Area Info / Bicycling in Western North Carolina
Bicycling in Asheville & Western North Carolina
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Western North Carolina Trail Systems:
In recent years Asheville, NC has become known as a premiere destination for cycling enthusiasts of all stripes. After all, the Asheville area offers everything a cyclist could hope for: a year-round riding climate, incredibly diverse terrain, some of the nation's most scenic trails, and most importantly, a community that's genuinely enthusiastic about cycling. Whether your interested in finding a nice leisurely ride amidst Western North Carolina's stunning wildlife, or a trail-hardened pro seeking the most technically demanding single track, you'll find it in Asheville. With quite a few knowledgeable bike shops, several very committed cycling clubs, the annual French Broad Cycling Classic, and hundreds upon hundreds of miles of trails, it's easy to see why biking continues to grow in popularity in this adventurous mountain town.
If you're interested in mountain biking, you'll find few locales better than the Asheville area. Because of the varied terrain in the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround Asheville, it's easy to find a trail that meets your abilities whether they be at the beginner or advanced levels. Finding the right trail starts with knowing the area. While there are lots of smaller trails to be found, the three largest, main trail systems in Western North Carolina are Tsali, Bent Creek (Pisgah), and Dupont State Forest: Tsali is nearest Bryson City; both Bent Creek (Pisgah National Forest) and Dupont State Forest are near Brevard. There are far too many trails to list in detail here, but a couple do bear mentioning.
If you're just getting into mountain biking, the Boyd Branch Loop has become a local favorite to cut your teeth on. This ride has some technical patches, but for the most part is an easy-going 1 ¾ mile trail perfect for beginners. If you're looking for more of a challenge, and for some stunning views, the Eastern Slickrock ride in the Dupont State Forest should fit the bill. The roughly 850 ft. climb is worth it as the downhill offers incredibly fast solid granite rock sections and plenty of breathtaking vistas.
Of course, the beautiful cycling scenery of Asheville isn't limited to mountain bikes. Some of the best rides around are perfect for touring bicycles, whether you're taking a 50 mile tour to visit one of your favorite shops in Saluda or a short pleasant ride around the historic sites of Asheville.
If you want more information, or to get involved with biking in Asheville, there are a number of clubs and organizations that are worth looking into. Perhaps the biggest of these is the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club - who offers online forums, riding tips, trail advice and more.