Mountain biking: Mountains
North Carolina's Appalachians, and the Pisgah National Forest in particular, boasts some of the best mountain biking in the country.
1. Bent Creek Experimental Forest, Asheville. 24 miles. A big trail network of singletrack and double track on its own, it connects with other trails in the region to create some true epic rides. Proximity to Asheville makes it especially popular. Details here or call 828-667-5261.
2. Davidson River area of Pisgah National Forest, Brevard. 100+ miles. Davidson River campground makes a great base camp for exploring this vast network of trail, the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery is where several of the top trails depart. Some trails are only open to mountain biking from mid-October into spring. Details here.
3. DuPont Forest, between Hendersonville and Brevard. About 100 miles of all kinds of trail, from challenging double track to challenging singletrack to slickrock. Great scenery, with lots of waterfalls. Details here.
4. Kitsuma, Old Fort. 10 miles. The climb up 14 switchbacks is a grind, but the payoff is four miles of fast, rolling mostly downhill that make Kitsuma a Pisgah classic. Details here.
5. Mills River area of the Pisgah National Forest, Mills River. 82 miles. Adjoining the Davidson River area, this is another classic Pisgah collection. Most notable are the Fletcher Creek and Laurel Mountain trails. Details here.
6. Tsali Recreation Area, NC 28 at FS 1286, Bryson City area. 40 miles. Fee. Long noted for its great flow and mileage, Tsali consists of four big loops. Mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians share the trails, with useage split up by day of the week. Details here.
7. Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, US 421 just east of Boone, just east of Bamboo Road and the Marathon Gas Station. 8 miles and "adventure playground." 185-acre park launched by Watauga County and the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority with a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. Details here.