Southern Pisgah (Brevard, etc.) vs. Boone area trail characteristics- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Southern Pisgah (Brevard, etc.) vs. Boone area trail characteristics

    Hi everyone,

    A job just popped up at Appalachian State that I'm well-qualified for, so I've been stalking Boone and the surrounding areas.

    How would you say the trails in the area compare to those in the southern Pisgah? Given its prominence in the mountain bike world, I feel like I have a decent sense of the character of the stuff around Brevard just from all the articles I've read and videos I've watched that have featured them even if I've never ridden there myself.

    I've read a number of threads on this forum and feel like I have a decent sense of Sugar is like, but less so the non-park trails.

    For reference for any Northern transplants, I currently live and ride in Western Massachusetts, mostly at Earl's Trails, Bachelor Street, and Thunder Mountain for my park days.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Hi everyone,

    A job just popped up at Appalachian State that I'm well-qualified for, so I've been stalking Boone and the surrounding areas.

    How would you say the trails in the area compare to those in the southern Pisgah? Given its prominence in the mountain bike world, I feel like I have a decent sense of the character of the stuff around Brevard just from all the articles I've read and videos I've watched that have featured them even if I've never ridden there myself.

    I've read a number of threads on this forum and feel like I have a decent sense of Sugar is like, but less so the non-park trails.

    For reference for any Northern transplants, I currently live and ride in Western Massachusetts, mostly at Earl's Trails, Bachelor Street, and Thunder Mountain for my park days.

    Thanks!
    By Southern Pisgah, I assume you mean Ranger district. The 'Northern' Pisgah would then be the Grandfather district, which is closer to Boone.

    Ranger district trails are not as rough as those found in the Grandfather district. Grandfather district has a lot of trails with little to no markers. Several routes are long haul routes including a lot of gravel road to get good loops. Most of the trails are not well maintained. You'll definitely get more of a 'out there' remote feeling. You'll need to climb more and be a bit better at technical riding.

    For a good example, try searching for Yancey Ridge, Wilson Creek, Beehive, Sinkhole, or Greentown on YouTube.

  3. #3
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    Beech mountain and the emerald outback are all close to Boone too. Beech is rough and fun bike park and the emerald outback has some really cool trails

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Boone proper has Rocky Knob which I was fortunate to get to help with when I did grad school there in 10-12. Definitely not going to make the IMBA Epic list but a perfect after work/weekday destination. As the poster noted above Wilson's is awesome epic back country riding. During the High Country winter you also have the option to head down to Kerr Scott to ride the trails there. Dark Mountain is the best of the bunch which isn't saying much. Warrior Creek is the same 20 feet of IMBA spec jump/bump/berm flow trail for 20 miles but during a Boone winter it has it's place.

    You're also not far from the Iron Mountain Trail in Virginia which is good and hard as well.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info everyone! Between this and some other reading I was doing, it sounds like a pretty amazing place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Between this and some other reading I was doing, it sounds like a pretty amazing place.
    You got that right!

  7. #7
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    Both the Ranger district and Grandfather district are special places. I learned to ride in the Grandfather district so the remoteness and more primitive personalities of the trails are what I prefer. As mentioned there are several bike parks including lift access in close proximity to Boone. I live on Beech Mtn and it's awesome having DH and trail literally right outside my back porch. Typically it's 10-20 degrees cooler up here and 5-10 degrees cooler in Boone in the summer than Brevard. The forest is much less traveled compared to Brevard as well which is the main appeal to me. That being said just don't expect well blazed or signed trails in Wilson Creek.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    Both the Ranger district and Grandfather district are special places. I learned to ride in the Grandfather district so the remoteness and more primitive personalities of the trails are what I prefer. As mentioned there are several bike parks including lift access in close proximity to Boone. I live on Beech Mtn and it's awesome having DH and trail literally right outside my back porch. Typically it's 10-20 degrees cooler up here and 5-10 degrees cooler in Boone in the summer than Brevard. The forest is much less traveled compared to Brevard as well which is the main appeal to me. That being said just don't expect well blazed or signed trails in Wilson Creek.
    Or trails that are on TrailForks or other popular apps...I just looked at this the other day while daydreaming about riding (recovering from an injury) and many of the trails people enjoy are not on TF at least.

    It really is a place where you have to meet somebody and get shown around...oh the horror.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post

    It really is a place where you have to meet somebody and get shown around...oh the horror.
    Or get a map/GPS and go for it... Thats what I did. Although I explored most of it over 3-5 day backpacking trips before I took a bike back.

    There is enough info out there to piece together rides without getting horribly (just mostly) lost.

    There is also plenty of "official" trails in Wilson too...

    Best bet is to make friends, or hang out on the shoulder of Hwy 181 or Brown Mtn. Beach road and flag down shuttle trucks heading up the hill.

    To the OP.... if you like mountains, laid back folks, and don't need a major city to have fun you will really like Boone area. WNC in general is great... even if you live in the "Big City" of Asheville, you can be in quiet forest in 15-20min or less from pretty much anywhere.
    On your left!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    To the OP.... if you like mountains, laid back folks, and don't need a major city to have fun you will really like Boone area. WNC in general is great... even if you live in the "Big City" of Asheville, you can be in quiet forest in 15-20min or less from pretty much anywhere.
    Well, sounds great to me. I grew up in the very northern end of the Appalachians in PA in a pretty rural area, so neither the "isolation" (less than I had) nor the "cold" winters (ten degrees warmer than what I'm used to now) bother me at all. On the other hand, I love mountains, forests, and places that are generally laid back, so it sounds pretty ideal. I imagine that having the university and a bunch of vacationing rich folks there would provide me all the culture I'd desire. Which really isn't that much if I get to ride my bike all the time.

    Thanks again all!

  11. #11
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    boone it is! you, sir, are winning! eff brevard!

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