“Pisgah's most famous trail.”
— Paul Stahlschmidt on Jun 21, 2013
DescriptionBlack Mountain’s south terminus is near the town of Pisgah Forest, across Route 276 from Davidson River Campground. The north end is at Club Gap near Avery Creek Road (FSR 477) at a four-way intersection with Club Gap, Buckwheat Knob, and Avery Creek trails. Several other trails can be accessed by Black Mountain, including Turkeypen Gap, and Buckhorn Gap.
This trail is legendary for many reasons, but mostly it is known for its downhill, which loses over 1900 ft. from its highest point. Some riders get a taste of Black by doing a short loop with Thrift Cove near the bottom. The more ambitious can work their way to Pressley Gap or Buckhorn Gap.
Black Mountain has plenty of technical riding. There are loads of rocks, small drops, and some eroded areas. Overall it gets less technical the closer you get toward the bottom. There is a solid amount of gnar between the summit of Black Mountain. and the Turkeypen Gap trailhead. This section is steep, with ditched-out trail and waterbars that don’t function anymore. The lower section near Thrift Cove is more mellow than the upper.
If planning a route that gets to Buckhorn Gap, there are many choices at that point, including which way to descend Black. You’ll find amazing views by continuing toward Clawhammer Mountain (4120 ft.) and the trail’s namesake peak itself (4286 ft.), but it is a slow-go to get up there with hike-a-bikes along the way. Because of this, many chose to descend down Clawhammer Road and ride back up Turkey Creek Road - FSR 5099 (aka Maxwell Cove) to join Black again at Pressley Gap. Which is better depends on who you ask. Regardless, you’ll eventually get on some great downhill.
From Pressley Gap, there is still some work to do by pushing a bit to Hickory Knob. After that, it is 1400 ft. of DOWN in the final 2.5 miles!
ContactsLand Manager: USFS - Pisgah National Forest, Pisgah Ranger District
Local Club: Pisgah Area SORBA
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