Pisgah trip planning- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pisgah trip planning

    Hi, all. I imagine these threads can be tiresome, but hoping for some help.

    Posted a similar thread last year, but trip did not materialize. Gonna make it happen this year. I have family in eastern NC and in MD. Plan is to fly into Charlotte with a bike, rent a vehicle and drive to Brevard and spend 4-5 days riding. Then drive up to Maryland to see family before flying out of Baltimore.

    I'm from Phoenix, decent fitness and tech skills. I'd be looking to do as much gnar descending as possible, but I'm cool with earning my turns.

    Specific questions:

    1. Timing. Thinking May. Based on work schedule, it would need to be late April/early May. Or late May/early June. I'd prefer the first option. Thoughts?

    2. Bike choice: Nomad or Mach 429 Trail?

    3. Rentals. I usually prefer to rent a little house or condo vs. a hotel. I typically use VRBO.com. Any rental inputs?

    Thanks in advance and hoping to meet some fellow riders. First time riding in your awesome state.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  2. #2
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    1. Timing. Thinking May. Based on work schedule, it would need to be late April/early May. Or late May/early June. I'd prefer the first option. Thoughts?

    Either is fine. Expect nice spring weather but it can be wet, with rain coming in everyday possibly. Some years its still cool (50's) but with the way the weather is going this year it will probably be in the 80's or 90's even. Bring rain gear and normal spring riding attire and your good.

    2. Bike choice: Nomad or Mach 429 Trail?
    429 Trail should get it done no prob unless you just want to push the Nomad around. Nomad may be a little more fun but you gotta climb to get to the good stuff... like $3k ft. of climbing on a 15-20 miler at min.

    Pisgah is gnarly but its not WC DH level gnar... THe 429 will let you ride a little longer, a little easier and still handle 99% of Pisgah no prob. Especially if you are used to riding tech on it.

    3. Rentals. I usually prefer to rent a little house or condo vs. a hotel. I typically use VRBO.com. Any rental inputs?
    Brevard Air BnB

    Definitely post up your itinerary. I would be down to show ya around the hood...
    On your left!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Banjo. I don't mind pushing the Nomad, but the Pivot is certainly an energy-saver.

    I ride both on the same trails, just not as fast in really big gnar on the Pivot.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  4. #4
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    Heading to Brevard this weekend! Just got dumped on with another 20cm of snow and tonight is gonna be -23C. (sorry you imperial users!)
    Been making the 16 hour drive almost yearly for 20 years and still want trail advice.
    We've been staying at the Sunset Motel. It's a walk to downtown and retro fun. This trip is our first time getting the cabin that they have. It's normally listed $99/night and supposed to be awesome.
    I'll post a review so you could reserve if you'd like. I guess it's in high demand.

    Blatant, you'll love the trails, get some advice and an after ride beer at The Hub.

    Banjo, any top 5 trails that you can post? We're not really in riding shape but 2-3 hours slow is a go. Daniels ridge is a fave, same with Black Mountain, but we've never been to Bent Creek. Any suggestions?
    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Can2pir View Post
    Banjo, any top 5 trails that you can post? We're not really in riding shape but 2-3 hours slow is a go. Daniels ridge is a fave, same with Black Mountain, but we've never been to Bent Creek. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Unless you just want to... Bent Creek isnt all that great, especially since you are driving from another planet. If you must There are plenty of great trails but the most popular are Greenslick, Ingles Field and the trails in and around Explorer Loop.

    In Pisgah, sounds like you have done Daniels, Black, etc. If you have not been to North Mills that is a great spot. The Spencer Gap/Spencer Branch to Fletcher Creek is a great ride. Probably 10 miles or so depending on where you start...

    Black Mountain to Buckwheat Knob to Bennet Gap is a classic and should definitely happen if you have not already done this.Thats around 12 miles. Bennet is great as a shuttle or a loop on its own if you dont mind pedaling up 1000' of gravel.

    Squirrel Gap via the S. Mills/Mullinax trails in the Turkey Pen area is great as an out and back and gives you a different look than most of Pisgah. This trail is mostly on bench cut and traverses rather than just up/down like many trails here. The out and back is 20 miles or so total and is one of the more remote trails in Pisgah.

    Either way... I would strongly recommend buying the Pisgah Map Co Map at either The Hub or Sycamore Cycles. Their are route suggestions right on the map and its the best one for this are. They also have a vresion you can download which is invaluable if you arent familiar with the area. The app will locate you in real time on the trail so its almost impossible to get lost. Mobile | Pisgah Map Company
    Its hard to go wrong picking trail here... its all good.
    On your left!

  6. #6
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    Thanks Banjo, good to know re: Bent Creek. We always stop in to a store to check out local current advice but it's nice to have some focus not "ahhh, we're here to ride, any trails around here?"
    I've got a map, maybe 2 yrs old, I'll have to see if it needs an update. I like using the MTBproject along with the map.

    I imagine I'm not alone in feeling really pumped and excited about road trips! It DOES feel like another planet, and that's part of the excitement. The weather, the culture, food, beer, no wives..... and the list goes on!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Can2pir View Post
    . The weather, the culture, food, beer, no wives..... and the list goes on!
    You're very welcome!

    Make sure to check out Ecusta Brewing right accross hwy.276 from The Hub. Great locally owned brewery with awesome beers.

    If you have wild hair, Asheville is about 45min away and has more breweries and places to eat than you can shake a stick at. Definitely worth a drive if you have an afternoon/evening to kill and your too tired to ride haha.
    On your left!

  8. #8
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    I second checking out Ecusta. Great beer and people. Don't forget to go to Oscar Blues though!

  9. #9
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    Just bumping this up. Looks like I'll be flying into Charlotte on May 21st, renting a car and driving over. After looking at prices/hassle of boxing and flying with a bike, I may just rent something from the Hub.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  10. #10
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    Flight booked. Landing in Charlotte on the 21st and driving over to Brevard that evening. Hopefully picking up rental bike and riding starting the 22nd. Hope to meet some locals.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Flight booked. Landing in Charlotte on the 21st and driving over to Brevard that evening. Hopefully picking up rental bike and riding starting the 22nd. Hope to meet some locals.
    Just a little word of caution: From my experience I would recommend calling the Hub and making sure the bike you want is available. I did this my first time, and they then had me go online and reserve the bike with a special comment saying that I spoke with them on the phone - all was good to go.

    The second time I just reserved the bike online a few weeks in advance, and showed up for my rental. They didn't have it ready to go, and were unaware of my rental... but luckily the bike I wanted to rent was there, and they were able to set it up quickly for me. They were able to pull up my reservation in the system after it caught them off guard, so I know it went through... not sure where the communication breakdown was.

    Anyhow, great people, and great shop! Just thought you might want to call up there.

  12. #12
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    Thank you. I spoke with them via email, but will follow up after I make the reservation.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  13. #13
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    Following up. Renting bike from the Hub and it appears most of the rides would be in that general area if I'm not mistaken. I'm concerned that my rental is going to be a sedan unless I'm able to upgrade. Thus, I'm curious if I should be renting a place close to the Hub to minimize having to try an shoehorn an XL 29er into a rental. Thoughts?
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  14. #14
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    Straight from The Hub's rental page;

    We also have trunk racks and hitch racks available for rental.

    Looks like you're in luck.

  15. #15
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    Wish I'd noticed this thread earlier Blatant. I'll be in the area for a few days starting May 9th and would have been happy for a tag along. I visit the area to ride 1-2 times per year so have some routes planned. Oh well, enjoy your trip!

  16. #16
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    Thanks, man. Feel free to share some of your best routes.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  17. #17
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    Getting stoked for this trip as it's already over 100 degrees here in Phoenix.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  18. #18
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    I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'll likely be in Brevard in a week+.

    I'm looking for some trail/loop recommendations. I'm sort of looking for one "killer" (30 miles, 6-8k climbing), one "ugh" (20 miles, 3-5k climbing), and a "social" (2 hours, moderate climbing ok but not necessary). I'll be checking out Strava, MTBProject, and TrailForks, but a few names to focus on would be great.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  19. #19
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    A fun one for the "ugh, or potentially a little killer" category is turkey pen gap, South mills, mullinax, squirrel, South Mills, bennett to the top of clawhammer... then you can bomb down clawhammer, or cut over to pressley gap and hit lower black.... or even hike a bike over black, and do the whole thing!

  20. #20
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    Not sure of the distance on this route, but generally takes me 5-6 hours.

    Park at Pilot rock Trail and 1206. Go up Funneltop mtn rd to Horse Cove trail, at intersection of Squirrel gap trail turn left. Take Squirrel to Laurel Creek trail, turn Left on Laurel creek. Take Laurel Creek to the creek, then turn left once you cross the creek. go about 200 yards and turn right on 5015 gravel road, and climb to 1206. Left on 1206 for about 200 yards, then Right on Laurel mtn trail. Climb Laurel to Pilot rock Connector trail, turn left on connector. Once you intersect Pilot Rock turn right and descend to your car.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor76 View Post
    I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'll likely be in Brevard in a week+.

    I'm looking for some trail/loop recommendations. I'm sort of looking for one "killer" (30 miles, 6-8k climbing), one "ugh" (20 miles, 3-5k climbing), and a "social" (2 hours, moderate climbing ok but not necessary). I'll be checking out Strava, MTBProject, and TrailForks, but a few names to focus on would be great.

    Thanks,
    Mark
    Hey Mark, I was just in Brevard for a few days. Here's the links to the Strava files from my rides.

    Day 1: https://www.strava.com/activities/977194746

    Day 2: https://www.strava.com/activities/978907133

    Day 3: https://www.strava.com/activities/979977335

    If you're not set on pure Pisgah, day 1 would be a good "ugh" ride, day 2 is an awesome "killer" ride through my favorite trails in south Pisgah, and day 3 would be a social ride but you may not like Farlow. Hope this helps!

  22. #22
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    One week away from landing in your fine state to ride for the first time. Extended weather forecast isn't looking good. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  23. #23
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    I wouldn't pay attention to the weather more than 3 days out. Even that is a stretch.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    One week away from landing in your fine state to ride for the first time. Extended weather forecast isn't looking good. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    There's a chance of thunderstorms there nearly everyday of the spring/summer

    I'm headed there myself tomorrow morning.

    There are a couple routes I have planned in my strava profile ( https://www.strava.com/athletes/9748505 )

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennaster View Post
    There's a chance of thunderstorms there nearly everyday of the spring/summer
    No doubt, it rains here. May, June, July and August are near top of the precip list most years (last summer's drought was an exception). Chance of rain will usually be high, and humidity is a near certainty those months.

    That being said, most of the thunderstorm events in the summer are of the "renegade", "pop-up" or "scattered" variety. Asheville may get hit with a storm but Brevard will be dry. And vice versa. With a good smart phone radar app (I use MyRadar), and a current LOCAL forecast (not weather.com!), you will greatly increase your odds of finding a dry place to ride.

    Locals use Rays Weather for a forecast that is tailored to Western North Carolina. In my experience, this is the only source for reliable, local forecasting of this area. I have no affiliation, just years of success!

    Ray's Weather Center - Home - raysweather.com

    pleasant riding!

  26. #26
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    Got in yesterday; gnarly drive from Charlotte in pouring rain. Heading out to pick up my bike at the Hub and pick up some trail beta.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Got in yesterday; gnarly drive from Charlotte in pouring rain. Heading out to pick up my bike at the Hub and pick up some trail beta.
    It rained like 5 inches yesterday with more on the way. Shits gonna be a mess for most of this week.

    I would stick to the higher elevation, rockier trails. Black Mtn. Laurel Mtn-Pilot Rock Etc.

    Have fun!
    On your left!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Got in yesterday; gnarly drive from Charlotte in pouring rain. Heading out to pick up my bike at the Hub and pick up some trail beta.
    With all the rain, it might be good to visit Dupont, which seems to handle moisture better.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  29. #29
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    Dudes at the shop specifically said not to ride DuPont, but that most Pisgah stuff should be fine. I wanted something short, so rode Daniels Ridge counter-clockwise and then a piece up and back on Farlow Gap.

    Fun stuff. Nothing crazy from a tech perspective, but the WET ROOTS! And slippery water crossings. And the spider webs.

    Man, I thought I was a pretty good gnar rider, but the wet roots are a whole other thing.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Dudes at the shop specifically said not to ride DuPont, but that most Pisgah stuff should be fine. I wanted something short, so rode Daniels Ridge counter-clockwise and then a piece up and back on Farlow Gap.

    Fun stuff. Nothing crazy from a tech perspective, but the WET ROOTS! And slippery water crossings. And the spider webs.

    Man, I thought I was a pretty good gnar rider, but the wet roots are a whole other thing.
    I find Dupont to be mostly rock and handles water well (actually it feels like a stream but the ground is solid).

    What you did today sounds fun!
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  31. #31
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    Most of the trails out of the Corn Mill Shoals parking lot in dupont are decent in the wet. The soil is more sandy/rocky there. Well and Cedar is pretty much all rock except the last bit. Burnt can get a little soupy on the flowy side (DH going CCW). If there was a lot of rain I'll usually just ride/walk up to the top going CCW (first entrance coming from the lot) then turn around and ride down. Its pretty short and I'll do it a few times. Big rock is pretty well drained and handles the water well. Most of the rest of dupont doesn't stand up to the rain as well. However that usually doesn't stop folks from riding ridgeline et al. Since dupont is starting to get into the busy season and the trails are multi-use, sometimes riding during/after a rain is the best time. Within reason of course.

    Yeah wet roots are no joke. Really need to stay off the brakes and un-weigh as much as possible.

  32. #32
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    For sure it's a technique I don't possess yet. This is mostly climbing and spinning the rear tire sideways. I'll pick it up.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  33. #33
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    Rode Black Mountain this morning. Lot of different input on the best route. I ended up parking at the Ranger station, riding up to the horse stables and climbing up Clawhammer from there. Picked up Black and continued climbing.

    Started to get mentally defeated by the weather. And then the downhill happened. Even with all the rain, FRICKIN' AWESOME. Had a blast and can only imagine how great it is dry.

    Looks like the weather just isn't going to cooperate so I'm probably going to head out a day early. Bummed I didn't get to meet any local riders.
    Last edited by Blatant; 05-26-2017 at 05:38 AM.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Rode Black Mountain this morning. Lot of different input on the best route. I ended up parking at the Ranger station, riding up to the horse stables and climbing up Hacksaw from there. Picked up Black and continued climbing.

    Started to get mentally defeated by the weather. And then the downhill happened. Even with all the rain, FRICKIN' AWESOME. Had a blast and can only imagine how great it is dry.

    Looks like the weather just isn't going to cooperate so I'm probably going to head out a day early. Bummed I didn't get to meet any local riders.
    That is great that you got to hit that trail at least. Very fun trail. Did you continue down black and get to hit sycamore as well?
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Rode Black Mountain this morning. Lot of different input on the best route. I ended up parking at the Ranger station, riding up to the horse stables and climbing up Hacksaw from there. Picked up Black and continued climbing.

    Started to get mentally defeated by the weather. And then the downhill happened. Even with all the rain, FRICKIN' AWESOME. Had a blast and can only imagine how great it is dry.

    Looks like the weather just isn't going to cooperate so I'm probably going to head out a day early. Bummed I didn't get to meet any local riders.
    Be careful AFTER it rains. IME, that's the most dangerous time to ride trails like Black.

    While it's raining, the roots are getting rinsed clean. After it stops, and a few riders come through, they'll get a coat of muddy water on the already well polished roots.

    Awesome trails. Very few things like a ride on a crisp fall afternoon in Pisgah. The colors are spectacular.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

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