Wilson Creek Trails: Part of the 500,000-acre Pisgah National Forest, the Wilson Creek area is a destination unto itself for outdoor adventure sports. With fantastic vistas, ridges more than 4000 feet high, whitewater rapids and trails that travel to spectacular waterfalls, Wilson Creek offers great adventures for hiking, scenic viewing, mountain biking, fishing, camping, horseback riding and backpacking.
An incredible network of trails traverse the steep terrain of the area, but many of the trails are officially off-limits to mountain biking. According to the National Forest Service’s website, there are four trails that are sanctioned for mountain biking in the area. These include:
Yancey Ridge Trail: The Yancey Ridge Trail is one of the Wilson Creek area’s most well-known mountain biking trails. Cyclists make the long, gradual climb up Forest Service Rd. 192 to Old House Gap before dropping into a fast and scenic ride down gravel roads and singletrack. Long Yancey’s, as the locals call it, continues down the ridge for 15 miles of mixed terrain and is ideally suited for experienced mountain bikers looking for a challenge. The gentle, 2 mile Short Yancey’s trail veers off to the right down a gravel forest service road after reaching Old House Gap. Directions from Boone: Take Hwy 105 S for 17 miles to Linville. At the 4-way stop at Eseeola, turn left onto Roseborough 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.
Greentown: The trail starts off through a small apple orchard before dropping into some fast and fun berms as it descends down to a rocky, technical creek crossing at Upper Creek. After Upper Creek, the trail takes a moderately steep grade for 1.5 miles, then traverses along Burnthouse Branch for beautiful cross country riding on old forest access roads before it junctions FS 198. Follow road for 0.5 mile. The trail continues to the north on a really nice gradual climb up to thea grassy double track of Chestnut Mountain Road until it junctions with Trail 277. Trail #268, 6.6 miles. Elevation: Beginning at 2,800, ending at 2,360. Access this trail off Hwy 181.
Thorps Creek – Schoolhouse Ridge: This is a loop trail that begins at Mortimer Campground and follows Thorps Creek for 2.4 miles passing the falls. The trail reaches the headwaters of Thorps Creek at Wilson Ridge. Bearing to the left at each intersection will bring you to Schoolhouse Ridge. Trail #279, 5.8 mile loop. Elevation: Beginning at 1,600, ending at 1,580.
Holly Spring Trail: from fs-982 take chesnut mtn rd towards brown mountain. trail is singletrack on the right. really, really great trail. almost 100% singletrack. this trail starts with a super steep goat trail hike a bike section and turns to singletrack similar to that found on beehive. there is one more steep hike a bike section, then ripping singletrack. it dumps out near the concrete bridge on fs-982. watch out for the sinkhole!
Woodruff Ridge #256: (1.9 miles) This steep, technical trail will test any seasoned mountain bikers climbing skills. From the Globe Church, head northwest on Anthony’s Creek Rd untill you see the sign for Woodruff Trail. Good parking can be found at the trailhead. This trail climbs steeply past cascading waterfalls and beautiful old growth forest. Turn right onto FS 4081 and follow until Woodruff Trail drops off on the left and eventually dumps you out on Edgemont Road. From here, you can either reverse the trail or continue onto Wilson Ridge #269.
Wilson Ridge #269:– Starting at the northern most point of this 11.4 mile trail will provide you with some fast flowing downhill. Access this trail from Edgemont Road and begin riding down what the locals call “21 Jumps.” After hitting all 21 jumps make your way up a short climb and 50 yard section of hike-a-bike and continue ripping downhill and onto FS 4068. Bare left and keep your eyes peeled for the continuation of the trail off to the left which will spit you onto Highway 90. From here you have the option of heading down to Mortimer and up Edgemont Road back to the car or if your feeling adventurous make your way to the other side of Highway 90 and continue onto Lower Wilson Ridge. Beware, this section is long and extremely remote following a very exposed ridge. There are many unmarked turns so probably best to go with a local. This trail offers some fun singletrack and amazing views of the surround Wilson Creek area.