Good ride for a beginner in Brevard area?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good ride for a beginner in Brevard area?

    Iím thinking about heading to Brevard in January, and taking my son. Heís a beginner with only a few rides under his belt, but we are riding the Raleigh area every weekend. Is there an easy ride that would be good for a beginner, but challenge me as a intermediate rider? Heís on a Breezer Lightning Steel 29er and Iím on an SC Bronson. Plan would be to drive out Friday after lunch, ride Saturday, and a hike on Sunday to see a waterfall or two.


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  2. #2
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    DuPont is going to have a lot of flow trails. My usual recommended route is to climb up Jim Branch -> Isaac Heath -> Locust -> Hilltop, then reverse all of that back to the top of Jim Branch, take fire roads to Hooker Creek, climb the other side of Hooker up to Hickory Mountain, do that loop, then drop down Ridgeline.

    Nothing real technical, but pretty approachable from a beginner's point of view. Just make sure he watches out for the alt line drops/jumps on Hickory and keeps an eye out for loose, stray rocks on Hooker Creek. The latter can be very fast and it's easy to get in over your head with a few of the loose sections if you are going too fast.

    If you want something in Pisgah, I think Cove Creek would be a good idea. Park at the fish hatchery, left onto the road, right onto Headwater Rd (Fire road), climb for a few miles, left onto Cove Creek Rd, once the road turns downhill shortly you'll see a gate on your left, that's the easy entrance. It'll eventually turn to singletrack, be up/down for a while, then pitch down the rest of the way. Once you get to the bottom, you'll be back at a fire road, go down the fire road and keep an eye out for a bridge to your left, if you reach the river crossing you've gone slightly too far. Cross that, left onto the road, first right onto Davidson River Trail. Once again, keep speed modulated and look where you are going, easy to get fast and slide out in a bad spot and there is a big dropoff along the side, but it's not really difficult in any area there. Once that ends, you'll climb back out to the road and the fish hatchery will be on your right.

    On Cove, watch out for a section near the top, you'll reach a 3 way intersection and you'll see a drop into a rock garden followed by a log bridge. For riders familiar with riding here, it's not super gnarly, but for newish riders it can be intimidating and troublesome, so scope it out before riding it. You'll then have a short, 1-2min hike a bike, then you can get back on and ride, there is another sortof dropoff shortly after, but there is an easier rolldown line to the left. Lastly, a little further down you'll roll down some logs onto a bridge, so keep an eye out for that. Nothing really bad, especially for Pisgah, but for a new rider, some of those spots can be a bit intimidating. It'll end up being about 9 miles or so from start to finish.

    If you decide you want a bit more, you can do the lower half of bridge Daniels, take a right after the gate at the bottom of Cove Creek Rd (before you go to Davidson River to go back to the hatchery!), follow that gravel road until you reach a parking lot for Daniel's Ridge. Climb the road, past the bridge, stay to the right and climb until the road ends. You'll see the trail on your left, drop down and it'll put you back at the waterfall. The biggest feature going this way was recently removed, so just watch for wet roots and a few bridges that can be sketchier than they appear, but nothing really more difficult than Cove, aside from some sections that can have loose rocks. If you add this in, it'll be 14 miles. Once you finish the loop, you'll end up back at the Daniel's lot and can take the road you came in on back to Davidson River trail and that back to the hatchery.

    Trailforks is really helpful, also.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    Iím thinking about heading to Brevard in January, and taking my son. Heís a beginner with only a few rides under his belt, but we are riding the Raleigh area every weekend. Is there an easy ride that would be good for a beginner, but challenge me as a intermediate rider? Heís on a Breezer Lightning Steel 29er and Iím on an SC Bronson. Plan would be to drive out Friday after lunch, ride Saturday, and a hike on Sunday to see a waterfall or two.


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    I think Dupont makes a ton of sense and for a beginner it is hard to beat a classic Lake Imaging loop:

    Lake Imaging Road
    Left onto Jim Branch
    (can add on Issac Heath/Locust/Hilltop here if you want)
    Left onto Buck Forest Road
    Left onto White Pine Road
    Left onto Hooker Creek Trail
    Right onto Ridgeline (double track section)
    Hickory Mtn Loop (CCW is my fave)
    Right onto Ridgeline
    SHRED back to car


    That's probably on order of 10 miles and has a lot of variety and nothing is over the top difficult. Is that about the distance you're after? Adding in Isaac Heath/Locust/Hilltop will add another few miles.

    For a hike, if you want a vista, look up John Rock. Way better than nearby Looking Glass!!! Waterfall not my forte, so I'll let others chime in. I've only hiked to a few but my favorite is Courthouse Falls, pretty strenuous hike but it was rad.

  4. #4
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    How old is your boy? Outside of trail riding can he ride a bike pretty well? Like can he ride off curbs and get up and over logovers etc? Whats his fitness level/average ride time and distance? That would help us know what trails to recommend.

    I dont think there is anything that will be beginner friendly in Pisgah for a kid with a couple of rides under his belt AND challenge you at the same time.

    You'll either have to ride something over his head or be OK with riding very tame trail and possibly be bored.

    North Slope is a fairly easy trail near the entrance to the Forest. and Thrift Cove to Lower Black is doable but may be tricky for him.

    Also, Dupont trails like Ridgeline and Rocky Ridge are very tame and I think anyone that can ride a bike down a neighborhood street can certainly handle those two no problem.

    Still might not be too exciting for you but helping your kid push his boundaries is pretty rewarding...
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Heís 15 and athletic. He does really well on the bike on the streets in our neighborhood, but is still intimidated by jumps and getting any kind of air time. I definitely donít want him to get in over his head, and lose interest in riding or God forbid hurt himself, so Iím thinking Dupont might be a better option. We rode one of our local trails Friday thatís pretty rocky and he said he was getting beat up pretty bad. Iím sure line selection had something to do with that. Iíll probably ride behind him to see how heís doing, and just in case he does fall. If Iím ahead of him I probably wonít know if he falls.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    I think Dupont makes a ton of sense and for a beginner it is hard to beat a classic Lake Imaging loop:

    Lake Imaging Road
    Left onto Jim Branch
    (can add on Issac Heath/Locust/Hilltop here if you want)
    Left onto Buck Forest Road
    Left onto White Pine Road
    Left onto Hooker Creek Trail
    Right onto Ridgeline (double track section)
    Hickory Mtn Loop (CCW is my fave)
    Right onto Ridgeline
    SHRED back to car
    Can't go wrong with this route! I almost always add IH/Locust/Hilltop.

    We stayed in Connestee Falls the last week and this was my go-to short ride when I only had a couple of hours to slip a ride in. Not technical as mentioned but a ton of fun!

  7. #7
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    Dupont trails around Guion are easy. For Pisgah, Pink Beds might work or the previously mentioned Cove Creek.

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    Also if you are staying IN Brevard check out Bracken Preserve. It has a steep pull at the beginning but after that it is fun and rolling, good for beginner.

    My 12 year old pushed a bit at the beginning but had fun once on top.

    Other than that then yes the Lake Imaging area in Dupont is the spot as mentioned.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I'm definitely thinking the Lake Imaging Loop may be the ticket on Saturday with a hike on Sunday. We'll save Pisgah for later on when he has a little more experience under his belt.
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  10. #10
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    I would definitely stick to Dupont or head over to Bent creek. Both of those have good options. Pisgah can get very tricky. I only took my daughter there after lots of trail riding and technical practice. Also, that time of year the downed leaves can have a layer of ice on them in places. Cove Creek is the first trail I would take him there. Pink beds is ok, but right now there are several creek crossings and it is cold. Maybe after he gets some practice, you can come back during spring or summer. Have fun. Great that you are spending time together no matter what trail it is!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    I think Dupont makes a ton of sense and for a beginner it is hard to beat a classic Lake Imaging loop:

    Lake Imaging Road
    Left onto Jim Branch
    (can add on Issac Heath/Locust/Hilltop here if you want)
    Left onto Buck Forest Road
    Left onto White Pine Road
    Left onto Hooker Creek Trail
    Right onto Ridgeline (double track section)
    Hickory Mtn Loop (CCW is my fave)
    Right onto Ridgeline
    SHRED back to car


    That's probably on order of 10 miles and has a lot of variety and nothing is over the top difficult. Is that about the distance you're after? Adding in Isaac Heath/Locust/Hilltop will add another few miles.

    For a hike, if you want a vista, look up John Rock. Way better than nearby Looking Glass!!! Waterfall not my forte, so I'll let others chime in. I've only hiked to a few but my favorite is Courthouse Falls, pretty strenuous hike but it was rad.
    When my wife was just starting out, still in her first season this is what we rode the first day on our trip to WNC

    Next day we rode Hard rock up Cedar rock down. Great veiw, and was her first down hill with technical stuff, and rode corn mill shouls.. She was ready for harder stuff so we went to bent creek area. All of this stuff will give you a good workout even if you feel it's easy.

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