Yancey Ridge Trail (Wilson Creek): If you’re looking for a challenging mountain biking ride with some fun climbing and technical descents, look no further than Yancey Ridge. This is a good loop through the Wilson Creek Area of Pisgah National Forest and begins with a grueling 3.5 mile climb before gaining the ridge for some fast and fun ridge riding before beginning a steep descent down some big erosion gullies to finish on Roseboro Road. Along the way, cyclists will get to enjoy some of Pisgah’s most beautiful, rugged and remote terrain. Be on the lookout for bears, however, as this is an official NPS Bear Sanctuary and more than a few have been spotted along the trail in recent years.
We recommend starting at the Gragg Prong parking area and making the climb up to Old House Gap on the Forest Service Road. Once you’ve reached the gate near the gap, be on the lookout for a turn to the right and two large dirt mounds and begin the singletrack portion of the ride. The trail is continuous throughout and it is advised to veer right throughout on the downhill.
Best time to ride – In late April frequent Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel blooms make this an especially scenic ride, although winter provides the best long-range mountain views.
What to bring – Standard wilderness gear, including map, compass, plenty of food, water, and layers. This is a very remote area that is rarely frequented by hikers or other mountain bikers.
Directions from Boone: Take Hwy 105 S for 17 miles to Linville. At the 4-way stop at Eseeola, turn left onto Roseboro Rd. Follow to the Blue Ridge Parkway and cross the BRP. Descend the gravel road for 3.1 miles to parking on either side of bridge over Gragg Prong Creek. FS 192 heads uphill on the left after the bridge.