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black Black Mountain Trail (#127)

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7.3 mile 11.7 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,158' 353 m
Descent: -2,741' -835 m
High: 4,179' 1,274 m
Low: 2,225' 678 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 44% (24°)


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Trail shared by Paul Stahlschmidt

Pisgah's most famous trail.

Paul Stahlschmidt

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


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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Oct 19, 2018
Tom Robson
Aug 20, 2018
Kiley Berry
Jul 4, 2018
Chapman Best
Jul 3, 2018
Chapman Best
Jun 7, 2018
Mike Hitmar
Only did the lower section
Apr 17, 2018
woodchip yo
Apr 6, 2018
Matt F
Great trail conditions. Pretty sure upper Black Mtn was trying to kill me, though. 18mi — 4h 00m
Jan 17, 2018
Nick Dobbs

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 35 votes


in Avery Creek


  4.5 from 35 votes
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in Avery Creek


397 Views Last Month
23,928 Since Jun 21, 2013
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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
MTBProject is a great resource for hikers as well as bikers. We hiked Black Mountain Trail meeting a few mountain bikers along the way. Your website provides the Video, the Description and the GPX file, each of which are very helpful in planning and executing a successful outing on foot or wheels. Great Job!!! Nov 20, 2018
Very long climb, once you get to the trail turn on from clawhammer, still a lot of climbing, like a lot. But you are rewarded with a extremely fun downhill ride that will make it all worth it. Feb 15, 2019

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