. Going to the right is the Mountains-to-Sea, closed to bikes. We considering some signage at this fork, although personally I enjoy having to navigate some and am not in favor of said signage.
    Mike
    Bent Creek now sounds like LN state park. I will have to look up where these other trails are. I have several maps of trails I printed several years back and will have to check out which ones I have. I take it the other trails are out toward Brevard? any others in and around Asheville?

    I copied and printed your route suggestion from another thread, for BC. I know it will be a fun ride, too.

  8. #8
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    The most popular stuff is out towards brevard. But there is also kitzuma east of Asheville towards the town of black mtn.

    I recomend you get a good guide book. Off the Beaten Track by Jim Parham is the most popular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    The most popular stuff is out towards brevard. But there is also kitzuma east of Asheville towards the town of black mtn.

    I recomend you get a good guide book. Off the Beaten Track by Jim Parham is the most popular.
    I have ridden Kitsuma. As Jim Gaffigan said "It's RAADICAL!"

    I will make it out to Brevard to ride, it's just requires more time than I have right now, to get out that far. Hell, I may even have that book.

  10. #10
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    I have lived/hiked/biked here for a over 30 years and have seen all of the changes to BC first hand. Other long time residents may recall the influx of bikers and the piss-poor maintenance that nearly caused us to loose 70% of the trail system when BC wanted to restrict MTB access. Locals united and compromises were made. Then came a double punch of hurricanes. Long story short – a crew from out of the region was hired (with FEMA dollars) to construct "sustainable trails". Locals again rallied and many of the proposed alterations were respected. Personally, I was broken hearted to loose some favored routes and still feel really weird when I ride them. I have to admit that I am adapting to the changes and enjoy having access to sections that used to be closed April to October.

    So yes, the BC you remember has changed. The "unique features" you recall are memories. Gone, but not forgotten. RIP.

    I know from past experience that these trails will gain their own personalities as time goes by. Nature and use will see to that. This area has tripled + in bike usage and we still have access. Woo hoo. Sanitation is one thing. Long term maintainability is another. It is still a fun ride, so don’t cross BC off your list.

    If you really want to see something shocking – take a gander at the new Silt Mountain across the lake toward the campground (which had to be closed twice last year due to becoming a cesspool) and you’ll appreciate the process.

    RIP Homestead:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

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    Is that the old technical section on homestead? If so that was a great challenge. Happy to say I cleaned it going down ONE time before they destroyed it. Had tried it probably 30 and never had the guts to do it. That was such a great part of the trail. You could take a rascal through that section now Ahh well BC is still a great place to get a work out. You can put down some serious dirt miles in no time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M
    I have lived/hiked/biked here for a over 30 years and have seen all of the changes to BC first hand. Other long time residents may recall the influx of bikers and the piss-poor maintenance that nearly caused us to loose 70% of the trail system when BC wanted to restrict MTB access. Locals united and compromises were made. Then came a double punch of hurricanes. Long story short – a crew from out of the region was hired (with FEMA dollars) to construct "sustainable trails". Locals again rallied and many of the proposed alterations were respected. Personally, I was broken hearted to loose some favored routes and still feel really weird when I ride them. I have to admit that I am adapting to the changes and enjoy having access to sections that used to be closed April to October.

    So yes, the BC you remember has changed. The "unique features" you recall are memories. Gone, but not forgotten. RIP.

    I know from past experience that these trails will gain their own personalities as time goes by. Nature and use will see to that. This area has tripled + in bike usage and we still have access. Woo hoo. Sanitation is one thing. Long term maintainability is another. It is still a fun ride, so don’t cross BC off your list.

    If you really want to see something shocking – take a gander at the new Silt Mountain across the lake toward the campground (which had to be closed twice last year due to becoming a cesspool) and you’ll appreciate the process.

    RIP Homestead:
    I remember that section! I did not know of the events that have lead to it's current condition. That being the case, I am glad to still have BC as a place to ride.

    someone mentioned that it was more family friendly. How hard is the trail for a 6 yr old that rides quite well on a single speed 16" BMX bike? Is there a loop that won't have too many long or steep climbs? He is getting tired of riding the same trail over and over.

    it's sad that even our public trails have to be politically correct and ridable by the lowest common denominator.

  13. #13
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    Let's play land manager!

    Note: These are not even remotely my perspectives. I'm just trying to share the USFS/BC perspectives.

    Let's see: My top priorities for this area (BC expiremental forest) are first forestry research, secondly water quality, thirdly Lake Powhatan Recreation area, and lastly other recreational uses. Throughout all of this, the law, USFS policies, and risk management are always first concerns, user experience secondary.
    This trail (Homstead) is rated easiest on the map, lies right next to the stream, is used by hikers/families to access the recreational area, and enjoyed by hikers, bikers, and trail runners.
    Clearly, this section is not "easiest" by our definitions. Furthermore, the trail is eroding into stream. All the stream crossings are causing run-off. Users are going to look at the map and try to use this trail thinking it's easiest and run into this rock garden. We know we've had to send EMT vehicles in here to this section.
    Due to risk management, trail designations, and water quality, we need to re-work this trail
    .


    That's how this BS BC process works. The USFS is just doing their job as defined by law and policy. They are not, in this case, intentioanlly sanitizing trails (not saying it's never done). Rather, they are doing their jobs within the guidelines they HAVE to operate in. If you've ever worked for the government (I'm a government contractor of sorts) you'd know that there is no "flexibility" on these kind of things- you have to do what you have to do. My ability to understand these facts is a big part of what makes me an effective trail representaive for Pisgah Area SORBA.

    All that said, try riding Homestead with an open eye. There's lines developing over roots and rocks at trails edge and at stream crossings that are fun and you do absolutely no harm if you take them. It can, by user choice in lines, be a technical experience still. In the referenced section, for example, I'm now riding the rock retaining wall with an eight foot drop to the outside. Still fun, still a challenge.

    Make the best of what we've got.
    Mike

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    Mike, I was reading about some trail closures due to logging on the 'mtbbikewnc' website. What is the status on these affected trails?

    And yes, I have worked for the government also, have to do what is best for all and the land.

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    As of a week ago, the access road marked 479F is still closed for the truck traffic. Where the connecting trail for 145, which is now a gravel road, meets up with the 145 extention off 136 (Little Hickory Top) - they have bulldozed up the mountain side to an old roadbed and were doing some logging. It was rideable. We did not see a "trail closed" sign at Five Points or this section, so we continued down to 479G. This could be completely closed by now. Anyone know?

    If you take 145 from 479E (Ledford - another trail to gravel road converstion) and continue down, you'll need to take a left on 665 (Boyd Branch/Red Dirt) to avoid the closed section.

    Everything else is open. Hope that helps a little.
    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M
    As of a week ago, the access road marked 479F is still closed for the truck traffic. Where the connecting trail for 145, which is now a gravel road, meets up with the 145 extention off 136 (Little Hickory Top) - they have bulldozed up the mountain side to an old roadbed and were doing some logging. It was rideable. We did not see a "trail closed" sign at Five Points or this section, so we continued down to 479G. This could be completely closed by now. Anyone know?

    If you take 145 from 479E (Ledford - another trail to gravel road converstion) and continue down, you'll need to take a left on 665 (Boyd Branch/Red Dirt) to avoid the closed section.

    Everything else is open. Hope that helps a little.
    that does help , even more so if I knew where they were. LOL. I am making a copy of all pertinent info and taking it with us when we go. Any other news will also be appreciated.

  17. #17
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    Don't have time to do any research, so you might try calling the main station at:
    (828) 667-5261.

    http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/recreat...eek_trails.htm
    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmoss
    I remember that section! I did not know of the events that have lead to it's current condition. That being the case, I am glad to still have BC as a place to ride.

    someone mentioned that it was more family friendly. How hard is the trail for a 6 yr old that rides quite well on a single speed 16" BMX bike? Is there a loop that won't have too many long or steep climbs? He is getting tired of riding the same trail over and over.

    it's sad that even our public trails have to be politically correct and ridable by the lowest common denominator.
    I'm the guy who takes his kid to ride at BC My son is 7 almost 8 and rides a 24" wheeled specialized hotrock. Its a fairly bling bike for a kid. He's got gears and v brakes and even front suspension that actually works. We ride on the more gentle single track and gravel roads. There are many climbs that would be to long and steep for him to tackle. But there is also many miles of trails that are perfect for him. I think a 6 year old on a 16" wheeled department store bike would have trouble with all but the most gentle singletrack. But your child may be gifted. If your planning on bringing your kid let me know. We would be happy to show you guys around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    I'm the guy who takes his kid to ride at BC My son is 7 almost 8 and rides a 24" wheeled specialized hotrock. Its a fairly bling bike for a kid. He's got gears and v brakes and even front suspension that actually works. We ride on the more gentle single track and gravel roads. There are many climbs that would be to long and steep for him to tackle. But there is also many miles of trails that are perfect for him. I think a 6 year old on a 16" wheeled department store bike would have trouble with all but the most gentle singletrack. But your child may be gifted. If your planning on bringing your kid let me know. We would be happy to show you guys around.
    M-U-M thanks for the #, that will more than suffice.

    Maida, thanks for the invite, I just may take you up on it. My son has been riding a bike w/o training wheels since before he was 3. He also rides a Haro BMX I picked up at the LBS. It is still heavy, but mucho better than the wally world bikes. I got a smaller ring for the front so that he would have a easier time with the hills and gullies out at LNSP. He doesn't have to get off much and lives to ride. I would like to come up with him and get a tour sometime. Thanks.

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    I've got my 7 year old on a similar bike as described by M-7.........we ride the lower Explorer and the trail behind the lake a couple times a week. These two sections are pretty sweet for his age and if you park at either Boyd Branch for the lake loop and up higher were the horse folk like to park at the concrete bridge for Explorer, there are no real hard climbs to discourage the tots..........Post up a day and time and we'd try to make it for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabe
    I've got my 7 year old on a similar bike as described by M-7.........we ride the lower Explorer and the trail behind the lake a couple times a week. These two sections are pretty sweet for his age and if you park at either Boyd Branch for the lake loop and up higher were the horse folk like to park at the concrete bridge for Explorer, there are no real hard climbs to discourage the tots..........Post up a day and time and we'd try to make it for a ride.
    Will do gabe! He is wanting a 20" front suspended bike now, but he is going to have a learning curve to get thru with the hand brakes and shifting. I will post up when I can plan a trip. Hopefully soon.

    Gabe, how many miles do you usually do with your son, or what's the total length of the 2 loops you describe?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmoss
    Will do gabe! He is wanting a 20" front suspended bike now, but he is going to have a learning curve to get thru with the hand brakes and shifting. I will post up when I can plan a trip. Hopefully soon.

    Gabe, how many miles do you usually do with your son, or what's the total length of the 2 loops you describe?

    They grow so fast. Unless you have money to burn, I would hold off until he can fit on a 24". My son shot up so fast from age 6-7. He went from the 16" to the 24" in 1 year. The hot rock he has now costs around 400 and I hope will fit him at least a few more years.

    First day he got it he flew up this hill that he could never quite clear with his old bmx bike. Then he turned around and came flying back down. Never touched the brake levers and went head first into the garage door. So yeah the hand brakes take some getting learning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    They grow so fast. Unless you have money to burn, I would hold off until he can fit on a 24". My son shot up so fast from age 6-7. He went from the 16" to the 24" in 1 year. The hot rock he has now costs around 400 and I hope will fit him at least a few more years.

    First day he got it he flew up this hill that he could never quite clear with his old bmx bike. Then he turned around and came flying back down. Never touched the brake levers and went head first into the garage door. So yeah the hand brakes take some getting learning.
    Oh yeah, they do grow up too dang quick. Luckily, I have a 2 year old that will unfortunately inherit my oldest's bikes. He can tippy toe on the 20 now and just turned 6, so I think the 20 will suit him for a while. the 20"'rs the LBS has retail in the mid 2's and I don't mind spending the money if he is going to ride it and it keeps him healthy. Hard not to when I ride more bike than I need. I am going to have to check out the Specialized Hotrock. Is that what your boy rides Gabe?

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    Maida, the Specialized Hotrock looks like the ticket. the 20 and up look fairly upgradable, no? 1 1/8 headset would allow a better fork, at least. I like it much better than the Haro's I have been eyeing. Any other recommendations?

  25. #25
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    I imagine Gabe's son rides on a smoke bike built by Gabe himself.

    I guess its upgradeable. 1-1/8" headset but the selection of forks in the 20" or 24" wheel size is limited. The frame has disc brake tabs but the hubs don't. So upgrading to discs would mean all new wheels.

    Most important thing for kids bikes at this size is the weight. A 26lb hard tail for them is like a 50lb bike for us. The hotrock is relatively light and seamed much more performance oriented compared to the treks I looked at. The fork on the hotrock is butter smooth. Most forks at this level have a ton of sticktion.

    I have also heard great things about kids bikes form Kona and Scott. If you want to go crazy, Spot makes a very nice kids frame that you can build up yourself. Or have Gabe build you a smoke bike.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    I imagine Gabe's son rides on a smoke bike built by Gabe himself.

    I guess its upgradeable. 1-1/8" headset but the selection of forks in the 20" or 24" wheel size is limited. The frame has disc brake tabs but the hubs don't. So upgrading to discs would mean all new wheels.

    Most important thing for kids bikes at this size is the weight. A 26lb hard tail for them is like a 50lb bike for us. The hotrock is relatively light and seamed much more performance oriented compared to the treks I looked at. The fork on the hotrock is butter smooth. Most forks at this level have a ton of sticktion.

    I have also heard great things about kids bikes form Kona and Scott. If you want to go crazy, Spot makes a very nice kids frame that you can build up yourself. Or have Gabe build you a smoke bike.
    Yeah, I didn't mean blinged out, just a few things. I noticed that about the Specialized. I will check out the Kona's and the Scott's, too.

    Gabe, you are going to have to fill me in on that smoke bike, eh?

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    Yeah, first off they do grow so fast...........I can't seem to find the time to get in da-shop and build one specific for him, probably by the time I'd finish he'd be ready for a
    26"r .........my "to-do" que is about 2.5 frames deep (not a bad thing)....... I gotta say it's kinda bad when your bike weighs less than your kid's bike but he has not realized that yet. I got him on a KHS Raptor (C-FATZ) and as far as the blingness goes.....well, we never had it so good when we were 7 (I'm sure). Our average ride is about 3-4 easy miles and it is all about having fun and getting out...........though sometimes I have to insist we go, on the trail it's always good.

    you are going to have to fill me in on that smoke bike, eh? Just come on by and sheck-it-out........
    "Roll your own......." Smokebikes.com

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    I hear ya. I have to insist sometimes also. He doesn't like the long (to him) car ride. We usually do the original 7 mile loop at LNSP, no real climbs out there. I will post up soon on a ride and hopefully we can hook up.

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    What's a grown up ride looking like for tomorrow? Anyone be interested in riding and showing me around? Is the trail closed, or rideable after some rain? I have new tires beggin' to get dirty...

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    PMBAR maniana.............12+ hours of pain in Pisgah. I'll be toast Sunday morning.
    "Roll your own......." Smokebikes.com

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