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Thread: Wilsons Creek

  1. #1
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    Wilsons Creek

    Anyone have information on these trails? Are they worth the trip out from Raleigh? I have heard they are okay but not well marked. Me and some friends were going to stay in Boone and ride Warrior Creek and Rocky Knob the 18th and 19th but WC is closed that weekend. Need some alternate trails in the area to make the trip worth while.

  2. #2
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    OVT and Kerr Scott are close.

    Also that is the last weekend for Beech Mountain which closes to bikes on the 19th.

    I will probably be at Beech on the 18th and Rocky Knob on the 19th
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  3. #3
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    You need someone who has ridden out there to show you around if you go to Wilson Creek. The trails are worth it, but it's easy to take a wrong turn and go really far in the wrong direction. No maps or trail signs either.

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    What nails said. First couple of times, must have guide. I can find my way around a little bit now, but no way in hell i'd go by myself even with previous gps tracks to follow. Electronic devices can fail. Being lost in unfamiliar woods in really the middle of nowhwere is also a fail.

  5. #5
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    Pisgah Map Company now has a map available for that includes that area.

    http://pisgahmapcompany.com/wnc-trai...rict-released/
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Pisgah Map Company now has a map available for that includes that area.

    WNC Trail Guide: Grandfather Ranger District ? Released! | Pisgah Map Company
    This^^ or use the avenza map for your phone.
    If you want legit backcountry riding this is the best the state has to offer

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    Do the best trails or routes actually appear as legal rides on the map?

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    I've got the map. I've never been but have been wanting to do some exploring out there. There are only 3 trails on the map; Thorps Creek, Wilson Ridge and Woodruff Ridge. It looks like it's hard to put together a route except if you shuttle or do an out and back.

    Does anyone have any beta on routes or other trails that aren't on the map?

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    Ignore the signs that say hiking only I've been going there for years and every Ranger I've ever run into has always told me they don't give a ****. Have fun and be respectful and you'll be fine. And don't ride any of those three trails named above they're pretty crappy.

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    At all those trails can be looped. Just harden up a bit and do a nice 10 mile road climb on the way back.

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    Although I have been on many of them, I am by no means an expert on the trails. I can say that the gravel riding in Wilson Creek is second to none in NC. So you will not be disappointed using the gravel/forest service roads to connect trails together. Lots of climbing, very scenic, and many roads on the map that are named as forest service roads are quite primitive. Brown Mountain Beach Rd, which is sort of the entrance to the Wilson Creek gorge, can be somewhat more crowded in terms of vehicles (not as much as issue outside of summer), but it gets lighter as you approach Mortimer campground (intersection of NC 90 and Brown Mtn Beach Rd., there's a cool little camp store there). NC 90 is gravel throughout the Wilson Creek area, so don't let that fool you. It's not going to be machine-cut flow trail, but as others have mentioned, it is a true back country experience.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercusty View Post
    Ignore the signs that say hiking only I've been going there for years and every Ranger I've ever run into has always told me they don't give a ****. Have fun and be respectful and you'll be fine. And don't ride any of those three trails named above they're pretty crappy.
    Maybe we shouldn't spread this around.
    Word gets out, more bikes ride, people complain and rangers are forced to do something.
    Besides, not just mountain bikers read these forums.

    Just saying, but do what you want.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  13. #13
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    If hate it if the 12 people that hiked some of those trails last month got upset

  14. #14
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    I have never ridden WC either, but I used to kayak the creek all the time.

    Are the trails not signed because they are not official trails, or has the forest service just given up on maintaining the place? It's not like trail signs cost that much. I would love to get up there one of these days, but all I ever hear is that you get lost and I don't really know anyone who knows the place. Are they finding bodies of bikers who went in in 1998 and got lost?
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  15. #15
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    I've ridden there a few times. Many of the trails seem to be unmarked, though some of the good ones are mapped. Also, some official trail names differ from common lore (for example, sinkhole). The remoteness is probably the biggest issue, and I've rarely seen other hikers/riders on the trails. It doesn't seem like a place to ride alone, unless you know the way around, and someone at home knows exactly where you're going.

    I do feel safer by taking both a paper map AND the Avenza map on my iPhone. I turn off cell coverage on the phone to preserve battery life, and just leave the map on with gps. Even out in the middle of Wilsons, I can pull up the map and see exactly where I am at any point in time. Kudos to pisgah map company and avenza for making this available.


    Look forward to finding more trails at Wilson in the future, as I've only scratched the surface so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mblittle View Post
    I have heard they are okay but not well marked.
    These trails are not OK, they are some of the absolute best, most fun and adventurous our region has to offer.

    I would love to show you guys around, but it would have to be this weekend (day trip either the 11th or 12th). I have the whole weekend free to ride but none of my buddies can make it out for more than a quick local rip.

    I was just about to post up asking if anyone wanted to carpool a day trip to Beech from Greenville or nearby, but meeting someone for a big shuttle day in Wilsons area would be my preference. With the weather and leaf peeping, it would be amazing.

    Just a heads up; the trails are fairly challenging; not as hairy as Beech if you've been there but much moreso than rocky nob and warrior creek.

    if anyones up for a wilsons area ride hit me up and we can swap credentials, ha

  17. #17
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    WILSON'S SUX. Riding trails in that area that are not designated for mtn bikes will do nothing but mess it up for everyone else, PERIOD. There has been a lot of talk over the yrs about "land management" in Wilsons, don't "undo" the work that has been done over the yrs to keep bikes in there.

    "That is all"
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  18. #18
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    There are tons of bad ass real all-Mnt. trails off hwy 181 around brown mnt. you will need a local. Over grown and fast some of the best trails I've ridden Hedleys is a must. these trails ride good even wet. That said I"ll be at warrior creek in the morning. Brown Mountain is not a solo friendly ride. Unless someone out there wants to rip up Wilson?

  19. #19
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    The trail head areas and trails leading to fishing holes and waterfalls can be popular with Hikers and children. Be respectful on the trail, no matter your form of transportation. You never know whats around that next blind corner.
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  20. #20
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    Do not take this advice

    Quote Originally Posted by supercusty View Post
    Ignore the signs that say hiking only I've been going there for years and every Ranger I've ever run into has always told me they don't give a ****. Have fun and be respectful and you'll be fine. And don't ride any of those three trails named above they're pretty crappy.
    Especially right now in the midst of a Forest plan revision, this comment leaves me full of dismay. This kind of attitude is a fast track to getting bikes banned from the trails altogether, I promise. Yes, those are the only legal trails in the area and yes, you should stick to them if you plan on riding in that area.

    That is all.

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    We decided to ride Anglers Ridge and Carvins Cove in VA this coming weekend. We would have ridden Wilsons but decided to wait until someone can show us around.

    When I created this topic I seriously did not know that Wilsons was mostly designated as hiking only, with only a few crappy trails that are designated for bikers as well. After reading all of the responses it sounds like there are lots of awesome trails to ride and I can only assume that the people saying to stay off the hiking trails are likely riding the trails themselves. If multiple people have had conversations with park rangers who don't mind bikes riding on hiking trails then I don't see a problem.

    Has anyone been out there and had a ranger issue you a ticket or been asked not to ride bikes by anyone?

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    Upper Creek/Greentown is not shown as bike legal? How bout stuff over in Boone Recreation Area.


    Quote Originally Posted by ohkeepah View Post
    I've got the map. I've never been but have been wanting to do some exploring out there. There are only 3 trails on the map; Thorps Creek, Wilson Ridge and Woodruff Ridge. It looks like it's hard to put together a route except if you shuttle or do an out and back.

    Does anyone have any beta on routes or other trails that aren't on the map?

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    Ok, I see what you are referring to. Yes, I missed a couple on the West side of Wilson's Creek, the trail sections are small. There is a 3 mile section of trail, Greentown, that is legal. It's part of the Mountains to Sea actually. I see a fire road marked Upper Creek, but the Greentown Shortcut trail that connects Upper Creek to Greentown is oddly marked illegal. Upper Creek turns into Greentown Shortcut basically.

    Then there is a 2 mile stretch of trail call Holly Springs which is legal. Upper Creek feeds into this on one end. It can be connected to Greentown by a few fireroads on the other end.

    I couldn't find Boone Recreation area on the map. The only other blue trail I see marked is Sand Mountain way over on the east side of HWY 90.

  24. #24
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    really . . . this thread again? *giggles*

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuhlman View Post
    really . . . this thread again? *giggles*
    Exactly what I thought....seriously...again...?
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by man w/ one hand View Post
    Exactly what I thought....seriously...again...?
    Why make passive aggressive posts looking down your noses at newcomers learning about and riding that area? Why not explain your logic and clearly get the point you're really trying to make across?

    This thread will pop up from time to time because they are trails in NC, and that is what this forum is here for; just a fact of life that locals need to accept.

    I do not buy into the idea that a little online discussion is going to get this place put on lockdown, but I'm willing to discuss my reasoning in a respectful manner. Some of my rationale includes:
    - these are not secret trails on your private property; they are known, the cat has been out of the bag for years, and the law applies equally to all of us
    - the costs to actively police this area are prohibitive
    - bike tourism to Morganton and area is desirable
    - riding in this area is not new; if they were going to do something, they would have already done so
    - this forum gets very little use/traffic; A little online chatter here will not materially increase the use and traffic on these trails
    - educating and discussing what trails are on and off limits is a good thing and demonstrates a responsible riding community

    I would much rather know why I am wrong on my assumptions than be talked down to. My position is that educating us or remaining silent will serve your goal better than scoffing or acting incredulous.

    Some of these posts suggest a thinly veiled sentiment of "I ride this area, but I don't want any newcomers riding it, too." If that's not the point, then please explain and discuss. I don't see how implying we are all stupid for discussing this online is going to help your cause.

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    i agree with the biscuit.

    it's because they are dorks. those trails have been shredded for years. kong, upper harper's, fern gully, beacon, canyon's...ssshhhh don't talk about them...except on the internet about how we're cooler than youuuuuu

    BTW if you dorks drive all the way from asheville or CLT or wherever to ride sinkhole and raiders then you deserve your spot blown up, those trails blow. fast in a straight line bro!

    just shut up you scenesters.

  28. #28
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    For a few yrs there was talk of a land management kinda thing that at one point was allowing a lot of the wilsons area to be sold to florida developers, that got squashed, (thank god), and then there was rumors of trails be shut down by th FS, then there was a certain officer that was riding rough shod over any & everyone he came across, and lets not forget the rides that brought the city dwellers "en masse" for shuttle runs down 1 single isolated trail for 10 or so runs w/ zero concern over their actions nor their trash left behind. Do I think I'm cooler than you guys or anyone else, hardly. I do how ever have a vested interest in the area that I ride weekly & want to continue to do so w/o any one messing it up "just because they ride the area 2 times a yr &don't give crap about anyone but themselves". This kinda thing is exactly what got Canyons (R.I.P.) shut down.

    So, spread the word, bring all comers in and we'll ride it as long as we can.

    Wilson's still SUX.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  29. #29
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    They were not being elitist. It's just funny. And for the love of god it's "Wilson Creek", not "Wilsons" or "Wilson's".

    That is my attempt at being funny. RELAX.

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    the appropriate thing to post as a very first response to a thread like this is "pm me." *peace out.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    And for the love of god it's "Wilson Creek", not "Wilsons" or "Wilson's".
    Who's creek? Oh yeah, Wilson's creek. haha

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstuhlman View Post
    the appropriate thing to post as a very first response to a thread like this is "pm me." *peace out.
    Amen, +1
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  33. #33
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    Hey, you want info, PM me. That is all

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    There has been talk in the past about getting these trails legitimized by having a club take stewardship of them (Boone area cyclists??). There are far too many trails in WC for the understaffed/underfunded Forest Service to manage, I'm sure they would welcome some help up there. Talking about these trails will help get some of that dialog going.

    Even riding the most popular trails up there I rarely see any other trail users, I really don't think that there is even the slightist risk that they will overrun in the near future due to threads on mtbr... especially as most of them start by telling people not to ride alone and/or without someone who knows that area, and I can tell from this thread that there aren't that many of those people around.... at least not on the internet.

    The trails need more riders, not less, I think I can share these trails with a few more people... last ride we did was 20-25 miles and only saw 2 other riders and that's 2 more than the previous ride.

    BTW, one of the legal trails mentioned was "Holly Springs"... most riders know this as "Sinkhole". Greentown is legal but the ride out of greentown on MST may not be, but then again in almost ten years of riding there I can't remember seeing any hikers on that part of the trail... this leads to either raiders/harpers or "beehive" (don't ride Greentown shortcut.. not worth it). Beehive is not on most maps but is certainly a well established trail that sees plenty of traffic (by WC standards at least) and is one of the best (if not the best) natural DH runs in Pisgah. Who knows what the status of that is.

    There are lots of other trails going off in all directions up there, most of them unmarked/unnamed but have been used for many many years by locals, hunters, animals and a few bikers occasionally... there's a lot of interesting history in that area

    d

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