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Black Mountain Trail (#127)

 27 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°)

All Clear

68 days agoUpdate

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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   Clear Rating

4.4 from 27 votes

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Jan 17, 2018
Nick Dobbs
Nov 19, 2017
Kevin Jackson
9.2mi — 1h 24m
Nov 12, 2017
Connor Woodruff
Nov 11, 2017
Nate Hellwarth
Hike-a-bike hell. Also awesome
Oct 14, 2017
Rob Cline
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

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 27 votes


in Avery Creek


  4.4 from 27 votes
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in Avery Creek


318 Views Last Month
16,092 Since Jun 21, 2013
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All Clear 68 days ago
Dry: Lots of leaves obscuring the trail
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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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