Brevard and Transylvania County are home to many of the best bike rides and cycling routes in the mountains of North Carolina. Whether you’re bombing singletrack in Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest or Turkey Pen or grinding gravel up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on a classic road or cross country route, you’ll find a ride that we hope will leave you smiling.
Sycamore Cove Loop (Mountain Biking – Pisgah Forest): From the parking area at the bottom of Black Mountain Trail, start up the chunky gravel and stay right to begin climbing up Thrift Cove. After some steep punchy climbing veer right onto Grassy Road Trail. Intersecting with Sycamore Cove you have two choices. Left continues climbing steeply leading to a tight, technical root chocked descent finishing with a super fast section through some beautiful forest. Right is a shorter option straight down super tight singletrack where you can go as fast as your feel comfortable. The best option is to ride up again and do both!
Directions from Brevard: Head to Pisgah Forest intersection and turn left onto US 276 into the Pisgah National Forest. The parking area and trailhead for the Black Mountain Trail and Sycamore Cove Loop is on the right just before the Ranger’s Station.
Clawhammer / Maxwell Cove / Black Mountain Trail (Mountain Biking – Pisgah Forest): Start this epic loop from your favorite bike shop near the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. Head up 276 for 2.2 miles past the Visitor Center taking the next right onto Avery Creek Road towards the horse stables for 1.7 miles. At the horse stables, take a right up Clawhammer Rd (FR 5058) a double track that packs a punch! When your lungs are about to burst hang a right onto Maxwell Cove (FR 5098). Follow this road to its end at Pressley Gap where it intersects Black Mountain Trail. Best to put it in your easiest gear as you start your way up Hickory Knob. If you can clean this climb your well on your way to becoming a true Pisgah rider! Once you hit the top its all downhill from here. Rip down roots rocks and drops through one of the most rugged trails in Pisgah. Take a right to stay on lower Black Mountain Trail, a fast, flowing section that has recently been reworked by the locals. Pop out in the parking lot and take a left back on 276.
Directions from Brevard: Same as above. Avery Creek Road (look for a sign for Horse Stables) is 1/2 mile past Black Mountain Parking Area.
Dupont State Forest – Jim Branch, Isaac Heath, Hilltop and Ridgeline (Mountain Biking – DuPont): Start at Lake Imaging Parking area and head through the gate up the forest road. Take the second left up Jim Branch Trail and get your game face on! The first 100 feet of steep rock-tech packs a full punch. Now that your warmed up continue climbing the more gradual accent. At the top take a right out Isaac Heath contouring along pine forests and flowing fast trail. Stay right onto Locust up a short climb, then rip back down and veer right onto Lake Imaging Road to a quick left out Hilltop Trail. A short climb puts you at the top of a super fun descent packed with tight turns and epic singletrack. Take a right onto Lake Imaging Road and then an immediate left onto Buck Forest Rd. Follow the gravel out 1.5 miles and take a left on Hickory Mt Road towards the top of Ridgeline. Once at the top take a left onto Ridgeline, possibly the best descent in Dupont! This flow trail rips.
Extra Credit: At the top of Ridgeline take the Hickory Mountain Loop, a 1.1 mile loop that climbs up to the top of Hickory Mountain the descending down some of the best singletrack around. The loop is a blast both ways and well worth the extra effort! Loop it clockwise and continue straight into Ridgeline for the ultimate Dupont Descent!
Directions from Brevard: Head south out of Pisghah Forest on US 64 toward Hendersonville for 3.7 miles and turn right on Crab Creek Road. After 4.2 miles, turn right onto Staton Road and continue to the Lake Imaging parking area on the left. Water and bathrooms are 1/2 mile further at the High Falls Parking Area on the left. Nearby Hooker Falls makes a great post-ride swimming spot.
DuPont State Forest – Cedar Rock, Big Rock (Mountain Biking – DuPont): Short but sweet, the 1.5-mile Cedar Rock Trail features a steep climb up eastern slickrock (large slabs of granite) topping out with killer views of Dupont State Forest. Take Big Rock trail from the top of the mountain for a fast, technical downhill over slickrock and single-track. We recommend a loop that includes Corn Mills Shoal to the Little River Trail to Cedar Rock Trail to Big Rock Trail. This loop is about 3 miles. Dupont has many trails so we highly recommend downloading a map from the site below or stopping at a local outdoor store to buy a map.
Directions from Brevard: Head to Pisgah Forest and turn right (east) on US 64 and go 3.7 miles to the Texaco station in Penrose. Turn right on Crab Creek Rd. and continue 4.3 miles. Turn south 5.3 miles on DuPont Road that turns into Staton Road. Go past the Hooker Falls and Buck Forest Access Areas to a left at the end of Staton Road on Cascade Lakes Road. The Corn Mills Shoals Access Area is 0.8 miles on the right.
Ride The Blue Ridge (US 276 to BRP MP 417): Climb US 276 through the Cradle of Forestry to gain scenic views of the expansive Pisgah National Forest and the site where forestry first began in the U.S. Head South to gain views of Looking Glass Rock, a towering dome of granite deep in Pisgah National Forest. For those with strong legs, we recommend making the climb up to the parking area for Black Balsam and taking in the views of the rolling mountains below before turning around and enjoying the mostly downhill ride back to Pisgah Forest.
Directions from Brevard: Head to Pisgah Forest and turn left onto US 276.