The Transylvania Times -

By Derek McKissock
News Editor 

Road Cycling and Mountain Biking Are All The Rage

 

SOME SIX MILES OF NEW TRAILS WILL ALSO BE OPENING THIS SUMMER ON BREVARD’S BRACKEN MOUNTAIN PROPERTY.

Each year, it seems that Transylvania County’s reputation as a mecca for cyclists and mountain bikers grows and grows.

There are literally hundreds of miles of trails for mountain bikers, while the scenic mountain roads are a draw for the amateur and professional cyclist.

Competitions in both sports are regularly held, and recently national bike magazines have recognized what the county offers and spread the news.

For those who like a leisurely ride on a bicycle, the county has much to offer.

The multi-use path in Brevard is open to bicyclists and currently extends from Allison Road to Lowe’s, a distance of 3.5 miles. The city has plans to expand the path, with the goal of one day being able to travel all over Brevard by bike.

At Lowe’s, the multi-use path then heads into Pisgah National Forest, where it turns to gravel, taking riders into the heart of the forest and the many trails open to the mountain biker.

Some six miles of new trails will also be open this summer starting on the city’s Bracken Mountain property, which looms over downtown adjacent to the Brevard Music Center. One trail will be a 4-mile loop around the mountain. The two-mile trail will connect the mountain trail with Forest Road 475C. This will allow mountain bikers to travel on to the Pisgah Wildlife Education Center in the Pisgah National Forest.

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.

Once in the Pisgah District of the forest, there are a number of trails, measuring more than 180 miles, that are more suited for mountain bikes.

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 FS 477 off U.S. 276. (Continued on page 34)

Forest officials warn that some trails have natural hazards and bikers should be cautious at all times.

For more information about Biking or trail maps, call the Visitor’s Center at (828) 877-3265.

DuPont State Forest in Cedar Mountain has 82 miles of forest roads and trails that are open to mountain Biking. The forest office can be reached at (828) 877-6527.

Gorges State Park, located in the southern part of Transylvania County off N.C. 281, allows mountain bikes on the 12-mile roundtrip Auger Hole Trail from the Frozen Creek Access to Turkey Pen Gap on the park’s Western boundary.

For more information about Gorges, visit its web page at ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/gorg/main.php, call (828) 966-9099, or e-mail at [email protected]

To get more advice about trails and other biking-related information, stop by Sycamore Cycles on the New Hendersonville Highway (828-877-5790 or go to sycamorecycles.com), the Hub & Backcountry Outdoors at 49 Pisgah Highway (828-884-8670 or go to hubbicycles.com) or call Pura Vida Adventures (772-579-0005 or go to pvadventures.com).

TRANSYLVANIA SPOTLIGHT

Tad Fogel is a local businessman and cycling enthusiast.

“If you happen to notice the number of vehicles in our area that carry bike racks, it’s no wonder given the national attention we’ve received in national cycling publications in recent months. Transylvania County possesses a terrain that would put the novice rider at ease while continuing to challenge those that are most experienced.

“Mountain Biking in our area has seen as explosion of interest following the January 2012 publication of BIKE Magazine, which featured many of the trails in both the Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest.

ASSAULT ON THE CAROLINAS HAS BECOME A VERY POPULAR LOCAL RACE.

“Also, Bicycling Magazine just this spring named Brevard as one of the top four cycling areas in the country! For road cyclists a well-maintained bike path leads directly from downtown to the base of Pisgah National Forest and for those not afraid of a little topography, it’s a smooth 15-mile climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“Our local Rotary Club of Pisgah Forest has seen

interest in its annual ‘Assault on the Carolinas’ steadily

increase over the years bringing in participants from more than 20 states, as well as Canada.”

 
 

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