Elk Mountain Scenic Parkway (Asheville Road Cycling): The quintessential road ride for Asheville cyclists is the Elk Mountain Scenic Highway and it definitely packs a punch. This challenging ride begins with a steep, leg-crushing climb up Elk Mountain Scenic Highway before cresting the summit of the climb at Buzzard Rock before dropping into a fast descent to Bull Gap and the Blue Ridge Parkway. A lot of options abound, including great gravel rides in this area, but a favorite is to continue heading south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Town Mountain Road and wind your way down the steep mountain descent to a right turn onto Sunset Drive and wind your way through the modern houses and great vistas to connect to the Grove Park Inn and Kimberly Ave to complete the loop.
Directions from Asheville: From downtown take Merrimon Ave. N 2 miles. Turn right on Beaverdam Rd at Ingles grocery store and head out Beaverdam Rd. for 1 mile to Elk Mountain Scenic Highway on the left. Alternate routes include heading up to Sunset Drive for a nice, gradual climb with minimal traffic.