Beech Mountain is quickly becoming ground zero for some of the best riding in North Carolina. Mountain bikers can ride a lift to the top of Beech Mountain and bomb it down some of the steepest downhill trails in the Eastern U.S. For those not quite ready to let it rip on the steeps, the nearby Emerald Outback Trails offer a great alternative for mountain bikers and hikers looking to explore over 8 miles of trails located at over 5,400 feet in elevation.
The recently developed trail system includes mostly single-track and double-track trails, interspersed with a few grassy roads and a gravel fire road in a setting that is unlike that of any other trail park in the Southeast. Visitors will find wind-swept gnarly Beech trees, lush undergrowth and small streams form an emerald forest that inspired creation of the Land of Oz theme park, which operated nearby from 1970-80 capped off with incredible 50-mile scenic views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Emerald Outback was built by the Town of Beech Mountain. It’s free and open to the public seven days a week, with a trail head in the center of this resort town and a second trail head beside the Summit Lot parking area.[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/emerald-outback-loop-beech-mountain.gpx”]
This is a great place to ride and the high altitude creates a unique ecosystem and environment unlike anywhere else I’ve visited. Definitely a great destination in the High Country!