Big Creek in Pisgah- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Big Creek in Pisgah

    I have seen this on the map and recently saw a bit show up on a local rider's instagram page, I was wondering what the best way to do this ride is and what to expect in terms of difficulty/features?

    Looks like you could take Laurel to the parkway, but reading some older (5yrs+ older) posts there are some complications with being on bikes and parkway property rules. Is there a good way to access this without hiking up Big Creek or shuttling?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I have seen this on the map and recently saw a bit show up on a local rider's instagram page, I was wondering what the best way to do this ride is and what to expect in terms of difficulty/features?

    Looks like you could take Laurel to the parkway, but reading some older (5yrs+ older) posts there are some complications with being on bikes and parkway property rules. Is there a good way to access this without hiking up Big Creek or shuttling?
    Yes. Laurel to PKWY. You'll be on the MST for a short bit, which is no bikes, so you'll need to walk. Last section of Laurel is hiking only, and you couldn't ride it if you tried. You'll be carrying your bike up a boulder field, which is pretty spectacular in itself. Once on Big Creek from PKWY, hang on for some fun high speed downhill to the creek.

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  3. #3
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    Last section of Laurel to PKWY.

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  4. #4
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    Another option is to ride up the parkway and looping it that way.

  5. #5
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    I prefer the Laurel Mtn route. Pretty sure the last mile of Laurel before MST is bike legal, but it's very rocky and technical. Once to the MST it's a short hike-a-bike to the parkway. Once on the parkway, you'll ride through BuckSpring tunnel then take a right just before Little Pisgah tunnel. Prepare from some beautiful backcountry trail. There are several creek crossings but are all rock-hop-able if you wanna keep your feet dry.

  6. #6
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    The entrance to Big Creek off the Parkway is on the right at the Little Pisgah Tunnel. Yellow blaze on the right side of the tunnel with an obvious trail. You cant miss it...

    The first bit on NPS land is hiking only FYI... Once you're out of the NPS boundary its all riding and super fun...
    On your left!

  7. #7
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    That's great info, we'll plan on going over there when we have a bigger day plan.

    What can we expect in terms of technical features going down the trail? Any spots to watch for in particular?

  8. #8
    Big Mac
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    Steep and steep. Lots of rocks and super groovy creek crossings. Big fun.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Steep and steep. Lots of rocks and super groovy creek crossings. Big fun.
    And mud holes on lower portion of Big Creek. May be deeper than they look. Let your friend go first.

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  10. #10
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    Anyone see this? Looks like this is going to get easier soon.

    I hadn't seen anyone talking about this.

    It looks like they are proposing to reopen sasafrass gap. I wonder if this will be a trail dynamics contract? It would make an awesome 15 mile backcountry downhill.

    USDA Forest Service - Pisgah Ranger District NEPA Projects - Laurel Mountain to Big Creek Connector Trail Construction

    I'd be curious if anyone has any knowledge how this came about or who is arguing for it.

    Ryan

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryangroth5 View Post
    I hadn't seen anyone talking about this.

    It looks like they are proposing to reopen sasafrass gap. I wonder if this will be a trail dynamics contract? It would make an awesome 15 mile backcountry downhill.

    USDA Forest Service - Pisgah Ranger District NEPA Projects - Laurel Mountain to Big Creek Connector Trail Construction

    I'd be curious if anyone has any knowledge how this came about or who is arguing for it.

    Ryan
    Not sure where this ended up but last I heard there was a sensitive environmental area (boulder field?) that would need to be assessed. I dont know if that was stalled or not...

    From the map its not Sassafrass (that doesnt exist) and its a completely new trail that will tie in much higher on Big Creek. Would be great for making larger, more remote N. Mills loops...
    On your left!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryangroth5 View Post
    I hadn't seen anyone talking about this.

    It looks like they are proposing to reopen sasafrass gap. I wonder if this will be a trail dynamics contract? It would make an awesome 15 mile backcountry downhill.

    USDA Forest Service - Pisgah Ranger District NEPA Projects - Laurel Mountain to Big Creek Connector Trail Construction

    I'd be curious if anyone has any knowledge how this came about or who is arguing for it.

    Ryan
    There's a few pending trail projects in the Ranger district. As with all USFS lands, there's a arduous approval process for new trail corridor. Usually 5 or so years before any dirt will move, and that's if there's no snags during the survey processes.

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  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=ryangroth5;13252543]I hadn't seen anyone talking about this.

    It looks like they are proposing to reopen sasafrass gap. I wonder if this will be a trail dynamics contract? It would make an awesome 15 mile backcountry downhill.

    [url=http://data.ecosystem

    If you plug around on this forum's history, you will find an old thread asking for suggestions for new trails. This was started by Pisgah Area SORBA folks. They worked extremely hard to get some grant money and have applied it brilliantly so far. One proposed use is this new connector. I didn't know about the environmentally sensitive area banjo references, but I do know they were blown away by the challenging terrain when potential corridors were surveyed. I do not know if the project is still moving forward. It would be a totally new trail from some trail that doesn't exist.

    So, who's arguing for it? Your local MTB membership organization, repping!!

    2b or others more in the know- correct me if I you see this and I got any of it wrong.

  14. #14
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    The Big Laurel Trail is still moving forward at a snail's pace. Mike is correct and on point.
    Should you do more trail work?

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    I'd like to know why some of the fun lines were taken off of Squirrel Gap. Things that were absolutely ridable if you knew what to do. I am not talking about the sections of trail that needed proper benching. I am talking about root balls, rocks and stumps.

    I joined SORBA this year thinking that the organization had turned its heels and I still think Mark has the right vision. But I am concerned that too much leash is being given to builders who are focused on "flow."

  16. #16
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    Give it a little time Park it will age quickly and be back to it's old self.

    I agree it was all rideable. The contractor was not trying to make it flow but trying to get it to last longer.
    Should you do more trail work?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by park baker View Post
    I joined SORBA this year thinking that the organization had turned its heels and I still think Mark has the right vision. But I am concerned that too much leash is being given to builders who are focused on "flow."
    Im all for keeping trails clear and sustainable and all that... but its concering to see so much of the work being focused on "flow" instead of "tech". Ive held off from donating to IMBA (PAS by default) as I feel the direction they want to take mountain biking, and the trails its done on, in a poor direction of dumbed down boring flow trails.

    Hoping in Pisgah at least that the mountains do their erosion thing and make the trails more natural over time, regardless of how they were built/reworked.

    What is PAS's strategy/position on future development? Is it all about sustainability and whatever means necessary to make a trail sustainable? Or is pushing the level of riding here by making trails that suit a more skilled rider also considered?

    The mountain bike industry is making bikes that are slacker and more capable of riding really steep, technical trail than ever before... Plus they climb well to get you into the backcountry more easily. The marketing of them toward "average" riders is strong. Are trails being thought of or planned to allow those bikes to be used as intended? Or will we all be on 170mm bikes riding Ridgeline style trails? With your average rider probably pushing aound a 150mm/160mm do we need "flow" or do we need trail that allow those bikes and riders to enjoy them at their fullest potential?

    ... just trying to stir the pot haha.

    ..
    On your left!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Hoping in Pisgah at least that the mountains do their erosion thing and make the trails more natural over time, regardless of how they were built/reworked.

    ..
    They will do their thing indeed. Rocky Ridge has already seen some degrading from the weathering after it was rerouted. Nothing like a high speed flow trail full of potholes.


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  19. #19
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    Those potholes on Rocky Ridge are caused by brake jack- like washboard on gravel roads- not "weathering." Kitsuma suffers from the same, badly.

    Going faster is the best correction.

    But seriously, I mention this because it's part of the challenge of building trails- use impact. Why did Spencer Gap get rebuilt/routed the way it is? At least partially because it's open to horses. On Rocky, the trail had to go where it did because of nearby environmental sensitivities (is my understanding).

    So many factors...
    Last edited by Mike Brown; 07-21-2017 at 06:39 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Those potholes on Rocky Ridge are caused by brake jack- like washboard on gravel roads- not "weathering." Kitsuma suffers from the same, badly.

    Going faster is the best correction.
    I disagree. There is obvious signs of erosion/weathering on Rocky Ridge. Signs of sediment collecting where water is pooling during rain. Plus, I've been on it when wet. Standing water is creating puddles which are becoming holes.

    And that washboard pattern on gravel roads is also from water. It runs across the road from high to low areas and washes away the surface. This is why it's mostly found on the lower inside of the curves.

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  21. #21
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    The brake bumps, potholes, and runoff have gotten bad on Ridgeline too. Sand is pooling in spots that are really bad (corners) and making it a bit sketchy. In general, everything around here seems to be shown signs of both riding and weather related erosion. I'm surprised Ridgeline has held up as well as it has given it's daily traffic, but it's starting to get a bit rough and loose in spots.

    I feel like the spots on Rocky Ridge are more noticeably from weather, though, like small ruts forming or rocks/sand washing into sections of the trail. Not so much brake bumps, mainly because I don't think it's a place that gets as much traffic especially from new riders likely to grab their brakes at every corner.

    I rode Trace yesterday and there were holes large enough to swallow your wheel in spots that weren't there a month ago. I think it's just part of riding this season.

  22. #22
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    ^ We have had a TON of rain this summer. At least it feels like it.

  23. #23
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    Washboarding on roads is definitely caused by traffic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washboarding

    Last time I was on Rocky (about 2 months ago) I sure thought I was experiencing braking bumps in the corners. But it easily could've developed other issues since, I'll defer to people who ride it more often.

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