Riding near Hickory, NC?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Riding near Hickory, NC?

    I'm traveling to Hickory, NC in a couple weeks and am planning to bring my bike if anything is rideable around that time. Does anyone have any suggestions about where to ride? I can see what's in the area on mtbproject, but it's hard to get the real story from those listings. I don't think I'll have hours and hours to do an epic, but I'd like to get in a decent hour or two. I'm looking for something that's fun, easy to navigate, and not too long of a drive. Due to the fact that it will likely just be me, I don't want to get too rowdy out there, but I don't want to be bored. Anything intermediate-advanced should be fine.

  2. #2
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    Hickory city park is cool for a quick after work ride, 5 miles or so.

    Lake Norman isn't to far, it's about the ezest stuff in NC but there is close to 30 miles of single track there.
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  3. #3
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    I was planning on hitting up Hickory City Park, since I could squeeze that in whenever, but it looks like the trails are all closed due to storm damage. What about Lake James State Park or Kerr Scott? Warrior Creek seems to have a short "black diamond" trail, which sounds like it'd be nice.

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    Yeah Hickory City Park got slammed by a tornado last week and all of the trails are closed. It sounds like Kerr Scott also got a lot of damage but I'm not sure if it has been totally cleaned up yet. I would call there before you go to make sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motomike View Post
    Yeah Hickory City Park got slammed by a tornado last week and all of the trails are closed. It sounds like Kerr Scott also got a lot of damage but I'm not sure if it has been totally cleaned up yet. I would call there before you go to make sure.
    I'm not going for another week and a half, so I'll just keep all options open. Knowing my luck, I'll drag my bike all the way down there and get rained out.

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    Don't waste your time with Lake James. Warrior is the place to go, but make sure it's dry.

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    Go to warrior if you want zero tech flowy hardpack. Go to Rocky Knob in Boone if you want a mix of difficulty and terrain. Go to Wilson Creek if you want to explore. The on map trails are pretty easy to navigate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    Go to warrior if you want zero tech flowy hardpack. Go to Rocky Knob in Boone if you want a mix of difficulty and terrain. Go to Wilson Creek if you want to explore. The on map trails are pretty easy to navigate.
    Rocky Knob is probably at the edge of my travel range, but it's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    I would also suggest checking local bike shops for trails/group rides. Rocky Knob is about 1hr away and no problem to do solo.
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    Zacks Fork over in Lenoir is a very nice flow trail. It is short, a little less then 3 miles but fun.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxflia View Post
    Zacks Fork over in Lenoir is a very nice flow trail. It is short, a little less then 3 miles but fun.
    Where's the parking for that trail? Is it at the aquatic center? Those trails might be an option for a quick ride, since they'd only be about 30 minutes from where I'll be staying.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    Where's the parking for that trail? Is it at the aquatic center? Those trails might be an option for a quick ride, since they'd only be about 30 minutes from where I'll be staying.
    The soccer fields off Zach's Fork Rd.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I ended up riding Rocky Knob and Warrior Creek/Headwaters. Rocky Knob was a pretty cool system, but my time there was marred by some mechanical trouble. First my rear derailleur shifted off towards the spokes. I must have bent my hanger on a rock. Upon further inspection, I noticed my shifter cable had been mostly severed and was hanging on by like 4 strands. I bent my hanger back a bit with my hand and chanced it with the cable. Then on the way down Ol' Hoss I punctured my rear tire and sealant wasn't holding. I put it a tube and rode down to PBJ where I promptly got a pinch flat catching air down towards the power lines. I was out of time, so I ended up walking the rest of the way down, which really sucked since PBJ was one of the things I was excited about.

    I had an extra hanger in my pack, and I had thrown a new tire into the trunk before I left home. I had to pick up a derailleur cable from Carolina Pedal Works, and they were nice enough to let me use their compressor to get my new tire seated. I had to buy a new presta valve too, since I seem to have lost the one I had taken out when I installed the tube on the trail.

    Warrior Creek was alright. I can get that type of riding in around here, but the berms were kind of fun. I wish there were some table tops or drops or roots or rocks or something to break things up a bit. Headwaters was a trip. According to Strava, no one else had been on the trail in weeks and it looked like it. The trail was covered in a thick blanket of leaves and sticks. At one point, I was wandering around trying to figure out exactly where the trail went after it hit an old fire road. I'm not convinced the trail is a "double black," but it had some good parts. I thought the trail was supposed to meet back up with Warrior Creek, but I somehow ended up looping back and exited where I had entered. Oh well.

  14. #14
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    Yeah Warrior doesn't really do it for me. It is great if you bring your wife or some beginners. Same story with OVT. A lot of us run some type of tire insert system at least in our rear wheels. You must have hit something really awkwardly or were running light tires and/or low air pressure. Ol' Hoss and Boat Rock aren't really that steep or rocky so you must have been just unlucky. The new descent from the top will be an actual descent so make sure to check Rocky Knob out again in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    Yeah Warrior doesn't really do it for me. It is great if you bring your wife or some beginners. Same story with OVT. A lot of us run some type of tire insert system at least in our rear wheels. You must have hit something really awkwardly or were running light tires and/or low air pressure. Ol' Hoss and Boat Rock aren't really that steep or rocky so you must have been just unlucky. The new descent from the top will be an actual descent so make sure to check Rocky Knob out again in the future.
    I definitely want to hit Rocky Knob again. It sucks to have done all that climbing and not have the reward of the full descent, especially after I had gotten turned around at Stone Binge earlier and ended up at the parking lot. The whole ride felt doomed. Even my GoPro footage was ruined by a strap that had gotten loose and dangled in front of the camera the whole time.

    I can see how Warrior Creek would appeal to some people, but it felt kind of repetitive after a while. Brown County in Indiana is probably comparable in parts, but BC is more varied and more fun, plus Schooner Trace is way harder than Headwaters. Still, it's fun to ride trails in a new area and the scenery is great.

  16. #16
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    So I'm going to be back in the area tomorrow through Sunday and was hoping to get more riding in, but it looks like NC has been getting a lot of rain. I might just have to wing it once I get down there, but I'm looking to ride again, if I can. Hickory City Park seems to be mostly closed. I'm not looking to go to Kerr Scott again, but those are closed. I was considering Kitsuma but I don't want to ride in mud or ruin any trails. Any ideas?

  17. #17
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    You should hit Rocky Knob in Boone. Out of the trail systems you listed it handles rain the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    So I'm going to be back in the area tomorrow through Sunday and was hoping to get more riding in, but it looks like NC has been getting a lot of rain. I might just have to wing it once I get down there, but I'm looking to ride again, if I can. Hickory City Park seems to be mostly closed. I'm not looking to go to Kerr Scott again, but those are closed. I was considering Kitsuma but I don't want to ride in mud or ruin any trails. Any ideas?
    I don't know which direction you will be coming from but Poston in gastonia is great and is up to rider discretion weather or not the trails are rideable which they usually drain extremely well it seems.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    You should hit Rocky Knob in Boone. Out of the trail systems you listed it handles rain the best.
    Yeah, I went there in the Fall. It's definitely on my list of possible rides. I had really bad luck there last time with some mechanical issues and would actually like to enjoy the ride down, rather than walking back to the car.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    I don't know which direction you will be coming from but Poston in gastonia is great and is up to rider discretion weather or not the trails are rideable which they usually drain extremely well it seems.
    I'll be staying in Granite Falls. Poston seems to be less than an hour away. Thanks for the tip. That system wasn't on my radar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    I'll be staying in Granite Falls. Poston seems to be less than an hour away. Thanks for the tip. That system wasn't on my radar.
    I suggest if you go do lake loop>laurel>big leaf>soccer loop>Spencer mountain I think that's right.

    Laurel has a couple okay little descents and Spencer mtn has two big descents with some jumps but then you pedal all the way back up at the end. Lots of climbing but not too bad.

    Also I'm Belmont is rocky branch nothing too wild out there about 6 miles of trail some cool stuff sprinkled throughout cool features and some techy alternate lines.

    Have fun!

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    I would also suggest Rocky Knob. About an hour from Granite Falls. Its a nice drive up the mountain on 321. Through Blowing Rock and Boone then right on 421. I might even try to get up there Sat morning. Check out www.ridenwnctrails.com A lot of good information about the trails around the area.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    Yeah, I went there in the Fall. It's definitely on my list of possible rides. I had really bad luck there last time with some mechanical issues and would actually like to enjoy the ride down, rather than walking back to the car.
    The new trail "Black Forest" is really close to opening. It will be a legit difficult trail so make sure to check it out if it's open. PBJ also received a ton of trail work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    The new trail "Black Forest" is really close to opening. It will be a legit difficult trail so make sure to check it out if it's open. PBJ also received a ton of trail work.
    I'm sure I'll try it at some point. Now that my wife's BFF lives in NC, I am suddenly motivated to make the trip down--for my wife's sake, of course.

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    Hit Rocky Knob this morning. It was in fantastic shape, and I'm happy to put in a solid loop without any drama and get a couple stabs at PBJ. I'm a fan of the improvements. I would have taken a 3rd stab at it, but I was tired and didn't feel like climbing any more. The little bits of new trail I spied looked fantastic.

    The plan is to hit Poston tomorrow to see what that's all about.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    Hit Rocky Knob this morning. It was in fantastic shape, and I'm happy to put in a solid loop without any drama and get a couple stabs at PBJ. I'm a fan of the improvements. I would have taken a 3rd stab at it, but I was tired and didn't feel like climbing any more. The little bits of new trail I spied looked fantastic.

    The plan is to hit Poston tomorrow to see what that's all about.
    Looks like rain at poston tommorow, we thought about trying to ride there today after work

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    Looks like rain at poston tommorow, we thought about trying to ride there today after work
    This weather is confusing. Yesterday, Saturday weather was looking good for Poston and bad for Boone. Now it looks the opposite. I might just ride Hickory City Park if the weather is sketchy, even though the pump track and jump lines are apparently still closed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    This weather is confusing. Yesterday, Saturday weather was looking good for Poston and bad for Boone. Now it looks the opposite. I might just ride Hickory City Park if the weather is sketchy, even though the pump track and jump lines are apparently still closed.
    Sun came out after work today got a good ride in at poston. Some wet spots and very slippery roots

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    Sun came out after work today got a good ride in at poston. Some wet spots and very slippery roots
    The weather is really not favorable today. The weather is conspiring against me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    The weather is really not favorable today. The weather is conspiring against me.
    Looks like it's changed for the better for you sun is out here. I say go for it some great practice muddy in some spots but not too bad roots are very slippery some great practice climbing and descending on them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin-nc View Post
    Looks like it's changed for the better for you sun is out here. I say go for it some great practice muddy in some spots but not too bad roots are very slippery some great practice climbing and descending on them
    I snuck out to Poston this afternoon. I hit showers on the way down, but they stopped as I pulled off 321. The trails were pretty slick. I had to dial things back a little due to the conditions and also missed some things I might have liked to try, but I hit some of the fun features. Spencer Mountain was in a lot better shape than everything else, so I did those twice (minus the gap jumps). Not quite as epic as Rocky Knob, but still decent.

    It was weird riding that close after a rain. Back home, the trails don't hold up well when wet, and riding them wet tends to cause a lot of damage.

    Riding near Hickory, NC?-poston.jpg

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    You should really look in to the trails at Wilson Creek if you are down for some real mountain riding. They're a little rough at the moment due to all the rain but maybe next time you are in town. About 40 mins from Granite Falls depending on where in WC you ride. I would definitely do that over say Kitsuma.

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    Agreed! I did beehive and sinkhole at Wilson's a couple weeks ago that was some gnarly stuff!
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    You should really look in to the trails at Wilson Creek if you are down for some real mountain riding. They're a little rough at the moment due to all the rain but maybe next time you are in town. About 40 mins from Granite Falls depending on where in WC you ride. I would definitely do that over say Kitsuma.
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    Nice! it doesn't get much gnarlier than Beehive!

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    You should really look in to the trails at Wilson Creek if you are down for some real mountain riding. They're a little rough at the moment due to all the rain but maybe next time you are in town. About 40 mins from Granite Falls depending on where in WC you ride. I would definitely do that over say Kitsuma.
    I'll have to give some of these a go. How easy are they to find/navigate?

    This video is kind of long, but it's the whole downhill at Rocky Knob. I got a better look at PBJ later once I had a feel for it, but my GoPro lens had a giant smudge on it. A third time would have been nice, but I didn't feel like climbing any more.


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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Nice! it doesn't get much gnarlier than Beehive!
    Beehive isn't on any of my maps as "legal". However, I have the really old OG Wilson Creek map from ages ago that are out of print. Anyone have a current map that designates Beehive as sanctioned/legal? I'm not looking to start an argument. There are plenty of other "unofficially tolerated" trails in the area that I would rather ride so have at it. That being said, if it's not sanctioned we should probably not openly advertise it. Just sayin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    I'll have to give some of these a go. How easy are they to find/navigate?
    Can be a bit tricky... as Brad mentioned, some of the best trails aren't on the maps. Sinkhole (aka Holly Springs) is though. Wilson Ridge (aka 21 jumps) -> Schoolhouse ridge is another one that is. Yancey Ridge isn't on the maps but it's worth searching out. I think it's on trailforks and/or mtb project. It was dropped as an official trail as it goes over private property near the end but it has always been a favorite with locals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    I'll have to give some of these a go. How easy are they to find/navigate?

    This video is kind of long, but it's the whole downhill at Rocky Knob. I got a better look at PBJ later once I had a feel for it, but my GoPro lens had a giant smudge on it. A third time would have been nice, but I didn't feel like climbing any more.

    Wilson Creek is pretty difficult to navigate. Only a few trails are "legal" to ride. Best to ride with a local.

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