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Thread: Southeastern MTB Road Trip ?s
06-27-2012, 12:01 PM #1
Southeastern MTB Road Trip ?s
Howdy. From August 10th->25th my wife and I will be on the road from Boston to drive a southern loop (Boston->DC->Ashville, NC->Knoxville, TN->Nashville, TN->Pennsyltucky spots->Davis, WV area->Boston). We will have our trail bikes, a dog and camping gear. Some things I have in the plans, but no details or bookings are:
Riding: Pisgah, Tsali, Rothrock and Canaan Valley/Davis area- each for a couple of days.
Lodging: Gonna book nice digs in Ashville, Knoxville, Nashville and Davis. Timing is such that on our wedding anniversary we'll be in Knoxville, so I plan to drop some coin there and book sweet digs and eat like a marauding (w)horde.
Eating: Nothing. Everyone keeps suggesting stops to me and I love it. I wanna play this one as I go.
Dog: I am afraid of snakes. Like morbidly afraid of them, and I keep seeing pictures of big mf'ers in all the Tsali and Pisgah trip reports I see, which worries me for my dog. Furthermore, I've done no research on how dog-friendly/not dog friendly the major trail networks are in any of these places. This brings me to what I ask of any of you:
I'm mostly looking for ride suggestions: We aren't bike park or gnar freeride types, but light tech is nice. We have decent fitness, though epic climbs are my least favorite thing about MTB. Whatever- we're psyched to ride what's good. What trail networks, less-well known regions and can't miss rides do you recommend? What do y'all know about riding with dogs in these various spots?
Also lodging and eats: Nice spots to stay in any of the aforementioned places (again, we're with dog, but a good % of nice hotels these days are good with our dog)? Must eats/drinks? Best biscuits? BBQ? Beer? Bourbon and Rye? Indigenous flora?
Thanks a ton. Pretty psyched for this, even in the August heat/humidity.
06-27-2012, 03:24 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
I'm not sure if your route takes you through Slatyfork WV, but there are rides that are second to none to be found there.
06-27-2012, 04:30 PM #3
It's a six hour detour, but I'd say well worth it to get to The Pig (http://www.thepigrestaurant.com/). This place has all the other BBQ I've had in the country beaten soundly. I thought Anderson & Son's was good. This stuff will shut you up for a good 30 minutes. SO good.
Asheville has some really cool places to eat. Mostly brunch spots, organic, tapas, casual. Look around. Jack of the Wood is my favorite pub. Carolina Fatz is a great shop nearby. Close to the Green's Lick trailhead, and this is a fun ride.
If I'm planning your route for you, I'm going to Brevard from there, for dinner at Hobnob. Don't skimp, $150 here would cost you $300 in a larger city. Try to get an outside seat on a night the music camp faculty is playing live jazz(Sunday, IIRC). Use your savings for a nice B&B. Hit Dupont the next day, back to Brevard. If you burned all the daylight, stay in Brevard again. Wallow in grief, knowing that you'll not have another night like the one you had last night. In the morning, head for Cherokee, NC. Go 276, and stop to swim in Looking Glass falls, maybe pack a picnic for just downstream. The alternate version is to take wine, cheese, candles and a blanket at night, but it's better if you know the area. Blue Ridge Parkway to Blue Ridge Expressway. From Cherokee, head up to Charlie's Bunion, near Clingman's Dome. If you run, it's an awesome trail run, otherwise walk. Nice views.
Once you get to Knoxville, I have only two must do's: Frussie's Deli, on Chapman Highway, and Big Ed's, for pizza. Why you're having your anniversary here has not been noted, but quite possible one of you knows your way around. Haw Ridge for biking, then Noris. http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~dunigan/mtnbike/ If you get bored, and are feeling horny, go check out Wind Rock. Don't forget your pads.
Lastly, on the way back through KY, find yourself a Hot Brown.
EDIT:If you can't find indigenous flora in Asheville, untuck your Izod polo from your pleated dockers."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-27-2012, 04:32 PM #4
Spend two weeks in Asheville. There is more riding and good food there than you could experience in years. Eat at Sunny Pointe, 12 Bones, White Duck Taco, Curatae, and Carmels, to name a few. Ride Laurel, Pilot, Black, Butter, Farlow, Squirrel, and Heartbreak to name a few. Yes there is a lot of climbing, stop whining. Check out a bike shop for more specifics, The Hub in Brevard or Carolina Fatz in Asheville.
06-27-2012, 05:03 PM #5
Nice, thanks. I guess it'll be climb time, I'm psyched.
Should we skip Knoxville and just get straight to Nashville? Is Tsali worth it, or should we just do more time in the greater Ashville/Brevard areas?
Keep it coming y'all.
Last edited by biggins; 06-27-2012 at 05:33 PM.
06-27-2012, 06:03 PM #6
Skip Tsali, ride Dupont near Brevard instead. Better swimming and better trails.
Edit: Get a reservation for Admiral in Asheville now. One of the best meals I have ever had. Never mind the crack house and ghetto grocery store adjacent to it.
06-27-2012, 07:24 PM #7
^^I was there over Saint Paddy's Day this year for my parent's anniversary. Didn't make it to Admiral, but was definitely looking at the menu and thinking it'd be fun.
Biggins, I say skip Nashville, and stick to Asheville and Knoxville. Nothing in this area is going to land 3 Michelin stars, but personally, I dig Asheville for food and nightlife over Nashville. Outdoors, though, no argument. Sitting outside a beer garden and listening to a bluegrass band is better than drinking a Bud in a country bar. NC has Really good mountain biking. Nashville, not so much. Plus, scenery and weather. General outdoor activity/mountain town vibe, stick on the east side of the equation.
Edit: Oh, and what GTD^^ said about Tsali, unless the wife can't ride tech whatsoever."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-27-2012, 07:54 PM #8
Aaaand reservation at Admiral the night of my birthday.
Nashville is on the itinerary. Pretty psyched to check the city out and see some music. Doesn't seem too far west not to at least do a night there.
Wife is not huge on tech, but she'll tough it out and hike-a-bike/down climb where she has to. Still, Bent Creek and Tsali sound like good day stops for rolly, fast fun that she'll love.
Thanks again, all.
06-27-2012, 08:39 PM #9
Tsali is a lot of fun.
If you want to insist that 4everything you do is super core, then skip it and tell everyone you aren't a big enough pussy to ride really fun, really flowy, really scenic, really well built trails. But if you're going to consider "two weeks" in Ashville just to eat, it's definitely worth a short drive to Tsali for a day or two in my opinion.
06-28-2012, 10:54 AM #10
Huge pussy here, not concerned.
Workday bump. The South Will Rise! [/notracist]
06-28-2012, 11:08 AM #11
Depending on KY route checkout the Red River Gorge. Not really mtb friendly but plenty of bouldering/rock climbing and hiking. And Miguel's Pizza. Awesome area. Really the only thing I liked about my four years in the bluegrass state.
06-28-2012, 12:13 PM #12
I'm willing to play tour guide on trails local to the DC area, but you used to live around here or something, right?
Anyhow, I am definitely hitting up Family Meal next time I go up to Frederick to ride the Watershed. It sounds like it will be the shit for post-ride foods and libations.
In Davis, I hit up the Bright Morning Inn for my lumberjack breakfast, ride all day, and then go to the Purple Fiddle to drink microbrews out of mason jars and listen to bluegrass.
W/r/t dog friendliness: I try to resist the temptation to ride with the dogs on the stuff within hailing distance of the DC beltway. In the Canaan Valley area, it seems to be a much more acceptable practice. But watch out for the heat in this part of the world in August! Your dog will keep running even when the heat is fucking him up, so play it conservative with how hard you push him.
06-29-2012, 01:34 AM #13
Good choice on Rothrock. I'd def try to fit in 3-4 days here if you can. Endless trails, no crowds, perfect for dogs, good bike shops for support. Most terrain is techy and challenging with lots of elevation change. Lots of organized and primitive camping options too. I can give you a line on ride suggestions, eateries, or camp spots.
Check this thread out for a couple ride suggestions.
Head into any of the bike shops in town and pick up the $11 Purple Lizard map, it's a shaded topo map of the entire area, honestly the best map of any terrain I've ever ridden. With that map you'll never get lost.
PM if you want more details.
06-29-2012, 08:59 AM #14
August right? Sounds like a hot time to bring your pup on a trip like this.
06-29-2012, 10:32 AM #15yelgatgab
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
- Shadynasty's Jazz Club
You really should try and incorporate the George Washington National Forest in Central VA. Incredible rides, lots of vert and great food/music opportunities in Stauton and Charlottesville. You could easily incorporate a stop in Harrisonburg on your way to Davis, and ride all or part of the Southern Traverse. There are some good descents off of Reddish Knob. Further South, riding around Stokesville or Braley Pond in the National Forest will put you on some incredible trails. Further(er) South, you've got some great rides in Carvins Cover outside Roaknoke, and to the West, Douthat is one of my favorite places to ride, anywhere.
I love spending time in Canaan, and Davis well known for its riding, but it's not really my cup of tea. Lots of rolling, technical terrain with not a lot of vertical change. I'd be more inclined to ride Snowshoe/Slatyfork, Spruce Knob is decent or you could get a ride on the North Fork before the Wildernuts shut it down.
wi1trackrider in the thread that donkeykong posted used to live in the area. He did a lot of riding in the GWNF and is an incredibly thorough source of trail information.Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.
06-29-2012, 08:39 PM #16
06-30-2012, 10:50 AM #17
Looking more and more like we'll leave the pooch with my brother in DC.
As of now the route looks to stay roughly the same, with 3 days or so in Ashville/Brevard, 1-2 day scamping/riding around tsali, driving day through the smokeys and on to Nashville for 1 day, through E TN/VA for a day or two, WV for 3 days or so, then PA/MD then home.
Shred- thanks for the tour offer, may very well take you up on it (ps- never lived in DC, but my entire immediate family lives there now).
This is gonna be a fun tour. Thanks again.
Last edited by biggins; 06-30-2012 at 11:03 AM.
06-30-2012, 04:32 PM #18
I think a full TR is in order."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
07-01-2012, 07:31 AM #19
Id say you should come up to Louisville(2.5hr from Nashville) and I'd say we have better food options from Nashville, about 100 miles of singletrack within a 90 minute drive radius of town, and for music between 8/10 and 8/25, there is Dawes, Mumford and Sons, Bonnie Prince Billy and Kris Kristopherson, Dirty Projectors, Brandi Carlisle, and Langhorne Slim shows. Plus you wouldnt have to camp and you could stay at our house in town.
Louisville riding accessible by day trip or local:
French Lick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vHIL3r-jO0
Brown Co State Park: http://www.browncountymountainbiking.com/
Versailles and other Brown Co info: http://hmba.org/index.php
Land Between the Lakes(its between Nashville and Louisville, about 40miles of trail: http://www.lbl.org/biking.html)
And in eastern KY the Sheltowee trace, which is like Pisgah without people(but more poison ivy) http://www.sheltoweetrace.org/Mountain_Biking.html This place is one of my favorite mountain bike spots on the east coast for some great wilderness riding. It's a 250mi backcountry trail with a large part open to riding, with with lots of interconnecting trails and logging roads, you can make phenomenal loops.
I'm partial because I live here, but for easily acceptable day trip riding it ranks among the best places I've lived.
07-01-2012, 10:49 AM #20
Awesome thread. I recently relocated to the Wilmington, DE region for work. Nice to read about other options within a day's drive.
I'll add on that Brandywine and White Clay are in my area and they're awesome. If you're looking for any more info, hit me up. Sounds like your trip is planned for the most part.
07-01-2012, 11:05 AM #21
White Clay is an absolute blast. And there is another area right across the border in MD that I cant remember the name of.
The I81 corridor in VA has great riding as bagtagley mentioned. Douthat is one of the best trail systems on the east coast. There is also Poverty Creek(http://blog.twoknobbytires.com/2010/...stem-mountain/) around blacksburg, va and GWNF has a lot of routes that are really good--Elizabeth's Furnace being the most classic. The thing about GWNF routes is some can be difficult to navigate if you dont have a guide, or leave a lot of extra time for checking and rechecking turns. But Douthat and Poverty Creek are well marked and easy to do without any route guidance.
Down in NC make sure you hit up Dupont, which has a whole mess of trails.
07-01-2012, 11:08 AM #22
07-01-2012, 08:31 PM #23
07-02-2012, 12:10 AM #24
Bella's Pizza in Abingdon, VA is worth the stop if you are passing through. Though not as good as the trails further east, there are some fun trails in the Damascus, VA. Though to get much length you need to link a few together using the blasted creeper trail.
07-02-2012, 02:05 PM #25
Cantdiggy! We miss you buddy. No Louisville though- wanna meet up with us west or southwest of you?
Virginia riding on the way to WV looks likely, we're pretty pscyhed. Thanks all for the ideas. Cold Mountain Time!