Pisgah Long Tour

Consensus:    (details)
  3.7 from 3 votes
black  Difficult from 1 vote
Rank: #4 in the Hendersonville area
#58 in NC, #2,013 Overall
Views: 5,293. Last 30 days: 160
Condition Details | Update
Featured Ride in the area near Mills River,
“A route through Pisgah with lots of climbing and 3 great descents.”
Logan Watts on Jul 9, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
25.941.7 milesKilometers 4,471’1,363 m Ascent 4,836’1,474 m High 7% Avg Grade (4°)
75% Singletrack -5,491’-1,674 m Descent 2,131’650 m Low 44% Max Grade (24°)
3:33 average time for 22.5 miles. Details

Take in two of the best and most challenging downhills in Pisgah as well as a third on Pilot Cove.
Need To Know
There's a shelter on the Black Mountain Trail that you can use to make this an overnight bike-packing trip if you choose. Otherwise, this can be done in one shot if you've got the legs (and a shuttle!).
Starting at the base of the Laurel Mountain trail, the path up to Pilot Rock offers a mellow 7 mile push through a beautiful poplar forest with a rocky, somewhat technical climb. Once on Pilot Rock, hold on as you begin an awesome, famous Pisgah descent that gets much more technical after the first half mile. Known for its sharp, rocky switchbacks, Pilot has a famous boulder garden as you pass through a beautiful stream crossing. Towards the bottom the trail gets a little more washed out and rooty.

As you get almost to the bottom, a doubletrack with a campsite will split off to the right while a wide singletrack connector goes to the left. Take this unmarked left and follow it through a meandering old logging road that will connect you with the Pilot Cove trail after a steep and rooty climb. Take a right on Pilot Cove and continue the climb until it spills out on an amazing granite slab with an awesome view. Back on the trail, you'll head down through a fun and fast downhill that will spill out on 1206.

Take a right on 1206 (Yellow Gap Road) and follow the gravel to a left turn at South Mills River Road toward the campground. Once you reach the gate, go around and continue on South Mills Trail. This will follow the river and eventually cross as you climb up towards five points (where Clawhammer Road, Buckhorn Gap, and Black Mountain converge).

If you've chosen the bike-packing option, take Buckhorn Gap to five points and then take a right up a big set of stairs on the Black Mountain Trail. Shortly thereafter, you'll find the shelter.

Otherwise, turn back toward five points and follow the Black Mountain trail up the steep hike-a-bike to the rock outcropping where you'll find amazing views from the rocky peak of Clawhammer Mountain. Continue up to another rocky knob to Black Mountain with more hike-a-bike and then begin a legendary, technical descent.

The upper portion of the trail is extremely technical with brutally washed out areas and drops of all flavors. As you get closer to the bottom, the trail gets faster and less technical. One more short, but steep, climb awaits from Presley Gap. Then the final fast and fun downhill to the bottom where you'll cross Thrift Cove, then arrive at the parking area on 276.

Finish the ride at the Hub with a beer at the Pisgah Tavern!
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Forecasting the weather...
5.0 (1)
Steady climb to speedy downhill.
near Brevard, NC
4.8 (25)
Some of the best singletrack in DuPont State Forest in a nice loop.
near Brevard, NC

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PHOTOS of Pisgah Long Tour
  4.0 from 5 votes
Strem crossing on Laurel (Mills River, NC)
  3.8 from 4 votes
Scenic overlook atop Black Mountain (Brevard, NC)
  3.8 from 4 votes
The foliage of Laurel... (Mills River, NC)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Some nice, slick roots on Laurel in the rain. (Mills River, NC)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Sam at the Pilot Cove lookout. (Mills River, NC)
  3.7 from 3 votes
View from Pilot Cove (Mills River, NC)
  3.3 from 4 votes
Riding dow some boulders on Pilot. (Mills River, NC)
  3.3 from 4 votes
Shelter on Black Mountain Trail (Brevard, NC)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Big drops on Black Mountain. (Brevard, NC)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Starting the descent (Brevard, NC)
  3.0 from 3 votes
The drops keep on coming at you. (Brevard, NC)
  3.0 from 3 votes
A legendary downhill. (Brevard, NC)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Gnarly steps on Black Mountain descent. (Brevard, NC)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Almost to the top. (Brevard, NC)