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Thread: Asheville recs

  1. #1
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    Asheville recs

    Heading down to Asheville next week for 4-5 days of riding. Food and bev are covered. Just looking for recommendations on where to ride and camp. I want to rattle some teeth loose, riding buddies want to sample some flow. What is the industry calling freeride these days? Some of that would be good, too. I'll be towing a popup camper, so that's a consideration for camping spots.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  2. #2
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    Friend of mine mentioned there are trails between some of the breweries. Probably not your primary focus but maybe a cool way to wrap up the week.

  3. #3
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    Ride Kitsuma close to town at some point. Dupont forest is (I think) one area that has seen a bunch of work IE: jumpy smooth stuff.

    I wish I could remember more names but there's a shit ton of awesome riding just on the multi-use trails in Pisgah national forest proper. Primitive camping everywhere. Just poke around on some of the trail apps and look at elevation profiles. I rode there several times but it was eons ago. Really neat area, you'll have fun. Stuff is raw and rugged.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  4. #4
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    I'm going to give you the DH/Enduro oriented options. If you want XC, ask at any of the million bike shops. Locals love logging mega mileage out there. PM me if you want. I don't camp much though, so limited info on that. PM me if you want more specifics.

    A) Black Mountain Region (This is East of Asheville by about 30-45 min. It's confusing because there's another Black Mountain with wicked riding on it at the Davidson River Region. Totally different Black Mountain)

    1. Kitsuma - If you have a way to set the shuttle. Or if you just really like cruising boat loads of bike path for most of the day. Follow the map.
    2. Heartbreak Ridge (same zone) - If you have someone willing to shuttle you to the top who really wants to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or if you just really like wicked long approaches. There are several ways to ride to the top. One is a 20 mile paved path. One is to ride up the trail for 4 miles. I haven't done it myself because my wife rides too, so no drop off option. Too long to shuttle.

    B) Davidson River Area: Davidson River Campground is a good option for camping if you want a developed campground. Well centralized too. I'm just going to spell out some loop options for you. You can find the trail segments on Trailforks or MTB Project. Pick up a map at any of the million local bike shops.

    1. Park at "The Stables" or at the base of Bennett Knob > Clawhammer Rd > Black Mtn Trail (west/left) > Straight at Club Gap > Buckwheat Knob > Bennett Gap. The Bennett Loop is arguably the most classic Pisgah loop you can do.
    2. Park at "The Stables" > Clawhammer Rd > Black Mtn Trail (west/left) > Left at Club Gap > Avery Creek Trail > Stay on right side of creek at obvious campsite > Left/Downhill on Avery Creek Rd back to car. Avery Creek Trail is sick, chunky, loose, fast awesomeness. Literally different every time I do it because of how weather and traffic affects the trail.
    3. Park at "The Stables" > Clawhammer Rd > Black Mtn Trail (west/left) > Left at Club Gap > Avery Creek Trail > Stay on right side of creek at obvious campsite > Right/Uphill on Avery Creek Rd all the way up to the intersection of Buckwheat and Bennett > Left on Bennett. This is like the Bennett loop with way more gravel climbing and way more awesome DH. Combo of #1 & #2.
    4. Park at the Ranger Station (or one of the two obvious lots just next to it on the same side of the road > Pavement (right out of lot, away from town) > Right on Avery Creek Rd (gravel) > Right at "The Stables" and up Clawhammer Rd > Rt at obvious other gravel rd 1 mile up (Turkey Creek Rd/Maxwell Cove Rd/FS 5099) > Soft Rt after another 1 1/4 mi when it turns from gravel rd to double track (the thing on the left has a FS number, but is a dead end) > Right at Pressley Gap > Up 1/4 mi to the top of climbing for the day > Downhill on "Middle Black" to the intersection with Thrift Cove Tr and "Lower Black" > Right on Lower Black > Rt on Sycamore Cove Rd > Car. This is kind of a "Must Do" classic epic Pisgah Loop. Three variations below.
    4a. This gives you the epic gnarly DH of "Upper Black", awesome views and a bunch of hike-a-bike. Park at the Ranger Station (or one of the two obvious lots just next to it on the same side of the road > Pavement (right out of lot, away from town) > Right on Avery Creek Rd (gravel) > Right at "The Stables" and up Clawhammer Rd > Past the Rt turn for previous loop > Right/East at Black Mtn Trail > Climb, Meander, Hike-a-bike until the intersection with Turkey Pen Gap > Stop, put on FF helmet, knee pads, elbow pads > Down "Upper Black" > Straight at Pressley Gap > Up 1/4 mi to the top of climbing for the day > Downhill on "Middle Black" to the intersection with Thrift Cove Tr and "Lower Black" > Right on Lower Black > Rt on Sycamore Cove Rd > Car. This is an epic ride with some sick trail.
    4b. Take either of the two above options for Black Mtn Trail > Turn LEFT at Sycamore Cove Rd > Right on Grassy Rd > Left/Uphill at intersection with Sycamore Cove Trail > Rt on Pavement at the end > Meander back to car via pavement and gravel campground path. This option, Sycamore, can be done by itself in about 45 min or less. You can actually just park at The Hub, demo a bike, loop it, demo another bike, repeat until Beer Thirty.

    C) Daniel Ridge/Cove Creek Area.
    1. Park at Daniel Ridge Parking Lot > Uphill on FS 475 > Rt at 4 way intersection, through the gate onto Pilot Mt Rd > Up for an hour > Continue onto Deep Gap Rd (it just turns to double track) > Continue through rustic campgrounds and chunky double track climbs and short fast sections > You'll know you're at the top when you get to the big log with the Farlow Gap trailhead sign > Stop and put on any pads you humped up this far > Drop into the guts of Farlow > Brave the creek crossings and brief hike-a-bikes > Right at the Intersection with Daniel's Ridge Trail > Right at the bridge > Car. The combination of the gnarliness of upper Farlow, the beautiful creeks, the remote feel and the world class DH of Daniel's Ridge along the river makes this one of the most memorable rides in Pisgah. Do it if you have the time and energy and can handle 1 1/2 hrs of sustained grade gravel climbing. And the weather is good.
    2. Park at Fish Hatchery > Left on FS 475 > Pavement until you see Davidson River Trail drop off to the left > Back on the road (left) where it'll be gravel > Continue past Daniel Ridge Parking > Left onto FS 471 > Stay on FS 471 even during the soul sucking downhill part > Left on Art Loeb/Mountains to Sea Trail toward Butter Gap (it might just say Butter Gap, or it might say hiking only. Follow your map!) > Left on Butter Gap proper > Rt at intersection with Long Branch > Left onto Cat Gap Trail > Car. I'm only really listing this because the Butter Trail gets a lot of hype. It's pretty fun, parts of it are always wet, it's kind of over before you want it to be and the Cat Gap Trail is probably the most fun part of it, but if its a popular day for the hikers you'll need to watch out for them! It doesn't suck, but your efforts might be better spent elsewhere.

    D) North Mills River Area:
    Honestly, there are a couple great trails out there, but it's hard to do a good loop compared with what you can do at Davidson River. For reference, Spencer Gap and Trace Ridge are awesome.

    E) Laurel Mountain/Pilot Rock- Only ever do this if you can confirm with the Forest Service that Yellow Gap Rd is open. Otherwise you'll waste a ton of time driving close but not close enough to the trail. It's an epic Pisgah ride and people LOVE it. Personally, the Laurel Mtn part is a little too XC for me and I have to get off my bike a few too many times. I've actually hiked UP Pilot Cove a couple times to skip it. Takes about the same amount of time! Personally, if I'm going to do the loop, I add on Pilot Cove. It's beautiful and adds some really nice DHish trail and helps you skip a metric shit ton of gravel downhill.

    F) Turkey Pen Rd. This is the realm of the XC riders. Some really fantastic rides in here, just not DH oriented. For reference: Squirrel Gap & Millinex are awesome and popular link ups.

    G) DuPont State Park. Honestly, most of DuPont is an XC riders paradise. You can have a really lame day out there if you don't get good beta because everything is called "trail" whether it's gnarly DH chunk or if it's a 40ft wide gravel road. Here's what I know:
    1. Ridgeline Trail. This is the most famous trail at DuPont. It's all flow, it's fast, it's buff. Find a way to get to the top and zoom down for a pretty quick loop, or link it onto a longer day. I actually think the lollipop loop Hickory Mountain Loop at the top of it is a wicked fun ad on.
    2. Enduro Day. Park at the Corn Mill Shoals Lot. If you want to do all three, follow in this order for efficiency. Some folks might just want to do Big Rock though.
    2a. Corn Mill Shoals to Burnt Mountain. Take the Second Burnt Mountain trailhead so that you do it Clockwise.
    2b. Continue on Corn Mill Shoals until it turns into Little River. Continue on Little River (past the Cedar River DH on the left) until it turns into Cedar Rock climb. At the top, head down the Cedar Rock DH. Get out your camera, this is ALL slickrock, the whole way down.
    2c. Same as above on the Cedar Rock climb. At the top, Take Big Rock down. This is super epic. This is what you saw pictures of. You want to ride this trail.
    2d. I do this ride as an extra to run the dog. It's beautiful and a really easy climb and a pretty fun DH and nobody is out there. Start on Corn Mill Shoals > Immediately turn left onto Longside > Left onto Twixt > Cross pavement and go up Rock Quary Rd > Pass Micajah > Left just before the quarry > Left on Buck Ridge Rd > Left on Micajah > Car.

    H) Bailey Mountain Bike Park. 30 min North of Asheville in Mars Hill. Friday evenings, Saturday & Sunday. You can rent Norco DH bikes and FF helmets from them. There is nothing easy there, but if you can ride the hard stuff in Pisgah, you'll be fine. There's flow trail with tables/doubles and there's steep natural trail. Did I mention steep? Don't be surprised if you end up "riding with" some random child/college kid/old guy who's the best rider you've ever seen. The Millers who own/run the park are some of the nicest people you'll meet.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  5. #5
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    You have a tip jar?

    Feel like I should print that out and sell it.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  6. #6
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    Above and beyond. Nice work.

  7. #7
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    Ha ha. Thatís been my world for the last 4-5 years.
    Moved away and trying to live vicariously through mags.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  8. #8
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    Bookmarked for my next trip down there. Loved it last year!

  9. #9
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    That's amazing! Thanks, man!

    You're not in the area anymore? Beers on me if you wanna join us.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2007
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    We rode a day in Brevard. Had a blast. Rented from the Hub. That place is worth a stop. Good beers on tap and probably the nicest bike shop Iíve been to. Canít remember trail names but it was a system not far from the shop on a mountain.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    That's amazing! Thanks, man!

    You're not in the area anymore? Beers on me if you wanna join us.
    Hope it helps. Post up some pics when you're done is the only payback I want.
    We just moved to CO from Raleigh, so missing the riding there, but not the 4hr drive to the mountains!!
    Basically spent almost every weekend the last several summers at Snowshoe and winters at Bailey/Pisgah. Lots of hours behind the wheel, lots of coin on hotels/VRBO.
    Headed back for a quick Friday/Saturday after Turkey day. Probably ride Black Mtn or Avery/Bennett Friday then shuttle serve at Bailey Mtn Saturday.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2009
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    which part of CO you move to, tons of riding there obviously
    i live on west coast and ride all over here (cali, utah, canada, az, etc), but pisgah area is the only area i really want to ride on the east coast, sounds killer!


    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Hope it helps. Post up some pics when you're done is the only payback I want.
    We just moved to CO from Raleigh, so missing the riding there, but not the 4hr drive to the mountains!!
    Basically spent almost every weekend the last several summers at Snowshoe and winters at Bailey/Pisgah. Lots of hours behind the wheel, lots of coin on hotels/VRBO.
    Headed back for a quick Friday/Saturday after Turkey day. Probably ride Black Mtn or Avery/Bennett Friday then shuttle serve at Bailey Mtn Saturday.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2015
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    tip of the right hand stache
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    I literally just came back from there and did a ton of research and ended up doing a lot of the stuff on your list (which is nearly exhaustive). Black mountain (Davidson river) was my favorite trail there. Donít bother adding sycamore cove, it doesnít hold a match to black- save that energy and go ride something else. Laurel mountain to pilot rock was incredible as well, as was the trace ridge loop.

  14. #14
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    Nice pics. Iím rolling in Wednesday afternoon. My friends are - predictably - worthless shitbirds and wonít be arriving until Thursday night. Long shot, but if anybody is in the area riding those two days, lemme know.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  15. #15
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    You camping? Riding two days?

  16. #16
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    Yeah, plan is to camp at Davidson River. I'm planning to arrive Wednesday afternoon, and ride Wed-Sun, rain or shine. My friends claim they'll be there in time to ride on Thursday, but I know better.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  17. #17
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    where the rough and fluff live
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    jm2e, that purge makes me want to travel just to ride there.

  18. #18
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    bagtagley, what time do you think youíll be riding Wednesday? I can probably give you some suggestions for the amount of time youíll have to knock something out that day.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  19. #19
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    bluenext, great picks!
    Did you do Pilot Cove with Laurel-Pilot? Or just gravel back to car?

    You do some other stuff by Trace? I love that area, just makes for a quick ride if you donít want to add a bunch of xc miles on the Road to Nowhere, so we didnít hit it much.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  20. #20
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    Should be set up by 3:00. A quick wet weather ride rec would be appreciated.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    bluenext, great picks!
    Did you do Pilot Cove with Laurel-Pilot? Or just gravel back to car?

    You do some other stuff by Trace? I love that area, just makes for a quick ride if you donít want to add a bunch of xc miles on the Road to Nowhere, so we didnít hit it much.
    I rode trace ridge loop from north mills via spencer gap. Awesome. Leaves had popped up there.

    Didnít do pilot cove, my buddy had to head back to work.

    I also did Farlow and butter. Farlow is the steepest sustained trail Iíve ever ridden. Butter was great but cat gap was super duper fun. So fun that we did it twice.

  22. #22
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    Damn, been working all day and never checked in here. Sorry. Hope you manage to find something to ride before the sun went down.
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  23. #23
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    Asheville recs

    No sweat. Ended up doing lower Black, then barely got down lower Sycamore before it was dark.

    Awesome trip. Davidson River campground was super convenient. We rode from the campsite for everything except a DuPont ride. The riding there is pretty intense. Plenty of opportunity for speed, but it can get hairy pretty fast. Black Mountain top-to-bottom was incredible. It was soaking wet and completely treacherous, but it was by far my favorite ride of the trip. It dried out through the weekend, but then the leaves just got dry and fluffy. It turns out wet roots and rocks and packed leaves and visibility are preferable to dry roots and rocks that you can't see because they're covered in slick, dry leaves. I need to get back in the spring when it's tacky and the leaves are gone. DuPont was fun. It was our second ride of the day, so the faster climbs and lack of leaves made for a nice alternative.

    Thanks again for the info, jm2e. We barely scratched the surface down there. Definitely heading back in the Spring.





    Last edited by bagtagley; 11-13-2017 at 09:34 AM.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  24. #24
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    Glad you had fun. Yea, those leaves can be nerve wracking. Especially when they hide the bomb holes on Black! Wait until you're out there in the winter and it's dry leaves with a layer of frost underneath!
    If you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it tubeless, I will. I got spare time.

  25. #25
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    Jan 2009
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    nice summary. so for the experts, when would be the ideal time to ride for no leaves, good temps, good conditions? april?

    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    No sweat. Ended up doing lower Black, then barely got down lower Sycamore before it was dark.

    Awesome trip. Davidson River campground was super convenient. We rode from the campsite for everything except a DuPont ride. The riding there is pretty intense. Plenty of opportunity for speed, but it can get hairy pretty fast. Black Mountain top-to-bottom was incredible. It was soaking wet and completely treacherous, but it was by far my favorite ride of the trip. It dried out through the weekend, but then the leaves just got dry and fluffy. It turns out wet roots and rocks and packed leaves and visibility are preferable to dry roots and rocks that you can't see because they're covered in slick, dry leaves. I need to get back in the spring when it's tacky and the leaves are gone. DuPont was fun. It was our second ride of the day, so the faster climbs and lack of leaves made for a nice alternative.

    Thanks again for the info, jm2e. We barely scratched the surface down there. Definitely heading back in the Spring.

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