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  1. #1
    colobubba
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    Mills River routes?

    Any suggestions for the Mills River area? Looking for rides in the 6-10mi range.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    My favorite route in the N Mills area is to climb up Spencer Gap from Wash Creek Rd. You'll hit Trace Ridge, cross it and drop off the side of the ridge into Spencer Branch (map says this is still Spencer Gap, but I think it's actually Spencer Branch, I can't remember). Keep descending until you hit Never Ending Rd. Take a right and pedal to Fletcher Creek. Take left onto Fletcher. Fletcher Creek is one of my favorite trails in Pisgah. It's fast and mostly downhill with varied terrain including forest, creek crossings, tight meadow single track and a screaming downhill at the end. After fletcher, pedal out to Trace Ridge parking area. Take that Rd to Wash Creek. Hang a left on Wash Creek and climb back to car.

    This ride gives you a little bit of everything, some technical climbing, ridge line cruising, a bit of technical descending, open meadow and even some flow on Fletcher Creek (at least as much flow as you'll find in Pisgah anyway). Now that Wash Creek Rd is closed to motorized traffic, mountain bikers have this area pretty much entirely to themselves. I have been enjoying it. Route is around 12.5 miles if you park at the top of Wash Creek Rd.

  3. #3
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    ohkeepah is a good 'ole pah

    Great ride suggested there. However, depending on your skill level you may be better off with climbing Spencer and just descending Trace. Spencer Branch down to Never Ending Road is very technical. If that's your thing (it sure is mine) then go for it. If you think faster and smoother trails are more your pace, take Trace.
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  4. #4
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    +1 for Pisgah Productions.

  5. #5
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    Mills River routes?

    Classic Trace...and I think now, you can even ride lower, with the good work that's been done. Confirm?

  6. #6
    colobubba
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    Thanks for the info guys! Got down to Black Mtn/Sycamore Cove over the weekend. It was killer! Definitely going to check out Mills River very soon.

  7. #7
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    I rode that same route on Saturday.

  8. #8
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    he had an oh-kee-pah...

    ya mar, ya mar, ya mar, ya no good pa...

  9. #9
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    +1 for SketchyD

  10. #10
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    Rode Spencer to Fletcher Creek today... Spencer downhill to NER has gotten AWESOME!

    N. Mills now has it all. Chunky climbs, smooth flow, and gnar gnar fun times.
    On your left!

  11. #11
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    Tear it up!

  12. #12
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    Can you drive to the Trace Ridge lot yet?
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
    http://www.facebook.com/mikebmiller

  13. #13
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    Not yet. Wash Creek was recently graded and in great shape since the logging. I suppose that means it wont be too long until they open it?
    On your left!

  14. #14
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    I selfishly wish it would never open. It's inconvenient for me in one way (can't really take dogs riding there) but in all other ways it is awesome right now, nobody but a few mtb'ers on the trails and zero car noise (except the noise pollution engines (harley's) on the parkway)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    (except the noise pollution engines (harley's) on the parkway)
    Tell me about it. And they want to ban little whirring toy drones because they "disturb wildlife". Sheesh.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I selfishly wish it would never open. It's inconvenient for me in one way (can't really take dogs riding there) but in all other ways it is awesome right now, nobody but a few mtb'ers on the trails and zero car noise (except the noise pollution engines (harley's) on the parkway)
    +1 for a new North Mills River Greenway!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I selfishly wish it would never open. It's inconvenient for me in one way (can't really take dogs riding there) but in all other ways it is awesome right now, nobody but a few mtb'ers on the trails and zero car noise (except the noise pollution engines (harley's) on the parkway)
    I agree. I was hoping they would at least have to wait until next spring.

  18. #18
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    So you guys that ride Wash Creek Road, do you ride UP then back DOWN or shuttle? I was driving that one day last year on my way to a backpacking trip and had guys just flying down Wash Creek (direction toward Campground). Almost hit two that were in my lane coming around a blind curve. I wouldn't mind riding that road but think I'll stay in the right lane LOL.

  19. #19
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    I usually ride up Lower Trace to the kiosk parking area and then up Wash Creek to Spencer Gap. Its more singletrack climbing as opposed to gravel. The ride up Wash Creek from the campground to the Kiosk area isnt bad at all though. From there you can hit Trace, Spencer Branch, Fletcher Creek, etc. Then when Im done I come down Lower Trace back to the bridge parking area. Another option is to park at Bent Creek Gap and ride down Wash Creek to Spencer Gap and/or the Trace Parking area kiosk. The climbing out isnt bad either way you do it. I dont think shuttling is necessary.

    +1 on keeping it closed to cars. Its so much nicer now...
    On your left!

  20. #20
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    Was on FSR5000 yesterday evening, it's open again.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireGoose View Post
    Was on FSR5000 yesterday evening, it's open again.
    Open to car traffic?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
    Open to car traffic?
    Yep!

  23. #23
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    PISGAH FOREST, N.C., Aug. 25, 2014 - The U.S. Forest Service has reopened all trails and roads in the Trace Ridge and Wash Creek Area after completing an ecosystem improvement project in the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest. All roads and trails have been reopened to their designated use, including Wash Creek Road, which restores motorized access to the Trace Ridge Trailhead.

    The roads and trails were closed during the project to help ensure public safety during timber harvesting activities. The evidence of implementing this project will be obvious as timber harvesting activities took place in the Trace Ridge Trailhead area and a portion of Trace Ridge and Wash Creek Trails were utilized to complete the project.

    The Forest Service designed the Brushy Ridge project to fulfill management objectives in the current Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest management plan. This project allowed the agency to implement a variety of management activities to improve ecological diversity, as well as promote forest health and sustainability.

    The Forest Service's management practices will:
    Regenerate favorable tree species such as oaks and hickories, and maintain a variety of hardwood tree species;
    Improve the growth and health of remaining trees through thinning treatments;
    Improve habitat for aquatic species, including trout, by replacing culverts and bridges that restricted flow and caused erosion issues;
    Improve habitat for wildlife, including game species such as turkeys and non-game species;
    Control non-native invasive species;
    Plant hybrid American Chestnut trees as a first step toward restoring them to Southern Appalachian forests and plant blight resistant butternut seedlings; and
    Designate an additional 231 acres of old growth forest areas.
    Learn more about the Pisgah National Forest and the other three national forests in North Carolina at National Forests in North Carolina - Home

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
    Open to car traffic?
    Yup - the sketch balls and meth heads are already out in force! Rode from BC Gap last night to Spillway > 5000 > Spencer > Trace > Spillway > Gap and encountered two creepers... lock up your cars folks!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SketchyD View Post
    Yup - the sketch balls and meth heads are already out in force! Rode from BC Gap last night to Spillway > 5000 > Spencer > Trace > Spillway > Gap and encountered two creepers... lock up your cars folks!
    Sketch balls ????

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
    Sketch balls ????
    sketch balls, creepers and meth heads, oh my!

  27. #27
    colobubba
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    Haha! I have seen them in Bent Creek too! Cutoff jean shorts and wife beaters!

  28. #28
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    A bunch of them basically used to live in that big open grassy campsite on the West side of Wash Creek Rd, at least it seemed that way. Looks like they are scurrying back in. That didn't take long.

  29. #29
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    Great, Ive seen these guys also. Thought they disappeared but guess it was they couldn't drive there.

    yep, all is open so careful on the climb. Never know when the next rally champion will show up.

  30. #30
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    Spencer Branch down = Super Fun
    Never Ending Road and all associated trails = Super Let Down Boredom Fest

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohkeepah View Post
    A bunch of them basically used to live in that big open grassy campsite on the West side of Wash Creek Rd, at least it seemed that way. Looks like they are scurrying back in. That didn't take long.
    Whats the rules/regs on folks camping at those sites out there? Or other similar locales (Avery Creek rd, 475b)?

    Ive seen what looks to me like pretty much a homeless camp. Trash everywhere and the campsite and surrounding forest blown out. Does the USFS enforce any rules in there?

    Not to come off sounding like a snob. If someones on hardtimes then I feel for 'em but I hate to see that area getting torn up like that too.
    On your left!

  32. #32
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    Those are some of my favorite trails; not for their high-speed downhill awesome-ness (although there are some fun sections, especially the end of Fletcher to the reservoir) but, rather, for the journey they take me on through a beautiful mountain drainage. To each their own..

  33. #33
    Big Mac
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    Mills River routes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Spencer Branch down = Super Fun
    Never Ending Road and all associated trails = Super Let Down Boredom Fest
    "All associated trails"? Really? Mmmkay.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Whats the rules/regs on folks camping at those sites out there? Or other similar locales (Avery Creek rd, 475b)?

    Ive seen what looks to me like pretty much a homeless camp. Trash everywhere and the campsite and surrounding forest blown out. Does the USFS enforce any rules in there?

    Not to come off sounding like a snob. If someones on hardtimes then I feel for 'em but I hate to see that area getting torn up like that too.

    I'm not sure, but you would think the rangers would take plate numbers down and run them off after a certain length of time. I swear it seems some of those guys were permanently camped down there in a few of those sites.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SketchyD View Post
    sketch balls, creepers and meth heads, oh my!
    Sounds like a pisgah productions format.

  36. #36
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Whats the rules/regs on folks camping at those sites out there? Or other similar locales (Avery Creek rd, 475b)?

    Ive seen what looks to me like pretty much a homeless camp. Trash everywhere and the campsite and surrounding forest blown out. Does the USFS enforce any rules in there?

    Not to come off sounding like a snob. If someones on hardtimes then I feel for 'em but I hate to see that area getting torn up like that too.
    I want to say it is 7 days but that is per campsite.
    So if they run them off, all they have to do is go to another campsite.

    If that is the case I would rather them just stay in one area then continually moving around and trashing different campsites.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  37. #37
    Big Mac
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    Mills River routes?

    I think it's 2 weeks. And It seems that there is a distance requirement when moving. I think.

  38. #38
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    It's a gray area.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  39. #39
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    14 days in a given USFS National Forest in a 30 day period. May not relocate within that same National Forest. For example; would have to move from Pisgah National Forest to Nantahala National Forest if wanting to continue camping in National Forests.

  40. #40
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    I feel like a big part of being a creeping, sketchball meth-head is that you don't read the rules or anything else on the kiosks that mark the parking lots where you loot.

  41. #41
    colobubba
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    14 days in a given USFS National Forest in a 30 day period. May not relocate within that same National Forest. For example; would have to move from Pisgah National Forest to Nantahala National Forest if wanting to continue camping in National Forests.
    This is how I have always heard it in CO!

  42. #42
    colobubba
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    Has anyone been harassed by them? Or is this just a visual problem?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by colobubba View Post
    Has anyone been harassed by them? Or is this just a visual problem?
    Funny you should mention... The encounter that prompted my post happened as such:

    My buddy and I park up at Bent Creek Gap to ride down and hit Spencer > Trace > ride back up...

    Down 5000 there is a down tree, probably still there. We think nothing of it on the way down and up.

    At the car we hear a chainsaw and ax down the road for a while. Finally a car come up the road, beat sedan, shocks blown out.

    There might be two to four folks in the car, and they stop dead. We're parked off the road and they're flashing their brights and yelling inaudibly at us. We turn off the car and move off the road to suit their request. The car rolls by and does a three-pointer under the parkway bridge to orient themselves back down 5000.

    At this point we're queued up to pass them. Once again, they flash brights and demand we turn off the headlights as we roll past.

    Kinda creepy-methy...

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