Are Pisgah and/or Dupont worth the trip?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Are Pisgah and/or Dupont worth the trip?

    I am an NH Yankee looking for a fun excursion in the lower 48. I've been to Moab (really enjoyed Porcupine Rim), Flagstaff, Sedona (my favorite destination so far), Crested Butte, Winter Park, Orange County (Laguna), SF Bay area, but never the southeast. Even before the recent issue of Bike, I have wanted to ride Pisgah/Dupont.

    If I have a week, where should I ride for the best XC ST riding? I don't wear a full-face helmet or armor, and prefer moderate technical riding with flow. Climbing is welcome.

    What bike should I bring? I currently ride a 29er HT, but could build up a 26er XC FS bike.

    Can I do both Pisgah & Dupont in a one-week trip? I can probably ride 20-30 miles a day consecutively with no problem.

    What is the best time of year? I assume Fall, since my guess is that the Spring can be a bit muddy (I don't like mud for several reasons) and the Summer can perhaps a bit hot and humid.

    What is the best local source of up-to-date trail info? Is there a good local shop?

    Thanks in advance for for any helpful info.

  2. #2
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    Jan 16th: That is the date that the new issue of Bike mag are hitting the news stand. Cover photo and caption:

    Transylvania County: America's Best Kept Secret.

    The Bible of Bike Tests Gallery: Gravity | Bike Magazine

  3. #3
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    Even if you lived on the Moon, they would be worth the trip.
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  4. #4
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    I'm planning a trip there soon but I'm having a problem with route planning. Anyone got any routes they can share?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    I'm planning a trip there soon but I'm having a problem with route planning. Anyone got any routes they can share?
    some routes here Pisgah Area SORBA Ride Routes

  6. #6
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    You live in NH? I would say no.

  7. #7
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    Nope! If only you knew just how much our department of tourism paid for the Jan:BikeMag article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7 View Post
    Thank you! Would rep if I could.
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    Any recomedations on a place to stay while there near the trails?
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  10. #10
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    Yes they are well worth the trip. Are you driving or flying? I think the Ashville area has a lot to offer even if it wasnt for having the best Mountain biking in the country.

    You will hear it at some point and it is true... "Pisgah miles are not like other miles". Do not be disappointed if you can not pedal after 15 miles in Pisgah. the longest ride I have done was 28 miles at FATS and it did not kill me and I felt fine by the time I was driving out the parking lot. The tuffest ride was about 16 miles in Pisgah and I thought I would die, I had to jump in a hot-tub after just to stop from hurting. I regularly do between 15 and 20 miles at South Side and am fine. I am a 220lb'er though.

    A week should give you enough time to Hit Pisgah, Dupont, and Bent Creek. You can visit the Biltmore on your day off.

    I think Bent Creek is the most fun of them all and the least taxing on the body, I just really like flying down Greenslick.

    I like riding Dupont the best with my wife as it has the best scenery.

    You should be fine on a 29er HT and without any body armor and full face helmet.. I have seen every bike out there on these trails. I think the perfect bike though is a 5 inch travel full suspension DW link bike.

    Also if you had the time and a whole day to kill... I think FATS is worth the trip. it is 30 some odd miles of smooth flowing pumping single track which was has been purpose built for bikes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Jan 16th: That is the date that the new issue of Bike mag are hitting the news stand. Cover photo and caption:

    Transylvania County: America's Best Kept Secret.

    The Bible of Bike Tests Gallery: Gravity | Bike Magazine
    Great Link. Thanks! Everyone should check it out and explore what the magazine has to say about this part of the planet.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissGuh View Post
    Nope! If only you knew just how much our department of tourism paid for the Jan:BikeMag article.

    At the Trans County TDA special celebration last week they stated how much they granted to get Bike here, but I forgot (by the end of that presentation, the 70's and 80's might have had something to do with my current memory skills )

  13. #13
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    Late spring or mid fall are the times to come here. You could get great weather or sh1t weather or both any time of year though. I'd shoot for April or October.

    I'd stay in Brevard or Pisgah Forest. Plenty of options, everything from camping to B & B's to cheap motels.

    I'd spend 4 days in Pisgah, 1 day in dupont. You can see most of the good stuff in Dupont in a day. In Pisgah, I'd do a big day from the fish hatchery, another from the stables, another from Turkeypen, and one from Mills River. You should be very tired and smiling at the end of that week. You need nat geo trails illustrated map #780 or I believe there is also a new map available at either of the pisgah bike shops. Everything you need is on the map and relatively easy to follow.

    Either bike will be fine but I'd bring the fully. Don't worry about armor and stuff.

  14. #14
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    Definitely worth it. @dcubed, I've biked a lot of similar spots that you have, and I don't have a single favorite but Pisgah / Dupont is up there at the top. The trails aren't as scenic or steep as some of the stuff out west, but IMO the riding is just as fun.

    One thing I love about the area too is that everyone and their grandmother seems to ride bikes and love mountain biking. I'm living in Southern California now and hikers far out number bikers on the trails -- it seems like the opposite around Western NC.

    For shops, check out the Hub if you'd like a post ride beer.

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    A very informative and empassioned group of replies. It sounds like New England riding on steroids.

    I think I will hit the area in the Fall, I'll have that much more time during the summer to get fit so that I can ride more miles each day.

    @jerry68: best endorsement!

    @Mueller: thanks for the weather & trail tips.

    @bank5: thanks for the cultural insight. I love towns that embrace cycling.

    I'm still on the fence about what bike to bring .......

    I love the light weight of my HT 29er for the climbs and flowy ST, but don't like the beating I might take on the technical descending.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    Even if you lived on the Moon, they would be worth the trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcubed View Post
    I love the light weight of my HT 29er for the climbs and flowy ST, but don't like the beating I might take on the technical descending.
    What's more important to you -- covering more miles or bombing down hills? I'm guessing some of the trails in the Granite State can get pretty rough. So if you're fine riding you're HT up there, I bet you'd be fine with it in Pisgah. If you're completely torn, I'd say bring your HT and go for mileage the first few days keeping note of your favorite descents. Then rent a FS the last day or two and let it loose.


    When I rode Pisgah, I rode with a group of about 20 people. Most had fs, but the two strongest XC riders had HT 29ers. One of the guys was an extremely skilled rider and handled the technical down very well. He didn't have to let up descending that much but he did three times on one descent.

    With all that said, the FS will be more fun

  18. #18
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    Come down and you might never go back. I grew up in NH and came here for college 13 years ago.....

    You won't regret a visit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    You know....... whatever bike they are riding, assure them its the biggest bike of any guy you have ever ridden with.

  19. #19
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    Don't listen to any of these post. It is just horrible. The trails are bad, the bears mean, and the people even meaner. Oh, and all the local beer and food is just unpalatable.

    Nothing to see or do here, just run along now, all of you.

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    I lol'd when I read your post's title. Prompted me to reply here for the first time in several years. It's *definitely* worth it. Although I don't necessarily agree with Bike mag's headline (best kept secret? c'mon, it's been called a mecca since at least the late 90's...), the point is the trails are good. You'll love it.

    For trail info and maps (gps), here's a little shameless self promotion:
    MTB WNC

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisgahrider View Post
    Don't listen to any of these post. It is just horrible. The trails are bad, the bears mean, and the people even meaner. Oh, and all the local beer and food is just unpalatable.

    Nothing to see or do here, just run along now, all of you.
    Funny the Wilson Creek area is the same...boring scenery, trails, dh runs are too steep, xc climbs aren't tough enough, local music sucks, not enough sun, not enough snow, too much rain, not enough of anything that anyone outside of the area would like....save your money and go to Ray's Indoor Mountain Arena...North Carolina is NOT the home of mountain biking and never will be...
    any time spent riding a bicycle is re-cycled goodness....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by swaneedawg View Post
    Funny the Wilson Creek area is the same...boring scenery, trails, dh runs are too steep, xc climbs aren't tough enough, local music sucks, not enough sun, not enough snow, too much rain, not enough of anything that anyone outside of the area would like....save your money and go to Ray's Indoor Mountain Arena...North Carolina is NOT the home of mountain biking and never will be...
    yeah, and when you are heading back and need a good warm-down ride... definitely do not stop by Warrior Creek... Especially if you would hate miles of super flowy berms...
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  23. #23
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    Does a bear s$%t in the woods? I've been all over the country as well, Tahoe, Moab, Utah, etc. Western NC, tops in the country. Unless you don't like tight, technical singletrack up and down. Come on down.

  24. #24
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    Also, check out this Youtube page. Has a bunch of those trails on it in video. Peace.
    Last edited by Tim Barrett Jr; 01-22-2012 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Wrong link

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    Quote Originally Posted by Senor StrongBad View Post
    Also if you had the time and a whole day to kill... I think FATS is worth the trip. it is 30 some odd miles of smooth flowing pumping single track which was has been purpose built for bikes.
    What is FATS? Tried Google but didn't get anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    What is FATS? Tried Google but didn't get anything.
    FATS stands for Fork Area Trail System near Augusta, GA. See link for more info: FATS

  27. #27
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    this must've been the pisgah/dupont's locals wetdream seeing this thread...

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    Quote Originally Posted by -eddie. View Post
    this must've been the pisgah/dupont's locals wetdream seeing this thread...
    Pretty much, made me get up extra early and go ride in Pisgah before work on Thursday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by -eddie. View Post
    this must've been the pisgah/dupont's locals wetdream seeing this thread...
    ...effing nightmare is more like it.

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    Is mid-May descent time to go here? Or what is the best time to go here?
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  31. #31
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    Mid May is a great time. Really, anytime from April to October is good.

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    Dreeeeeaaaam, dream dream dream. Not to sensationalize the area but, what's better than that kind of dream Eddie? A dry one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan1 View Post
    ...effing nightmare is more like it.
    Look, man, cat's out of the bag, Bike mag article or no. Everyone pretty much knows the place is good. The upshot is that 90% of people who ride won't have a good time on the typical Pisgah outing. I don't think you are in any danger of becoming Moab any time soon.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB View Post
    Look, man, cat's out of the bag, Bike mag article or no. Everyone pretty much knows the place is good. The upshot is that 90% of people who ride won't have a good time on the typical Pisgah outing. I don't think you are in any danger of becoming Moab any time soon.

    I know, I know...

    I go between grumpy and excited on this topic.

    The grumpiness is due to the trail conflict that I see caused by out of towners. Some come in, wreck shop and plow over people then leave, and I'm the one left to try to placate the hikers and horseback riders. It only takes one ******* failing to yeild to undo a thousand of my "hey there horseback guy, nice day huh, come on by while I yeild the trail"s.

    Also, out of towners are going to ride regardless of trail conditions. This is bad. They drove X hours and they're gonna "get their's". I'm also against the use of public lands for races for the same reasons; the racers race regardless of conditions, and often have a 'get out of my way' mentality.

    The excitedness comes from the fact that we need something to provide for our little economy, why not bike-based tourism? I want to see my friends' bike shops succeed, I want to see my friend's campground do well, etc, etc.

  35. #35
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    Maybe we should make this thread a sticky? We could then add some commentary about respecting local trails, which trails are seasonal, yielding to horses and hikers, and where to ride when we've had rain, etc.?

    Pisgah/WNC is a gem for any sort of outdoor activity and every little bit of judgement and insight we can provide visitors could have an impact on how the forest is treated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssjohn View Post
    Maybe we should make this thread a sticky? We could then add some commentary about respecting local trails, which trails are seasonal, yielding to horses and hikers, and where to ride when we've had rain, etc.?

    Pisgah/WNC is a gem for any sort of outdoor activity and every little bit of judgement and insight we can provide visitors could have an impact on how the forest is treated.
    The total and utter lack of anything on these topics is what pisses me off about the Brevard in Bike Mag deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan1 View Post
    I'm also against the use of public lands for races for the same reasons; the racers race regardless of conditions, and often have a 'get out of my way' mentality.
    I would say that two of the BIGGEST advocates and trail stewards in the Brevard area are Pisgah Productions and Blue Ridge Adventures! They do more for mountain biking in the greater Asheville area than anyone else I know. Look at the work Todd is doing on the Bracken Mtn.
    Everybody should believe in something...I BELIEVE I'll have another BEER!!!!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcubed View Post
    What is the best time of year? I assume Fall, since my guess is that the Spring can be a bit muddy (I don't like mud for several reasons) and the Summer can perhaps a bit hot and humid.
    As far as heat & humidity, I guess it depends on what you are used to. My first mtn biking trip to the Asheville area was in July a few years back and it was mid to high 80's with what I consider low humidity. At the same time it was 100+ with 95%+ humidity in Mississippi where I'm from. The completely epic trails and cooler summer weather are what inspired me to move here after just a few trips.

  39. #39
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    For you guys a dry dream is what you wanted. I'm glad we have some of the best trails in SC in the upstate and hardly any of the drama to go with it. I dunno what the difference b/t SC and NC horse riders but ours seem to be much more relaxed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan1 View Post
    The total and utter lack of anything on these topics is what pisses me off about the Brevard in Bike Mag deal.
    I totally see where you are coming from.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan1 View Post
    I know, I know...

    I go between grumpy and excited on this topic.

    The grumpiness is due to the trail conflict that I see caused by out of towners. Some come in, wreck shop and plow over people then leave, and I'm the one left to try to placate the hikers and horseback riders. It only takes one ******* failing to yeild to undo a thousand of my "hey there horseback guy, nice day huh, come on by while I yeild the trail"s.

    Also, out of towners are going to ride regardless of trail conditions. This is bad. They drove X hours and they're gonna "get their's". I'm also against the use of public lands for races for the same reasons; the racers race regardless of conditions, and often have a 'get out of my way' mentality.

    The excitedness comes from the fact that we need something to provide for our little economy, why not bike-based tourism? I want to see my friends' bike shops succeed, I want to see my friend's campground do well, etc, etc.
    I have the EXACT sentiment about my local riding spots. One, in particular, seemed like my personal 200 acre backyard 20 years ago. The singletrack was four inches wide and one inch deep with no erosion. I could ride all day on the weekend and see no other riders - or even cars in the parking lot.Fast-forward to 2012 with the annual race and riders' disregard for weather conditions - many trails are trashed and there is no sign that the trend of irresponsible riding is abating.

    Suffice to say, when I come to Pisgah I will bring my values with me and show the same respect to other users that you do and visit a museum, art shop or other local business if it rains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnmtnbkr View Post
    I would say that two of the BIGGEST advocates and trail stewards in the Brevard area are Pisgah Productions and Blue Ridge Adventures! They do more for mountain biking in the greater Asheville area than anyone else I know. Look at the work Todd is doing on the Bracken Mtn.
    Did I say anything bad about Todd? Nope. He's a nice guy. I'm actually certain that he reminds his racers that they are on public land and that all proper MTB rules of the road should be followed while racing. Is it great that he is working at Bracken Mtn? Yep.

    That doesn't change what my experience has been (your experience may vary, as they say). I could list a hundred examples, but I'll just pick one: pedalling up trail, meet four hikers who are visibly shaken, they relate that they were just run off of the trail by MTBers so decided to turn around and are going to 'stop at the Ranger Station to report those ***holes'. They say 'don't go that way, there's more of them', to which I reply, 'it's OK, downhill yeilds to uphill, sorry those other guys didn't know'. Two minutes later, here comes a group of riders, they see me, and literally yell, "OUT OF THE WAY!!! RACERS COMING THROUGH!!!". One collides with me, in the center of the trail, while the others ride off trail around us and never touche the brakes. Those were swank riders.

    I've had many, many similar experiences with racers and groups of out of town riders. I've had so many of these encounters that they all just bleed together...and leave me feeling like the negatives outweigh the positives...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dog View Post
    yeah, and when you are heading back and need a good warm-down ride... definitely do not stop by Warrior Creek... Especially if you would hate miles of super flowy berms...
    I'm about in the same boat as the OP, but coming down next week... and i have kinda of a thing for berms

    What/where/how is this Creek of Warriors you speak of??

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcubed View Post
    I have the EXACT sentiment about my local riding spots. One, in particular, seemed like my personal 200 acre backyard 20 years ago. The singletrack was four inches wide and one inch deep with no erosion. I could ride all day on the weekend and see no other riders - or even cars in the parking lot.Fast-forward to 2012 with the annual race and riders' disregard for weather conditions - many trails are trashed and there is no sign that the trend of irresponsible riding is abating.

    Suffice to say, when I come to Pisgah I will bring my values with me and show the same respect to other users that you do and visit a museum, art shop or other local business if it rains.
    Second that!!

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    I'm glad I stumbled on this thread. I was hoping to get some riding in next week, but it'll be my first time to the area so I'm clueless on trail conditions. Are there any challenging trails in Pisgah (or anywhere between nashville tn and asheville nc) that won't be muddy and/or degraded by riding in winter?
    Thanks!

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    Pisgah and DuPont rider here. Definitely worth the trip. If coming solo, I suggest hiring a guide or find some group rides in Pisgah. It gets deep here and you don't want to get stuck. If you like the nightlife, then you should stay in Asheville. We're beer capital of America right now and have 7 local breweries just to name what's on my mind. So, come on down!

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    you guys are welcome in my book...

    Quote Originally Posted by dcubed View Post
    Suffice to say, when I come to Pisgah I will bring my values with me and show the same respect to other users that you do and visit a museum, art shop or other local business if it rains.
    Thanks!!! We just need more folks like you and Woodsy so that a respectful attitude beomes the norm. We also need locals to speak up (to other locals and out-of-towners alike) when they see someone acting in a way that would jeopordize our relationships with land managers or other users.

    Woodsy, I saw your post asking about conditions, suggestions, etc. I would highly reccomend stopping at the hub to get trail suggestions. They'll sell you a good map, and then sit down with you for as long as you want with a marker and help you figure out good loops. I would not suggest at all going for an 'adventure ride' in Pisgah; you'll end up doing stuff backwards (I see this all of the time), and it's really hard to guess which trails will be in good shape looking at the map. And the short answer to your question is "yes". There are plenty of trails that can be ridden in winter and/or after a light rain without doing damage, you just have to ask. Stay found, carry extra water, and tubes.

    Personally, I don't like Bent Creek (Asheville part of pisgah). It is usually crowded, wet, with lots of yeilding to hikers. There are a couple of really sweet downhills in there though. If I was coming all of the way from TN, I would def stay in Brevard and ride our section of Pisgah and DuPont.

    DuPont drains really well, as the soil is generally more sandy than Pisgah, and is easy and fun to do an adventure ride. All of the trails are clearly marked, and it is pretty impossible to get lost (or if you do get lost you can just ride in the same direction for a few miles and you'll hit a road).

    Welcome, responsible MTBers!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostriderseventy7 View Post
    We're beer capital of America right now and have 7 local breweries just to name what's on my mind. So, come on down!
    I know its almost too many to keep track of:

    Highland
    French Broad
    Pisgah Brewing
    LAB
    Green Man
    Wedge
    Appalachian Craft Brewery
    ABC
    Craggie
    Oyster House
    Altamont

    On another note, there are a ton of bike shops in the region as well:

    Pro Bikes
    Liberty
    Youngblood's
    Biowheels
    Hearn's
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    Bikes and beer, a match made in heaven!

  49. #49
    pronounced may-duh
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    FYI Altamont Brewing Company still has no capacity to make beer. I say this so your not disappointed when/if you visit them. It's a fine bar with lots of good stuff on tap, but they don't make their own.

  50. #50
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    RESPECT!

    It is key for everyone. Respect the trails, the locals, the stop signs, the speed limit, etc.

    Don't litter, eat some good food at the may shops, have some killer brews at the brewery, spend a couple bucks in the bike shop, get a shirt, a tube, some lube, whatever...

    Goes for anywhere and everyone, not just WNC.

    Most important, have fun!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    Even if you lived on the Moon, they would be worth the trip.
    Truer words have not been said. Pisgah is unlike anything else, at least from what I've ridden. I'd suggest camping in the forest near the trailhead for the full Pisgah experience. The woods are beautiful in every season here, although the stream crossings are a bit chilly in the winter.
    We sell quality bike headlights and flashlights.
    www.LightJunction.com

  52. #52
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    fun,fun fun!

  53. #53
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    i hear it ain't worth the time

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan1 View Post
    Thanks!!! We just need more folks like you and Woodsy so that a respectful attitude beomes the norm. We also need locals to speak up (to other locals and out-of-towners alike) when they see someone acting in a way that would jeopordize our relationships with land managers or other users.

    Woodsy, I saw your post asking about conditions, suggestions, etc. I would highly reccomend stopping at the hub to get trail suggestions. They'll sell you a good map, and then sit down with you for as long as you want with a marker and help you figure out good loops. I would not suggest at all going for an 'adventure ride' Pisgah; you'll end up doing stuff backwards (I see this all of the time), and it's really hard to guess which trails will be in good shape looking at the map. And the short answer to your question is "yes". There are plenty of trails that can be ridden in winter and/or after a light rain without doing damage, you just have to ask. Stay found, carry extra water, and tubes.

    Personally, I don't like Bent Creek (Asheville part of pisgah). It is usually crowded, wet, with lots of yeilding to hikers. There are a couple of really sweet downhills in there though. If I was coming all of the way from TN, I would def stay in Brevard and ride our section of Pisgah and DuPont.

    DuPont drains really well, as the soil is generally more sandy than Pisgah, and is easy and fun to do an adventure ride. All of the trails are clearly marked, and it is pretty impossible to get lost (or if you do get lost you can just ride in the same direction for a few miles and you'll hit a road).

    Welcome, responsible MTBers!
    Thanks for all the great tips and advice Mtn Man 1!

    I'm psyched to get a good ride in thursday and/or friday... Anybody know of a group ride planned thursday, friday, our saturday? Or want to get together for a ride? I'm renting a car in Nashville tomorrow night and heading east toward the suggestions given.

    Cheers!

  55. #55
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    Hi all,
    just want to say thanks for the pisgah advice you shared. I stopped in at Motion Makers, picked up a map and enjoyed riding Bent Creek last thursday eve and Laurel Mtn friday eve Talk about FAST trails!! I haven't had to brake 1/10 that much since I lived in colorado... and front range trails were fast hardpack, but the glimpse I got of pisgah riding was such delicious smooth-and-sticky-fast! (rather than loose-over hardpan CO stuff).

    Thanks for the welcome, pm me if anyone's ever wanting direction for southeastern Mass riding!

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