Road Biking around Asheville
For road bikes, the popular spot is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Read some great tips about biking on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also read a biker's journal of his ride of the entire Parkway. There are plenty of country roads to explore in the North Carolina mountains. In Asheville,Carrier Park has a paved track for biking loops and is located along the 2.8-mile French Broad River Greenway in West Asheville at the French Broad River Park. It's part of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan, a major urban waterfront redevelopment project. Our favorite paved greenway near Asheville is the Point Lookout Greenway Bike Trail, a very scenic 3.6-mile paved greenway that climbs 900 feet in elevation.
If you are not bring your bike, you can rent road and mountian bikes in town at the Adventure Center of Asheville. For a convenient place to rent and service bikes near Tsali Recreational Area, go to Nantahala Outdoor Center. Their bike shop is only ten minutes from Tsali and they have their own Flint Ridge Trail with great views of the Nantahala Gorge.
As you may guess, mountain biking is big in the Asheville area of the North Carolina mountains. Just south of the city, you will find a variety of mountain bike trails at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest and the NC Arboretum next door. The Pisgah Forest District’s other popular biking areas include Bent Creek, near Asheville; Trace Ridge, near town of Mills River; Davidson River, near Brevard; and South Mills River, near town of Pisgah Forest. About an hour west of Asheville is the nationally known Tsali Recreation Area. Near downtown, go to the Asheville Adventure Center to the Kilo Bike Park.
Bent Creek Mountain Biking
Located in Asheville near the NC Arboretum, Bent Creek's collection of trails is great for all levels of mountain bike riders, with easier flat trails to trails with large climbs and technical sections. Bent Creek is popular for after-dinner rides, because it is just a few minutes' drive from downtown Asheville. Lake Powhatan has a great campground. See our Bent Creek & Lake Powhatan Guide.
North Mills River
About 14 miles from Bent Creek, find an interconnecting trail system in Pisgah National Forest that creates multiple loops to ride on easy to very challenging trails such as Trace Ridge, Fletcher Creek. Laurel Mountain, Pilot Rock, and Spencer Branch. Located near Mills River, a quick drive south of Asheville. Drive NC 280 past the Asheville airport and take a right on North Mills River Road (at Ingles grocery store) and follow signs to North Mills River Recreation Area. Turn right on Wash Creek Road for two miles. Turn left on a gravel road and go a half mile to the Trace Ridge trailhead and parking. Get details on a 8.4-mile loop ride.
DuPont State Forest - Our Favorite!
Bike to waterfalls in DuPont State Forest, fast becoming one of the leading mountain bike destinations in Western North Carolina. This forest offers 100 miles of trail, nearly all of which is open to both equestrians and mountain bikers. DuPont offers everything from gentle forest roads to exciting single track, with an impressive variety of scenic attractions located only minutes apart. Ride across a granite summit at Cedar Rock or gentle dirt roads to Bridal Veil Falls.
Follow the training route of Lance Armstrong. Beech Mountain is a biker's mountain offering something for everyone. The Adventure Trail Park is a series of trails on both public and private land, maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain, that includes single track, double track, technical downhill runs, free ride areas, fire roads, and old unmaintained gravel roads. USA Cycling chose Beech Mountain Resort as the site of the Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships. The resort, the highest ski area in eastern North America, is developing the course and enhancing its lifts with the goal of creating an advanced facility for all mountain bike enthusiasts. On summer weekends, ride the chairlift up and bike down! And it's always cooler at this high elevation. See our Beech Mountain Guide.
The most popular mountain biking area is Tsali Recreation Area in Nantahala National Forest with 40+ miles of trails near Bryson City. See our Tsali Biking Guide.
New bike trails opened in Lake Lure in 2014 at Buffalo Creek Park. The current trail snakes upward in a 3.5-mile loop that climbs approximately 500 feet through forest terrain and boulder fields. More to come soon.Read more in our Lake Lure Guide.
New in 2015! Bailey Mountain Bike Park is the first year-round gravity (or downhill) mountain biking park, featuring a 1,000 foot vertical drop. They'll transport you to the top in a van (chairlift is planned for later) so you can ride down five trails including a jump line (with plans for 30 trails total) and loaded with hardwood trees and giant boulders. Go to their Website.
If you are visiting Biltmore, take along your bike and try out their mountain biking trails - from easy to difficult. Read more.
Assault on Mt. Mitchell
Bike a very challenging 102-mile supported route in May from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the top of Mt. Mitchell. You climb a cumulative of 11,000 plus vertical feet (6,600 feet in the last 24 miles)! You can bike the entire route or take ride the Assault on Marion, a 78-mile ride that stops before the steep climb to the top. Go to their Web site.
Cycle to Farm Ride
July 18, 2015: Cycle to Farm is a popular, organized group road bike ride in the Black Mountain area that encourages and promotes local food, local farms and agritourism. Riders experience a beautiful but challenging metric century route (62 miles), enjoy tasty food samples at "Farm Stops" hosted by local farms, and purchase products at each Farm. See our Cycle to Farm Guide.
Cycle the Blue Ridge Parkway: Blowing Rock to Cherokee
July 23-27, 2015: 200-mile tour by Velo Girl Rides during five days with overnight accommodations and support. Limited to 10 guests. Go to their Web site.
Asheville Gran Fondo
August 30, 2015: Gran Fondo National Championship Series® (GFNCS) benefits Friends of the Smokies. The Asheville Gran Fondo is a European-style cycling challenge that takes bicycle racing to the next level through a hybrid of competitive road racing and casual century rides, designed for cyclists of every skill level. The GFNCS circuit will stop in Asheville with courses covering 20, 60 and 100 mile journeys.The Gran Fondo Asheville will start and finish in conjunction with the Organicfest held in the heart of Asheville at Pack Square Park. The Gran Fondo Asheville features four timed sections, fully stocked aid stations along the route, food & beverage at the finish, and prizes for overall and age-group winners. There is a 500-person field limit to ensure safe riding conditions for all participants. Registration details are at www.gfncs.com.
2015 Cycle North Carolina “Mountains to Coast” Ride
September 26-October 3, 2015: This weeklong cross state ride has been voted the “Best Biking in America” by the League of American Bicyclists. This ride is not a race but a leisurely ride across the state making overnight stops in North Carolina communities. Waynesville will be base camp for the initial kick-off and starting point. The first day, bicycle 55 miles to neighboring Hendersonville to spend the night before continuing on to Shelby. The ride will end at the coast on Oak Island. Cycle North Carolina caps registration at 1,100 riders, so register early. Cycle North Carolina will also host its second annual Mountain Ride in Lake Lure on August 1-2, 2015. For more info and registration, go to cnc.ncsports.org.
USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships
January 6-10, 2016: Racers from across the nation come to Biltmore Estate to complete on a short, diverse course featuring many obstacles.