This is not an exaggeration — Transylvania County has become a top destination for cyclists and mountain bikers from across the country, who come here to experience the hundreds of miles of trails, scenic byways, testing ascents and pleasurable descents. For an in-depth and exhaustive look at cycling and mountain biking in the area, The Transylvania Times publishes a magazine, “Bike Transylvania,” and website, www.biketransylvania.com. Free copies of the 2018 edition may be picked up at the newspaper’s office on North Broad Street in Brevard, the Visitors Center on East Main Street in Brevard, the Pisgah District Ranger Station Visitors Center in Pisgah National Forest, local bike shops and other locations.
Mountain bikers are really spoiled for choices in the county, thanks to three major public lands: Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park.
There are 180 miles of trails in the Pisgah District of Pisgah National Forest, alone. Two rides, Sycamore Cove (4.7 miles) and Thrift Cove (4.5 miles), begin at the Ranger Station and Visitors Center.
At the Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery, tougher rides may be accessed, while the really serious riders should try those near FS 477 off U.S. 276.
Forest officials warn that some trails have natural hazards and bikers should be cautious at all times. For cyclists, a ride along the roughly 15 miles of U.S. 276 through the forest is a challenge as the road winds upward toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information about biking in Pisgah, stop by the Visitors Center on U.S. 276 or call (828) 877-3265.
DuPont State Recreational Forest in Cedar Mountain has 82 miles of forest roads and trails that are open to mountain biking. While Pisgah’s known for its challenging single-track trails, DuPont offers trails that are accessible to a wide variety of skill levels. The forest office may be reached at (828) 877-6527 or go to www.ncforestservice.gov/contacts/dsf.htm or www.dupontforest.com for more information.
Gorges State Park, located in the southern part of Transylvania County off N.C. 281, allows mountain bikes on the 12-mile round-trip Auger Hole Trail from the Frozen Creek Access to Turkey Pen Gap on the park’s western boundary.
For more information about Gorges, call (828) 966-9099 or go to www.ncparks.gov/gorges-state-park.
Brevard is also home to a popular multi-use path. It currently extends from Allison Road to Lowe’s, a distance of 3.5 miles. At Lowe’s, the multi-use path heads into Pisgah National Forest, where it turns to gravel, taking riders into the heart of the forest and the many trails open to mountain bikers.
Some 6 miles of trails are also open to mountain bikes on the city’s Bracken Mountain property, which sits above downtown Brevard adjacent to the Brevard Music Center. One trail is a 4-mile loop around the mountain. A two-mile trail connects the Bracken Mountain Trail with Forest Road 475C. This allows mountain bikers to travel on to the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in Pisgah National Forest.
To get more advice about trails and other biking-related information, stop by Sycamore Cycles at 112 New Hendersonville Highway (828-877-5790 or go to www.sycamorecycles.com); Reeb Ranch at 315 Shoals Fall Road, Hendersonville (303-845-0394 or go to www.reebranch.com); The Hub and Pisgah Tavern at 72 U.S. 276 (828-884-8670 or go to www.thehubpisgah.com); Squatch Bikes & Brews at the Brevard Lumber Yard on King Street (828-877-2453 or go to www.squatchbikes.com); Pura Vida Adventures at 155 New Hendersonville Highway (1-772-579-0005 or go to www.pvadventures.com); The Bike Farm at 160 Sutton Creek Road (828-577-3673 or go to www.bikefarmpisgah.com); or Carmichael Training Systems at 72 U.S. 276 (828-378-0152 or go to www.trainright.com)