Black Mountain Trail (#127)

 23 votes

7.3 Miles 11.7 Kilometers


1,158' 353 m


-2,741' -835 m


4,179' 1,274 m


2,225' 678 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (24°)



Pisgah's most famous trail.

Paul Stahlschmidt



Black Mountains 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 Trail #603 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 dont 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. Youll find amazing views by continuing toward Clawhammer Mountain (4120 ft.) and the trails 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, youll 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!


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4.4 from 23 votes

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Sep 14, 2017
kyle foust
Kicked my ass
May 20, 2017
Joey Booher
This was tough. Neat experience, but not all that fun. Except for the last 2 miles to the road. Now that was a hoot! 7.3mi
Nov 3, 2016
DJ McElroy
Knar 7.3mi
Oct 1, 2016
Sean Hauss
The climb up is real but the DH is worth it!
Sep 3, 2016
Ben Calvert
May 25, 2016
Kevin Murray
Sep 17, 2015
Clif Jones
Apr 4, 2015
Julian Lyons

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 23 votes


in Avery Creek


  4.4 from 23 votes
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Loved the downhill but the slog hike a bike can be soul crushing. bring your A game legs to make sure you keep your chin up here..... Jul 27, 2015

After a long grind up the fire road don't be deceived into thinking it's all down hill when you get to the trail head. It's hike a bike, pull a bike, throw your bike over rocks.... and then you get a pretty rewarding downhill. Mar 18, 2017

The section from the turkeypen intersection down to the road is some of the most fun I've ever had on a bike, worth the effort to get up there. Aug 17, 2017

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