|The Trails of Brevard are frequently compared to Slickrock in Utah|
Thank goodness for friendly locals. I almost missed this place! Brevard, located in south-western North Carolina, is a favorite mountain biking destination for people across the south. This is because of two massive parks which offer some hundreds of miles of singletrack. Pisgah National Forest is unusually friendly to the rough and tumble mountain biking crowd and many of the trails are open to fat tires. Dupont State Forest also is completely mountain biking friendly and has trails that are moderately technical and great for cross country style riding. All of this new knowledge is due to some new friends in Brevard and The Hub - a mountain biking outfitter and tavern. Missing this would be a travel travesty!
It would take months or perhaps a lifetime to really explore this entire area. I had to limit myself to highlights. The staff at the Hub was completely open about everything in the area; I felt like a local. Ever thankful for the insider knowledge, I settled on checking out Dupont State Forest first. Pisgah NF would have to wait until the next time I came back.... hopefully soon!
|The great trail up Big Rock|
|Well-maintained single track.|
I decided to try out the trails around Fawn Lake and Lake Julia for a change of pace. These trails are mostly wider and less steep but there are a few points of interest. Fawn Lake is within 20 minutes of the parking area and is a great swimming hole on a hot day. Further up the trail is the Airline trail which curiously crosses an old landing strip before descending down some twisted singletrack. That and Big Rock were my favorites. Lake Julia is a larger lake that has padding and swimming opportunities. It would be difficult for me to recreate all the trails I did in this section because they are numerous and maze-like. I needed to check the map as frequently as possible.
|Coming in for a landing?|
|Canoes looked tempting!|
|Nice view from the overlook above Bridalveil Falls|
My last rides of the day were the Laural Ridge and Mine Mountain loops which were middle of the pack in difficulty. The ascent was pretty tough and there were a lot of fallen branches slowing the pace. However it was a gentle descent which cooled me down.
All in all, I think I might have seen an 1/8th of the park? It isn't a wonder that the hardcore biking scene adores this park so much. I headed back to the Hub for a beer before leaving. The locals were so friendly and helpful that it was tough to get on the road again.
Read. Plan. Get Out There!