Camping and riding the last week of April- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Stubby-legged
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    Camping and riding the last week of April

    Thinking about hooking up the camper and heading down for a respite from the Maine weather.
    What are the temps like?

    What are the ride conditions?

  2. #2
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    Generally nice in late April but...

    Its the southern mountains so I would prepare for cold and wet and hot and dry. Spring is volatile here. It could snow and be at freezing or it could be sunny and in the 80s.

    Conditions vary... but on average its wet, dry, fast, slow, loose, grippy, steep, flat, rocky, and smooth.
    On your left!

  3. #3
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    If you're planning on staying at a campground, check schedules. Some don't open until after this time. Usually further south you go, earlier they open.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Stubby-legged
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    It's got to be better then the dirty cold wet end-of-winter here in Maine.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1spd1way View Post
    It's got to be better then the dirty cold wet end-of-winter here in Maine.
    My point is you may not be able to get a camping/parking spot. They winterize the facilities as well. No running water, etc. For example, Jackrabbit in Hayesville NC will not open gates until mid-May.

    And in other areas you can't park along roadside camping areas with a camper.

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  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
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    Lake Powhatan opens some stuff up on March 1.

    https://www.recreation.gov/camping/l...O&parkId=70206

    But that page also states that March 1 is the start of peak season. So that will likely make it tough to get a site. I have some friends that have been making an annual spring trip to camp there for at least 10yrs. I'm not sure how early they make reservations, but I know they plan well ahead. One of them was in the area in November and he was already talking about his spring trip, telling me I need to ride and camp with everybody. I'll probably just find a spot in someone else's camper. I still don't know the exact dates for that trip. That friend just retired and he's spent most of the past several months traveling the country with his 5th wheel. He's out in the southwest somewhere right now.

    My own camper is a smaller teardrop in large part so I can boondock it in a wider variety of places. It'll fit in SOME of the roadside spots, but not in quite a few of them.

  7. #7
    Stubby-legged
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    Powhatan is the campground we are looking at.
    Seems located close to riding, eating, and drinking....

  8. #8
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Lake Powhatan opens some stuff up on March 1.

    https://www.recreation.gov/camping/l...O&parkId=70206

    But that page also states that March 1 is the start of peak season. So that will likely make it tough to get a site. I have some friends that have been making an annual spring trip to camp there for at least 10yrs. I'm not sure how early they make reservations, but I know they plan well ahead. One of them was in the area in November and he was already talking about his spring trip, telling me I need to ride and camp with everybody. I'll probably just find a spot in someone else's camper. I still don't know the exact dates for that trip. That friend just retired and he's spent most of the past several months traveling the country with his 5th wheel. He's out in the southwest somewhere right now.

    My own camper is a smaller teardrop in large part so I can boondock it in a wider variety of places. It'll fit in SOME of the roadside spots, but not in quite a few of them.
    Part of it is open all year. Per the current host. Itís a new/trial thing.

  9. #9
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1spd1way View Post
    Powhatan is the campground we are looking at.
    Seems located close to riding, eating, and drinking....
    I live about 11mi or so from there. the best eating and drinking are still a little bit of a drive away. but yeah, probably closer than most of the other options you'll have.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Part of it is open all year. Per the current host. Itís a new/trial thing.
    I thought it looked like it was not quite 100% closed, since there was definitely a host present. but I did not look to see if anyone was actually camping. I thought maybe the host was just there to keep tabs on things, since the place is surrounded by trails, and ppl pass through all the time.

  10. #10
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    Powhatan is much closer to Asheville, has lots of great food and beer within a short drive, super bar scene with live music somewhere every night if you want that. Bent Creek trails are easier than others in the area, but still awesome. You can ride over to Mills River if you're into 4 hours minimum riding. If you're into beer, few places compare to a walking tour of the South Slope brewery mecca.

    Davidson River will also be open on at least some loops. Honestly, it's a nicer campground than Powhatan, although Powhatan is perfectly fine. Brevard has plenty of food and beer, but a much more limited selection than Asheville. The main thing, however, is that you can ride to food and beer from Davidson. You'll be driving from Powhatan.

    HAVE FUN!

  11. #11
    Stubby-legged
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    Powhatan is booked for the time frame we are looking at......

  12. #12
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    There are other private campgrounds in Asheville and surrounding... I bet you could get a spot there?

    Might have to drive to the trails though but beats "dirty cold wet end-of-winter" in Maine.
    On your left!

  13. #13
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    Yeah, try the private places. The "Asheville Bear Creek RV Park" is fairly close to Bent Creek.

    On a short notice trip on a weekend that turned out to be super busy, I once stayed at the Asheville West KOA for a couple of nights. Little bit farther drive to trails, but the facility was reasonably nice.

    I came for a night or two so my wife could demo bikes at The Hub in Brevard. It worked out just fine, and we drove to the South Slope neighborhood in Asheville for dinner and beers late-ish on a Sunday night, IIRC.

    This place might be worth a look:

    Wilson's Riverfront RV Park - Home

    Looks like you can ride up to New Belgium along the river

  14. #14
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    Almost all sites at Davidson River are drive up. It's a gamble every time. What day of the week would you be arriving?

    Wilson's is IMMEDIATELY next to the highway. Just FYI.

  15. #15
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    Davidson River is likely already booked for April, but The Bike Farm - https://thebikefarm.com/camping is close by and has riding right from the campground. As Mike Brown said, look into Brevard which is just 45 mins. from Asheville. Most importantly, its where all the riding is that most people think about when talking about Pisgah or Asheville riding.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankjoy View Post
    Davidson River is likely already booked for April, but The Bike Farm - https://thebikefarm.com/camping is close by and has riding right from the campground. As Mike Brown said, look into Brevard which is just 45 mins. from Asheville. Most importantly, its where all the riding is that most people think about when talking about Pisgah or Asheville riding.
    I would have recommended the Bike Farm, but they're not going to fit many campers. They've told me that they have sites that will fit my teardrop, but I'm going to have to scope the place out before I make a reservation and pull my camper down. I haven't driven back there, but my wife has. She has some doubt as to whether we could fit our teardrop up there, because it's kinda tight and the access road is kinda steep.

    North Mills River might work if you have the ability to boondock (no electric, no hookups) and the camper's not TOO big.
    https://www.recreation.gov/camping/n...O&parkId=70774

  17. #17
    Stubby-legged
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    Found a place about 10 miles north of Asheville. "Campfire Properties" , small mountain top campground. Booked in, arrive 4/20-leave 4/27.
    Pretty excited. New vacation spot. New trails to ride. Our bikes, our camper.

    The World may never be the same!

  18. #18
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    Youíre a ways out from the good riding but close to Coleman Boundary which is great as long as youíre cool with pedaling a lot of gravel. Bent Creek is 20min and Pisgah/Dupont about 45min.

    Not terrible...

    Report back on how you found the campground. Iíd like to know

  19. #19
    Stubby-legged
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    Don't mind driving to good rides. We do it a lot here in Maine.
    I did not consider "prime camping time" when looking at a place to go.
    Most campgrounds are full.

  20. #20
    Stubby-legged
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    Camping is taken care of. Staying 10 minutes north of Asheville (Campfire Lodging campground.)
    On to riding....
    We are a couple of slow intermediate riders form Maine. Not bean-pole climbers nor teen-age downhillers.
    We are going to ride three days out of seven (four if I can push the issue). I don't mind driving an hour for good riding. What would be the top three trails "not to miss"?

  21. #21
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1spd1way View Post
    On to riding....
    We are a couple of slow intermediate riders form Maine. Not bean-pole climbers nor teen-age downhillers.
    What does that even mean?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    What does that even mean?
    I think it means they arent super fit and fast on the climbs but also not crazy fast down hill guys willing to risk their necks to be the first to the bottom...

    probably what 99.9% of people that mountain bike are. OP my guess is yall are just out to have fun and maybe raise a little hell once and a good while.

    So for Pisgah my top 3 are...

    -Black Mountain... because everyone will ask.
    -Squirrel Gap... because its cool and remote and gives you lots of different terrain
    -Bennet Gap... because rock drop.

    There are many other trails I love (Trace Ridge, Spencer Gap, Daniels Ridge, Butter-Cat, etc.) but those three are a must do. You can combine them into other rides but I would do at least those three.
    On your left!

  23. #23
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    I think it means they arent super fit and fast on the climbs but also not crazy fast down hill guys willing to risk their necks to be the first to the bottom...

    probably what 99.9% of people that mountain bike are. OP my guess is yall are just out to have fun and maybe raise a little hell once and a good while.

    So for Pisgah my top 3 are...

    -Black Mountain... because everyone will ask.
    -Squirrel Gap... because its cool and remote and gives you lots of different terrain
    -Bennet Gap... because rock drop.

    There are many other trails I love (Trace Ridge, Spencer Gap, Daniels Ridge, Butter-Cat, etc.) but those three are a must do. You can combine them into other rides but I would do at least those three.
    Maybe. Or maybe it means they donít like to climb or do technical/steep/fast downhills. Hard to say. Iíd add laurel mountain to that list...because of everything. Could be that bent creek or DuPont are better options. Impossible to know, really.

  24. #24
    Stubby-legged
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    It means we are intermediate level riders who have jobs and mortgages that have to be paid.

    We don't "huck" drops. We aren't the fastest up hill (more like a turtle).
    Banjopickin hit it right on the head. I ride a Surly Instigator and she rides a Spec. Ruse.
    Thanks for the info.
    Last edited by 1spd1way; 01-30-2018 at 08:12 AM.

  25. #25
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1spd1way View Post
    It means we are intermediate level riders who have jobs and mortgages that have to be paid.

    We don't "huck" drops. We aren't the fastest up hill (more like a turtle).
    Banjopickin hit it right on the head. I ride a Surly Instigator and she rides a Spec. Ruse.
    Thanks for the info.
    Got it. Youíre just like most of the rest of us.

  26. #26
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    Since you are staying north of Asheville, you will be driving by Bent Creek as you travel down to any of the trails mentioned above. My suggestion is to plan a ride at Bent Creek before trekking south. Maybe take a look at a route that includes Green slick and see how that goes. If, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable with that, then you may want to look at some of the more moderate trails in the area.

  27. #27
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    Yeah riding Greenslick first would be a good test to see if you are prepared for the rowdier trails down in Brevard.

    If you find that Bent Creek tests the limits of your ability then you cant go wrong riding there for a few days. Maybe head down to Dupont as well since its very mellow and has plenty of trail to ride.

    I always send folks to Pisgah since I couldn't imagine driving hours and hours to only ride Dupont or Bent Creek. I feel like those places are not destination ride spots but I tend to prefer a more "wilderness" experience and I love steep and technical riding...

    There are also some pretty good Guide services in town too if you want to try one out... Red Wolf Tours, Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventures, etc.
    On your left!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Got it. Youíre just like most of the rest of us.
    LOL...I showed up to an "intermediate" ride at Bent Creek shortly after I moved here, and those guys left me in their dust not even halfway up to 5 points. I blew myself up trying to hang, and then when we hit the steeper stuff, it was over.

    While my technical skills are plenty for most trails in the area, my fitness, apparently, isn't even close to "intermediate" by local standards.

    I have quite a few friends who do travel quite a distance specifically to ride bent creek and dupont. They'll maybe mix in one or two pisgah rides during a weeklong visit, but they round it out with bc and dupont. And for a weekend visit, they might not visit Pisgah at all. They might spend the whole time in dupont. Guess it depends on what's local to you.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    LOL...I showed up to an "intermediate" ride at Bent Creek shortly after I moved here, and those guys left me in their dust not even halfway up to 5 points. I blew myself up trying to hang, and then when we hit the steeper stuff, it was over.

    While my technical skills are plenty for most trails in the area, my fitness, apparently, isn't even close to "intermediate" by local standards.

    I have quite a few friends who do travel quite a distance specifically to ride bent creek and dupont. They'll maybe mix in one or two pisgah rides during a weeklong visit, but they round it out with bc and dupont. And for a weekend visit, they might not visit Pisgah at all. They might spend the whole time in dupont. Guess it depends on what's local to you.
    I can relate to that! I'm always careful to forewarn visitors/new riders that this area is home to a disproportionate number of freaks, sadists and obsessive riders. Under no circumstances should you judge your fitness/ability based on the number of people who literally fly by.

    On one of my wife's first rides, she almost had a full emotional meltdown after being passed on a climb by someone pulling a wheelie, and continuing to do so for at least another 300ft in front of us. Poor thing.

  30. #30
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    LOL...I showed up to an "intermediate" ride at Bent Creek shortly after I moved here, and those guys left me in their dust not even halfway up to 5 points. I blew myself up trying to hang, and then when we hit the steeper stuff, it was over.

    While my technical skills are plenty for most trails in the area, my fitness, apparently, isn't even close to "intermediate" by local standards.

    I have quite a few friends who do travel quite a distance specifically to ride bent creek and dupont. They'll maybe mix in one or two pisgah rides during a weeklong visit, but they round it out with bc and dupont. And for a weekend visit, they might not visit Pisgah at all. They might spend the whole time in dupont. Guess it depends on what's local to you.
    The reasons you stated above is why I asked in the first place. Folks often donít know what theyíre getting into, and bite off way more than they can chew. Itís definitely different here. Hard to recommend trails with that description.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbeh View Post

    On one of my wife's first rides, she almost had a full emotional meltdown after being passed on a climb by someone pulling a wheelie, and continuing to do so for at least another 300ft in front of us. Poor thing.
    Now that's funny. I can relate.


    Op, you may want to check the trail info online for altitude gain for some of those pisgah trails. Plus, many folks (me) have to do a good bit of hiking going up or down many of the trails.

    Riding BC first is a good idea. The figure 8 on bottom black and sycamore cove offers a glimpse of pisgah riding and is plenty for some. I seem to always work in a route at dupont that includes ridgeline and rocky ridge from the lake imaging parking area.

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