Trip to AR, TN, GA, and NC. What needs to be ridden, eaten, dranken?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trip to AR, TN, GA, and NC. What needs to be ridden, eaten, dranken?

    Hello,

    I am planning on driving from CO to the South on the evening of March 20th.

    I am thinking of getting into Bentonville, AR the evening of the the 21st.
    Ride the 22nd, 23rd, 24th.

    Planning on riding The Slaughter Pen: Blowing Springs Tour into The Back 40 for a big day on the 23rd. What else should I ride before and after? I am fine with heading to Fayetteville as well, if worth it.

    Evening of the 24th head over to Nashville. Going to eat some Bolton's and Prince's. I have a little time in the morning before I drive down to Decatur, GA. Anything worth riding around Nashville or on the way down to GA?

    Hamilton Creek Trail?

    I might have some time in Decatur to ride in the day while my brother is at school, so any rides close by?
    Georgia International Horse Park, Fort Yargo, Harbins East Loop?

    Then driving over to NC the night of the 27th. I will have just the 28th and 29th to ride and hoping to ride the best Pisgah has to offer.
    Bent Creek, Bennet Cove, Black Mountain/Thrift Cove, Kitsuma/Hearbreak?

    I am also down to do any IMBA Epics if they are truly great, but just want to ride the best each area has to offer.

    I am looking for anything blue to double black. Taking a hardtail and an enduro rig. Longer ride preferred to make the drives worth wile.

    Also any food/beer spots that are must have are just as good as the biking.

    Thanks for any info, I really appreciate locals helping out.

  2. #2
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    If you're driving from Nashville to Decatur, stop at Raccoon Mountain in Chattanooga. A very nice place to ride. My experience is that Nashville doesn't offer anything 'really nice' (my definition - flow, significant hills, size of riding area). I've been a couple of places there, but not Hamilton Creek. I hear it's very rooty, but it has gotten some positive reviews.

    If you're driving back I40W from NC, then consider my hometown, Knoxville. I would say that the Urban Wilderness is the nicest place, and it's only a couple of miles off of the interstate. Lots of other options to ride around town. Knoxville also has the breweries - at least 18, and there are only two that I don't think highly of.

    Also look into Windrock if you want some DH, and that's probably less than an hour from I40. And then there's Big South Fork Rec Area, and that place is truly huge. It's probably an hour north of I40.
    Last edited by Roge; 03-08-2019 at 03:44 PM. Reason: meant to say Chatt instead of Nash

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    I am thinking of getting into Bentonville, AR the evening of the the 21st.
    Ride the 22nd, 23rd, 24th.

    Planning on riding The Slaughter Pen: Blowing Springs Tour into The Back 40 for a big day on the 23rd. What else should I ride before and after? I am fine with heading to Fayetteville as well, if worth it.
    While in Bentonville, Coler "Mountain Pike Preserve" is absolutely worth a look. Nice variety of XC, technical, and jump runs.

    Fayetteville is certainly worth the trip too, specifically Mount Kessler trails, assuming it's rideable by then (it's been soft due to rains and/or freeze/thaw cycles for a while now). Big climbs (maybe not for you coming from CO), big descents, really well-done trails.

    But you'd miss our new prize if you don't find Fitzgerald Mountain trails in Springdale, halfway between Bentonville and Fayetteville. This new area is incredible. It's only been open since last summer.

  4. #4
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    If you're staying in Nashville, I'd say depending on what you like, there's probably something there for you, unless you just like long downhills. There simply isn't the elevation for that. Hamilton creek is old school and considered "very rocky" for the middle Tennessee area (for now). Percy Warner has some newer flow stuff. Hope park has a mix of some old school stuff and a new jump line that was built last year. Cane Ridge has a new section as of last year that has a little more tech to it, making it a good place to get some fast flowy/flat pedaling in as well as a little rock riding.

    If you really dig the flow stuff, Chattanooga has Enterprise South. For more tech and elevation, Raccoon Mountain is the way to go.

    If you're traveling down 24 from Nashville to Chattanooga, pm me when you get to that part of the trip. I might. MIGHT have a ride I can turn you onto. Kinda depends on weather between now and then. To be honest, everything in Nashville will depend a little on weather. Trail status updates here: https://trails.sorbamidtn.org/ - The trail I might be able to turn you onto isn't listed there.

  5. #5
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    Nashville to Decatur:
    I've never been to Racoon Mtn in Chattanooga but I've heard it's good. Just south of there is a great trail system called Five Points. 5 Points — SORBA Chattanooga

    Decatur:
    Well worth the drive to head north and check out Blankets, Rope Mill, Allatoona Creek, Big Creek, and others. Nothing much in the Decatur area or south of Atlanta.

    https://www.sorbawoodstock.org
    Big Creek MTB Park | Roswell, GA — Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization

    SORBA West Georgia

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    Hello,



    I am thinking of getting into Bentonville, AR the evening of the the 21st.
    Ride the 22nd, 23rd, 24th.

    Planning on riding The Slaughter Pen: Blowing Springs Tour into The Back 40 for a big day on the 23rd. What else should I ride before and after? I am fine with heading to Fayetteville as well, if worth it.
    Depeding on what you like to ride Eureka Springs could be well worth the trip.

    If you go to Eureka Springs Deliverance, Atonement and Holy Roller are amazing at Passion Play, Deliverance is my favorite trail in Arkansas. Nineveh and Revelations look amazing from what I've seen on social media. Look up @jaggedaxetraildesigns on Instagram for stuff at Passion Play.

    As to non-biking activities, Onyx Coffee on the square is amazing. There are several local breweries. Ozark, Bike Rack, Hawk Moth, and New Province are some of my favorites. The Holler is a trendy, neat place to grab a great burger and you can't go wrong with any of the options on the square.


    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by tuckerjt07; 03-09-2019 at 12:01 PM.

  7. #7
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    Agree with both the people above about Arkansas advice. Not sure what kind of riding you're into but Fitzgerald is amazing just to check out the rock work and natural beauty. Coler is also amazing if you're wanting to stick close to Bentonville.

    A day in Eureka hitting Leatherwood and Passion Play trails is also a good idea, especially if you're into more downhill and technical riding, and Eureka is a funky little town that is fun to check out.

    I love Kessler and recommend it if you prefer more natural trails with a wilder feel (Spellbound, specifically).

    We got a lot of rain today, but it looks like we're moving out of freeze/thaw, so hopefully trail conditions will be good!

  8. #8
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    - Dupont in NC is a nice ride and real close to Pisgah, and is on the other side of the Blue Ridge Pkwy from Bent Creek outside of Asheville........
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  9. #9
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Oh, a nearly missed the food/drink thing. If you dig good beer and pizza, check out Tailgate Brewery in Nashville. For "classic Nashville" must eat, the Loveless Cafe is a good greasy stick to your ribs kind of meal. And you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a hot chicken joint. But Hattie B's is the place for that.

  10. #10
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    Thank you for all the replies and info. Sounds like too much riding not enough time. As far out as I can get it looks like rain in AR, etc. How quickly does it dry out or how much rain messes the trails up?

    Also planning on hitting Hattie B's in ATL with my bro.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    Thank you for all the replies and info. Sounds like too much riding not enough time. As far out as I can get it looks like rain in AR, etc. How quickly does it dry out or how much rain messes the trails up?

    Also planning on hitting Hattie B's in ATL with my bro.
    You'll have to wait until a bit closer to really know how much rainfall we've had and what trail conditions are like. Back40 dries well. Coler doesn't dry well, but it also has a fulltime trail manager who declares which lines are open. He tends to be pretty generous and tries to keep things open more often than not. Most of Slaughter Pen dries well. Fitzgerald, unfortunately, has sections that are very sloppy, doubly unfortunate because most of the fun stuff dries really well... just getting to it requires going through slop.

    I didn't notice your IMBA Epic footnote in the OP, and I'll say that the Buffalo Headwaters Epic Trail is amazing... but it's daunting as hell if you don't know the area, and you're out of cell phone service for most of it. The good news: it dries very well and can be ridden in pretty wet conditions. So that's always a possibility as well.

    As for food/drink:

    Bentonville:
    Bike Rack Brewing
    Onyx Coffee
    Airship Coffee
    The Holler
    Yeyo's Mexican
    Pedaler's Pub
    The Pressroom

    Note that you can hit Yeyo's, The Holler, and Bike Rack all by going to 8th street market, which is where they're all located.

  12. #12
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    I agree to pass on Bent Creek if you're looking for good stuff. Dupont offers better xc-oriented trails, imo. I ride Bent Creek often because it's close to home, but it's not top end destination-worthy. If you're camping there, it's definitely worth riding simply because you can ride from camp.

    If you want big rides, you can combine a number of loops based out of the ranger station/horse stables into larger individual rides. Lots of permutations. Probably worth adding a ride on Laurel/Pilot, too. A bit farther "out there" but that makes it a bit quieter. Less traffic. A Squirrel/Buckhorn/Black/Turkeypen loop would be a pretty big ride, too. Could throw in some big shuttles like Squirrel/Buckhorn/Black/Buckwheat/Bennett or Squirrel/Buckhorn/Black/Thrift/Sycamore or similar. Can also go even bigger and start in Bent Creek and end at the ranger station on 276.

    There's enough food and beer in Asheville to keep a person busy for a lifetime.

  13. #13
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    So just as a back up plan, if the weather doesn't look good next week, how is the riding in these places in the winter and or summer? I am a teacher so I could make it out over winter break or summer break. I assume summer is just balls hot and humid. Winter is nice, but maybe rainy?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by yourrealdad View Post
    So just as a back up plan, if the weather doesn't look good next week, how is the riding in these places in the winter and or summer? I am a teacher so I could make it out over winter break or summer break. I assume summer is just balls hot and humid. Winter is nice, but maybe rainy?
    Balls hot & humid is a fair description of Nashville/Atl in the summer. However, Brevard/DuPont is much, much less miserable. I was fortunate enough to spend a good bit of last summer just west of DuPont for work, and don't think the temps ever got over 86 degrees there.

  15. #15
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    I looked up the Passion Play trails. Reminds me of Glorieta in NM. Is this becoming a common thing of church camps building sweet trails? Pretty cool stuff from the looks of it.

  16. #16
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    Passion Play isnt really a camp, but it is interesting. Even more coincidentally, Jagged Axe Trail Design did the majority of building on both Glorietta and Passion Play, so there may be some other connection there.

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