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  1. #1
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    Underwhelmed by Green's Lick

    Took a trip up to Bent Creek last weekend. Had a great time but got bad directions at the beginning and ended up climbing basically from one end of the forest to the other... which is all good, I need to get the summer legs back anyways.

    Finally after an 8 mile climb got to Greens Lick which I've heard so much about and was really hyped for it. It was really fun but it was too rocky. And I don't mean like normal, chundery fun rocky it was like rattle-your-teeth-rocks-strewn-everywhere rocky. Talked to a couple people on the ride up and they all mentioned it used to be a lot smoother, and none of them said it was their favorite trail which surprised me because it gets a lot of recognition.

    Is it just in rough shape from the winter months and in need of some maintenance, or is it just erosion and it'll just naturally be that way from now on?

  2. #2
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    Rocks come in all flavors.

    When I feel like climbing all the way up to the top, I do enjoy the ride down.

    You also have to keep in mind that a lot of the trails at Bent Creek are some variety of old service road and if that kind of stuff does anything well, it erodes. I imagine eventually it'll get redone. Until then, it is what it is.

  3. #3
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    I agree...I wasn't a big fan of greens lick either I wouldn't climb specifically for it

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCxXxMTB View Post
    Took a trip up to Bent Creek last weekend. Had a great time but got bad directions at the beginning and ended up climbing basically from one end of the forest to the other... which is all good, I need to get the summer legs back anyways.

    Finally after an 8 mile climb got to Greens Lick which I've heard so much about and was really hyped for it. It was really fun but it was too rocky. And I don't mean like normal, chundery fun rocky it was like rattle-your-teeth-rocks-strewn-everywhere rocky. Talked to a couple people on the ride up and they all mentioned it used to be a lot smoother, and none of them said it was their favorite trail which surprised me because it gets a lot of recognition.

    Is it just in rough shape from the winter months and in need of some maintenance, or is it just erosion and it'll just naturally be that way from now on?
    It's a joke amongst the locals that tourists buy a t-shirt that says "I survived Greenslick". It's fun, I wouldn't call it the most technical trail on the east coast like people claim.

    In all seriousness it's not rough compared to what we normally ride. If you are used to super smooth trails I guess it's rough. If you were on a full suspension bike with decent travel and geo I would consider re-evaluating your suspension and tire/wheel setup. A suspension service, suspension fit, and a tire insert system would be a good investment.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCxXxMTB View Post
    It was really fun but it was too rocky. And I don't mean like normal, chundery fun rocky it was like rattle-your-teeth-rocks-strewn-everywhere rocky.
    What I am reading here is I gotta go ride is ASAP Love the high speed chatter chunder.

    It's like Asheville IMO. If you are from out of the area you read about it like it's the best thing ever but in reality, you made a mistake. You come to Asheville, you find out all the riding is 45 minutes away, it's nothing but tourists and restaurants trying way too hard with the real gems hidden behind chain places. Now you've driven 25 minutes over to Bent Creek. You find yourself coming down Greenslick wondering what TF those articles were talking about. This is fun, but "world class"??? Oh shoot, shoulda gone to actual Pisgah.

    Haha. ^^ Mostly in jest. Greenslick is def fun and it def ebbs and flows with traffic, seasons, etc. Sorry you had a subpar experience on it dude.

  6. #6
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    Itís an underwhelming trail. Iíve never understood the fascination some folks have with that trail. Itís far from technical, it just has the ability to let folks go fast. I prefer to climb it, if anything at all.


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  7. #7
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    If I am riding on two wheels in the dirt I can find happiness, from a flat coastal trail to Farlow. (A map in hand makes it even better, they help mitigate well meaning but sometimes bad direction.)

  8. #8
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    I think Greenslick has a reputation because its takes a lot of climbing to get there and it offers a more technical and sustained descent than anything else in Bent Creek... at least on the official map.

    Also there is a certain type of rider that wont ever ride Pisgah and finds BC to be enough of a challenge and its still "mountain" biking. That rider probably drives a couple hours from somewhere flat and to those folks BC is all they need in terms of testing their ability. I think those are the folks building GLs reputation...

    BC/Greenslick is still an awesome place and we should be stoked to have it so close to Asheville. Compared to all the Charlotte trails I used to ride daily it might as well be Whistler haha. I love the loose rock and chunder and its one of those trails where you dont have to brake and can really open it up. Super wide and long lines of sight...
    On your left!

  9. #9
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    Green's Lick is, IMO, one of the most overrated trails in the area. It's a really long climb for a short, boring (IMO) downhill, followed by another ugh climb. I don't get what all the fuss is about.

    I have friends from other states that come here and only ride Bent Creek for a week, which blows my mind with DuPont and Pisgah around the corner that they've never even tried either. To each their own, I guess...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    It's fun, I wouldn't call it the most technical trail on the east coast like people claim.
    Who claims that with Farlow 30 minutes away?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post

    Who claims that with Farlow 30 minutes away?
    Atlanta riders.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbeh View Post
    Atlanta riders.

    Awwww yeah, throwing that Pisgah shaaade...haters gon hate

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  12. #12
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    I like Bent Creek because it's close to where I live. Lots of different ride options depending on my mood for the day. That climb up to 5 points is something I'm getting familiar with this year. The wife and I are using it to build our climbing fitness for the rest of Pisgah. Again, because it's the closest, sustained climb. Which means I'll be getting extremely familiar with Green's Lick. And yeah, all that chatter will definitely make you examine your suspension settings.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I like Bent Creek because it's close to where I live. Lots of different ride options depending on my mood for the day. That climb up to 5 points is something I'm getting familiar with this year. The wife and I are using it to build our climbing fitness for the rest of Pisgah. Again, because it's the closest, sustained climb. Which means I'll be getting extremely familiar with Green's Lick. And yeah, all that chatter will definitely make you examine your suspension settings.
    Yea, I get why locals in Asheville love it. If I lived nearby, I'd ride it all the time, also. I just don't get why people travel hours to get here, then only ride there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbeh View Post
    Atlanta riders.

    Ha! I guess it's epic triple black BC gnar compared to Blankets.

  14. #14
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    IIRC, GL use to be basically a flow trail. There were some rocks near the top, but it was super short. Then it was clay flow the rest of the way down. I figured that is why so many folks liked it. It was a flow trail before they became popular. Banked turns, jump-able waterbars and a few purpose built jumps. Like the grandfather of trails like skyline at SS (however GL is much shorter). Of course, I have only ridden it twice and that was probably 8 or so years ago. I just hated the climb for the result.

    Cool to hear that it is getting some character. Still probably won't go back and ride it again though.

    To the OP, if you don't like rocks, you should probably stay away from pisgah for the most part. BC and Dupont are your friends. Although, they will still have their share of smaller rocks and chunder in places. Also might want to checkout the fire mountain trail system in Cherokee.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    Who claims that with Farlow 30 minutes away?
    Farlow is like 1:15 from downtown Asheville, no? A prime example to the Asheville trickery they are pulling up there at the Buncombe tourism board. Love that trail so hard because 5% of mountain bikers will ever get that rush of starting in at the top and hang on to the bronco. God what a good trail.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by matty22c View Post
    IIRC, GL use to be basically a flow trail. There were some rocks near the top, but it was super short. Then it was clay flow the rest of the way down. I figured that is why so many folks liked it. It was a flow trail before they became popular. Banked turns, jump-able waterbars and a few purpose built jumps. Like the grandfather of trails like skyline at SS (however GL is much shorter). Of course, I have only ridden it twice and that was probably 8 or so years ago. I just hated the climb for the result.

    Cool to hear that it is getting some character. Still probably won't go back and ride it again though.

    To the OP, if you don't like rocks, you should probably stay away from pisgah for the most part. BC and Dupont are your friends. Although, they will still have their share of smaller rocks and chunder in places. Also might want to checkout the fire mountain trail system in Cherokee.
    Yeah def my recollection too. Riding it in mid 2000's it was flow town. Just like other high traffic areas, with a lot of tires comes a lot of underlying rux and it gets rowdier and rowdier. Just ask Kitsuma.....similar story there. Why it gets reworked every several years.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by matty22c View Post
    IIRC, GL use to be basically a flow trail. There were some rocks near the top, but it was super short. Then it was clay flow the rest of the way down. I figured that is why so many folks liked it. It was a flow trail before they became popular. Banked turns, jump-able waterbars and a few purpose built jumps. Like the grandfather of trails like skyline at SS (however GL is much shorter). Of course, I have only ridden it twice and that was probably 8 or so years ago. I just hated the climb for the result.

    Cool to hear that it is getting some character. Still probably won't go back and ride it again though.

    To the OP, if you don't like rocks, you should probably stay away from pisgah for the most part. BC and Dupont are your friends. Although, they will still have their share of smaller rocks and chunder in places. Also might want to checkout the fire mountain trail system in Cherokee.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    Yeah def my recollection too. Riding it in mid 2000's it was flow town. Just like other high traffic areas, with a lot of tires comes a lot of underlying rux and it gets rowdier and rowdier. Just ask Kitsuma.....similar story there. Why it gets reworked every several years.
    If GL used to be a buttery flow trail, I prefer it where it is now. What I don't care for are the spots where the "line" becomes the full width of the old gravel road it's built on because people are just vaguely riding all over the place.

  18. #18
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    First, I know its all in good fun, but promoting the divide between Asheville and "Pisgah proper" is probably the biggest reason why, historically, our mtb community has been accused of not being unified- this has gotten a lot better lately IMO, thanks PAS. Also, prior to Oskar Blues, The Hub, etc, weren't much going on in Brevard- I could've moved there in the late 90's but as single guy pre-Match and Tinder who wasn't going to meet somebody by going to church...I would've been driving to Asheville a lot. I mean, you can only meet so many people hanging out at the bowling alley in Rosman. It'd be a much different choice today.

    Anyway...

    A little bit of history:

    Prior to Hurricane Frances in 2004, Green's Lick was actually two social trails called Betty Heinous and Mo Heinous. They were much much rockier and more technical, requiring actual bike handling skills to navigate. Hurricane Frances wreaked massive havoc on local trails, contractors were hired to re-work basically all of Bent Creek. Prior to this contract work, all of BC was much tighter and rockier. When the old road beds we use as trail were re-worked, they became wider and smoother.

    Most of the trail system was addressed by a contract crew called, if I remember right, Trails Unlimited- forest service employees themselves, from another part of the country. A few trails, including Green's Lick and Upper Sidehill, were done by local contractor Trail Dynamics. All work was done with erosion control/watershed protection as first, second, and third priority and rider experience as fourth. Bent Creek changed drastically.

    Green's Lick went from being backcountry gnar as the Heinous's to a truly unique experience where, for two miles, water control features could be used as massive, high speed jumps. It was brand new and there was nothing else like it- most people went nuts over it. Then, as other trails got re-worked to modern "sustainable" standards, it became less unique. Furthermore, traffic created new issues such as brake jack and easy lines. So, now it's there and still unique, just not new. The glow has worn off the new toy, but that doesn't mean it can't still be fun.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    Green's Lick is, IMO, one of the most overrated trails in the area. It's a really long climb for a short, boring (IMO) downhill, followed by another ugh climb. I don't get what all the fuss is about.

    I have friends from other states that come here and only ride Bent Creek for a week, which blows my mind with DuPont and Pisgah around the corner that they've never even tried either. To each their own, I guess...



    Who claims that with Farlow 30 minutes away?
    Tourists all the time claim how it's the most technical... You just kind of get a laugh out of it.

  20. #20
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    Mo heinous,RIP. How I miss it so. About 1991 or so, it was the first trail that made me rest my ass on the back tire. It was rowdy. I love bent creek for what it is. Living in Asheville, itís great for after work rides, especially during the short day months. It is what it is, and I feel fortunate to have it. Iíve logged a lot of miles out there over the years, and at some level will continue to. But it ainít my favorite place to ride. Itís also the short route to NMR.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    What I am reading here is I gotta go ride is ASAP Love the high speed chatter chunder.

    It's like Asheville IMO. If you are from out of the area you read about it like it's the best thing ever but in reality, you made a mistake. You come to Asheville, you find out all the riding is 45 minutes away, it's nothing but tourists and restaurants trying way too hard with the real gems hidden behind chain places. Now you've driven 25 minutes over to Bent Creek. You find yourself coming down Greenslick wondering what TF those articles were talking about. This is fun, but "world class"??? Oh shoot, shoulda gone to actual Pisgah.

    Haha. ^^ Mostly in jest. Greenslick is def fun and it def ebbs and flows with traffic, seasons, etc. Sorry you had a subpar experience on it dude.
    For it's close proximity to town it's rad. I like the climb, good for intervals. Screw going up the gravel that's boring.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    First, I know its all in good fun, but promoting the divide between Asheville and "Pisgah proper" is probably the biggest reason why, historically, our mtb community has been accused of not being unified- this has gotten a lot better lately IMO, thanks PAS. Also, prior to Oskar Blues, The Hub, etc, weren't much going on in Brevard- I could've moved there in the late 90's but as single guy pre-Match and Tinder who wasn't going to meet somebody by going to church...I would've been driving to Asheville a lot. I mean, you can only meet so many people hanging out at the bowling alley in Rosman. It'd be a much different choice today.

    Anyway...

    A little bit of history:

    Prior to Hurricane Frances in 2004, Green's Lick was actually two social trails called Betty Heinous and Mo Heinous. They were much much rockier and more technical, requiring actual bike handling skills to navigate. Hurricane Frances wreaked massive havoc on local trails, contractors were hired to re-work basically all of Bent Creek. Prior to this contract work, all of BC was much tighter and rockier. When the old road beds we use as trail were re-worked, they became wider and smoother.

    Most of the trail system was addressed by a contract crew called, if I remember right, Trails Unlimited- forest service employees themselves, from another part of the country. A few trails, including Green's Lick and Upper Sidehill, were done by local contractor Trail Dynamics. All work was done with erosion control/watershed protection as first, second, and third priority and rider experience as fourth. Bent Creek changed drastically.

    Green's Lick went from being backcountry gnar as the Heinous's to a truly unique experience where, for two miles, water control features could be used as massive, high speed jumps. It was brand new and there was nothing else like it- most people went nuts over it. Then, as other trails got re-worked to modern "sustainable" standards, it became less unique. Furthermore, traffic created new issues such as brake jack and easy lines. So, now it's there and still unique, just not new. The glow has worn off the new toy, but that doesn't mean it can't still be fun.
    Cool response... nice to know the history!

    And just an FYI to some of the posters... I'm a huge fan of rocks and technicality and much prefer them to flow trails. This just felt like a different, messy kind of rocky

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCxXxMTB View Post
    Cool response... nice to know the history!

    And just an FYI to some of the posters... I'm a huge fan of rocks and technicality and much prefer them to flow trails. This just felt like a different, messy kind of rocky
    Like I said, rocky trails come in lots of flavors. I travel to ride enough that I have seen a great deal of variety of how rocks are incorporated in a trail. The way they appear on Green's Lick is a bit different from elsewhere in Pisgah, but is not terribly unique in the grand scheme.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    If GL used to be a buttery flow trail, I prefer it where it is now. What I don't care for are the spots where the "line" becomes the full width of the old gravel road it's built on because people are just vaguely riding all over the place.
    Oh Man, Greens Lick was the first trail of it's kind in WNC when it was fresh. There were like three rocks at the top and the rest of it was 6' wide and smooth as a baby's bottom. It was like Ridgeline but wider, straighter and faster. The only thing holding you back from going faster was fear of flying off of the trail or getting a little too wild on the jumps, errr "erosion control features". I have no idea why anyone would have considered it technical. I used to take first time mountain riders up there and let them drop down the trail, they were always smiling at the bottom because it was just fun and the only challenge was directly related to your speed.

    The trail now is much narrower and rockier, especially the upper and middle parts. I was actually surprised how much it changed as we had dropped it out of rotation for a few years. It's a pretty decent example of machine worked trails growing in and getting more exposed over time without getting completely blown out.

  25. #25
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    I should read the whole thread before replying, Mike covered it well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    social trails called Betty Heinous and Mo Heinous.
    "Social trails", that's good. I'm going to have to start using that to describe those types 😁

  26. #26
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    Good info there from Mike Brown. Worth noting was that immediately after the first re-work, when the trail became Greenslick, it was buttery smooth and incredibly fast. That was around 2006. It was so fast though, there were numerous bad crashes and some riders ended up in the trauma unit unable to remember what happened. Rock features were then added to slow folks down, but eventually much of the remaining, smooth dirt sections eroded down to the same rocks that made betty .. heinous. That's what we have today.

  27. #27
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    I used to think the same thing when I rode it for the first time. By the more you ride it, the more you like it. The better you get at riding, the more challenging you want.

    Now, my bro in law fell in love with it the first time he rode it , and he's a rookie.

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