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Black Mountain Trail (#127)

 4.5 (58)

Pisgah's most famous trail.

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4,179' 1,274 m


2,225' 678 m


1,158' 353 m


2,741' 835 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed


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!


Shared By:

Paul Stahlschmidt with improvements by Matt Jenkins

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 58 votes


in Avery Creek


  4.5 from 58 votes
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in Avery Creek


521 Views Last Month
31,873 Since Jun 21, 2013



The last section of lower black with Christopher Langley!
Feb 11, 2018 near Brevard, NC
Spectacular view from atop Black Mountain.
Jun 14, 2017 near Brevard, NC
A legendary downhill.
Jul 9, 2013 near Brevard, NC
The drops keep on coming at you.
Jul 9, 2013 near Brevard, NC
Watch out for rattlesnakes - on top of Black Mountain view point.
May 16, 2019 near Brevard, NC
Shelter on Black Mountain Trail
Jul 9, 2013 near Brevard, NC


Current Trail Conditions

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Apr 26, 2021
Rick Garcia
Nov 14, 2020
Nick Finotti
The couch potato 2nd decent
Oct 20, 2020
Anni Hurt
Oct 17, 2020
Mitch Tucker
Upper Black from Clawhammer to Avery. Middle and Lower Black from Maxwell Cove. 4.5mi
Sep 5, 2020
Casey McGowan
The worst climb of my life followed by the best down hill of my life! It's certainly a haul, but the long, steep, gnarly DH rewards you well for it!
Apr 2, 2020
Trevor Smela
20mi — 3h 00m
Sep 21, 2019
Mitch Tucker
upper to Avery 2mi
Sep 19, 2019
Steve Hoover
x 2 just the lower third from thrift cove down