We headed out to Bent Creek Experimental Forest with some of the crew from Liberty Bicycles to take a look at some of their local trails and find out what makes Green’s Lick trail one of the most popular trails around. For more info on riding in the Asheville area, visit https://advguides.com/best-mountain-bike-trails-road-rides-in-asheville-cycling/
About Green’s Lick Trail
With 2.5 miles of advanced single-track that drops 800 feet in a constant barrage of high berms, rolling whoop-dedos, and big jumps, Green’s Lick is a local favorite and one of the most popular mountain bike rides in Asheville. If you’re looking for a short ride of around two hours, we recommend heading up Deer Lake Lodge, left on Wolf Branch, right on 479E, left on Ingles Field Gap, at Five Points straight to North Boundary to Green’s Lick. Bomb Green’s Lick down, right on 479C and left on Lower Sidehill to get back to the parking lot. The options for longer mountain bike rides at Bent Creek are nearly endless, so if you’re in the mood for a full day of riding you won’t be dissappointed by the abundance of fun trails at Bent Creek.
About Bent Creek Mountain Biking
Just minutes from downtown Asheville, Bent Creek Forest lies at the northern end of the vast Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. The 30 miles of trails in the Bent Creek Reasearch and Demonstration Forest are well suited for everyone from beginning and intermediate mountain bikers, families, and groups to cyclists looking to challenge themselves on tough climbs and steep descents.
Because of it’s proximity to Asheville, Hendersonville, Fletcher, Arden and other cities in the greater Asheville area, Bent Creek sees a large number of visits during the evening hours when groups of mountain bikers meet up for a post-work ride. The area also featured a campground, mountain lake, and family recreation area, which lead to big crowds during the summer months.
Riders looking to branch out beyond the 30-miles of trails in Bent Creek can link up with other trail systems in Pisgah National Forest by heading out over the Bent Creek Gap Road — an old forest service road — for some long-distance advenutre rides.
While challenging for novice riders and those first beginning mountain biking, the trails in the Bent Creek trail system are not considered extremely difficult due to recent trail work that eliminated the most challenging, technical aspects of the trails. Most trails follow old road or railroad beds and have only a few areas that require significant technical skill, with steeps, rocks, roots, mud, and creek crossings. For the most part, mountain bikers can expect to find fast, flowing sections of singletrack trail that makes for fun riding.
Bent Creek Mountain Biking Trails
Known for being one of the most popular trails at Bent Creek, Green’s Lick’s 2.5 miles of single-track along an old road bed drops 800 feet in a fast-paced barrage of berms, rolling water bars and jumps. Link this trail up with Deer Lake Lodge, Wolf Branch and Ingles Field Gap for an afternoon ride.
Explorer/Lower Sidehill Loop
This intermediate 6.5-mile loop traverses some of Bent Creek’s most diverse terrain and features creek crossings, optional log rides, diverse woodlands & wildlife clearings with tremendous mountain vistas. After the ride be sure to cool off in Lake Powhatan. Directions from Asheville: Take I-240 W to I-26 E and get off on Exit 2, NC 191. Turn left and head south on NC 191 for 2 miles. Turn right at the stoplight onto Bent Creek Ranch Road about 2 miles. We like the parking lot off 479 (dirt road) just past the Hardtimes trailhead parking.