If you’re a mountain biker in the southeast, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve heard about the wonder that is Brevard, North Carolina. Home to some of the top rated trails in the country, shops that double as bars, and Oskar Blues Brewery, it’s truly an outdoor oasis. It’s a spot that has been on my to-do list for awhile, but I always felt it was for ~~real mountain bikers~~ which I’ve never fully considered myself up until recently.
Most of my friends, including my husband, had visited before, so planning a trip up there was real easy.
Pat and I left after work on Monday evening, getting us to Brevard at nearly 1am. We didn’t have much of a plan for that evening, but knew there were a handful of free campsites available in Pisgah Forest. Somehow, we managed to find an open one! Trip success number one!
On Tuesday morning, we quickly packed up camp & set out to the trails. Our first stop was Lower Black Mountain. Since his last visit, Pat had been going on and on about how much fun the, naturally, he had to show me it immediately. I can now confirm that the climb up is definitely worth the trip back down! It’s a pretty straight forward descent full of all the rocks and roots you could ask for. For those more adventurous, there’s also an upper and middle Black Mountain that I’ve heard is even more technical.
Someday soon, I’ll be back to check out even more of what Pisgah has to offer, but for this trip, our focus was on Dupont.
Pat had found a route made by MTB Project that featured a nearly 18 mile loop, sporting the name “Best of Dupont.” For two folks who had never ridden these trails before, it seemed like a good place to start. This route has you leave from the Lake Imaging parking lot, which seems to be what most riders choose to do.
Honestly, the first few miles were a bit underwhelming. For a minute, we thought that maybe we were going the wrong direction on the trails.
The trails were really well marked but had it not been for a pretty solid GPS, I would have spent a lot of time randomly wandering around trails. Definitely recommend uploading a route to your GPS before heading out on the ride!
Due to kind of blindly following Pat around, I don’t know many of the trails by name. (Real helpful, right?)
I can say that Turkey Knob has a solid descent and Ridgeline is the best trail I’ve ever ridden! This loop did a really good job at hiding more than 2,000 feet of climbing along the 17.6 mile loop. There weren’t really any sustained climbs and the punchy uphills kind of came out of nowhere and were gone before you knew it.
For being rated on of the top trails in the country, I was definitely expecting a more challenging ride. But, what the trails lacked in technical features, they more than made up in flowy, beautifully maintained singletrack. Every detail on the trail seemed intentionally placed to enhance the overall experience. I definitely recommend this loop for just about any level of rider – just be comfortable with climbing!
Next to the trails, the most important part of a visit to Brevard was a trip to Reeb Ranch. Owned by Oskar Blues Brewing, it’s the perfect camping spot for mountain bikers. Only 8 miles out of downtown Brevard, it offers access to all the Dupont trails, a pump track, and a terrifying-looking downhill run. We went in the middle of the week, so we were the only ones on site! I’m sure it’s a much more bumping place during the weekend, but I honestly didn’t mind having an entire ranch to call our own for the night. For those not into camping, well, first of all, you’re wrong…but, Reeb has options for you! You can choose between an airstream set up with a beautiful view of the mountains, a barn apartment or a waterfall cabin. Whatever your preference, they got you covered.
With not being able to take much time off of work, we had to cram as much as we could into a day and a half. We definitely didn’t get to experience all that Brevard has to offer on this trip, but we will be back real soon! After seeing how much fun everyone is having at the Pisgah Stage Race, I’m anxious to get back up there and see how I could manage those trails. Might cry, but I’ll be stoked after the fact.