ElevationAscent: 240' 73 m
Descent: -2,130' -649 m
High: 4,764' 1,452 m
Low: 2,742' 836 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)
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“This is the one you've heard about.”— Paul Stahlschmidt
Expect a high speed experience with very fast straight sections. Heartbreak's tread is narrow, and often constricted even more by Laurel and Rhododendron encroaching into the corridor. Though it is not the most technical of trails in Pisgah, there is plenty of gnar, especially when descending at speed. Expect to encounter rocky sections with shallow drops, roots, and off-camber areas with steep slopes off the sides.
Getting to the top of Heartbreak is not an easy task. Most loops start at lower elevations near the towns of Old Fort, Black Mountain, or Montreat. Climbing Curtis Creek Rd. near Old Fort is one option. Curtis Creek has some fame of its own because it is an absolutely crushing climb.
Another option is to loop Heartbreak with the Old Mitchell Toll Road, (a trail) which originates on the property of Montreat Conference Center. If you choose the Curtis Creek route, you'll follow the Blue Ridge Parkway for approximately 5 miles. The trailhead comes up quickly on the left. Turn there, and head up the 200 ft. hike-a-bike to Glass Rock Knob, where the downhill starts immediately after that.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed