Kitsuma Mountain Bike Trail: Kitsuma in the Pisgah National Forest is one of the more “famous” mountain bike trails in the Asheville area. So famous in fact Litespeed named one of their bikes after this trail. The suggested ride is a 10-mile loop with close to 2,200 feet of elevation change. The ride starts with a serious lungbuster of a climb that challenges you with 14 switchbacks. Don’t let the first painful 15 minutes get in your head-the next 5 miles consist of epic and sometimes steep rolling singletrack on the ridgeline that ends with a fast and furious downhill into the Old Fort picnic area. From the picnic area hang a left on to the paved road (look for the Dead End sign, house with barking dogs, and garden with scarecrow). After a half mile, this turns into a recently paved gated road (we think with Rails to Trails funds) and is completely closed to cars. From here it’s essentially a 5-mile road ride with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Enjoy the views of the opposing mountain you just conquered. This is an advanced ride and very treacherous when wet.
Directions from Asheville: Take I-40 East for about 16 miles to the Ridgecrest exit (the exit just past Black Mtn). Turn left off the exit, cross bridge, then turn right at stop sign. Head about 1 mile to stop sign. Go straight and parking for trailhead is about 1/4 mile on your left.