Angler's Ridge is a 35+ mile trail system built to IMBA spec by trained trail volunteers and has a lot to offer riders of all skill levels. Trails offer very nicely flowing, narrowish singletrack with various technical sections such as roots, rock gardens and steeper switchbacks. There are also several obstacles placed throughout such as log pyramids, berms and bridges.
Angler's Ridge is a well-marked, 35+ mile trail network that is built on some very nice, and very beautiful wooded land nestled in the Dan River Valley in the foothills of the Appalachians. The trails are bi-directional and will be fun in both directions, although there are certain features that may help make your decision.
This well-designed, stacked loop trail system may seem confusing at first, but if you follow the colored loops, it's easy to put a nice ride together. This ride follows the Red Loop with the addition of Witchback
It's pretty amazing how apt each trail name is to its riding terrain. This ride starts out with Crooked Stick
, which is certainly evident in the twisty sections on the trail. However, Crooked Stick
still has a very nice flow. Make sure to stay on the outside if you want to ride the whole thing. In this counter-clockwise direction, there are two places where you have to stay to the right to avoid taking an early exit. The trail is well-marked though, so just take note of the map and pay attention to the signs. There aren't really any difficult climbs on Crooked Stick
except for Graveyard Hill which is short and steep. Exit Crooked Stick
at the sign for Little Pisgah
, like it's namesake, offers a rocky entrance with very nice scenery around a creek valley. Several nice climbs here are followed by rock-strewn washed out descents which can certainly make one reflect on grandaddy rides in Western NC. There are even points on the trail that spill out into some nice grassy, sparse pine forests. Wonderful trail.
Watch for the Red Route split to the right, which will take you across the paved greenway over to Hot Tamale
. If you reach the zig-zag skills bridge, you need to backtrack a couple hundred yards. You'll reach an area to access Hot Tamale
that's slightly confusing. The easiest way is to take a right on Flying Squirrel
and follow the signs, but if you want a little Super-D extra, take a left, climb up Flying Squirrel
to the T, then turn around come back down (what you just climbed) to the bermed downhill to continue on the Red Loop. Hot Tamale
is a blast with a lot of fun and fast straightaway downhills as well as a couple of decent climbs.
will pretty much turn into to Camekback and once you reach the bottom of it, you'll take a hard right onto the Angler's Ridge Trail which is a nice fast and flowing descent. Signs will point you to Witchback
, as it's name implies, starts with a grunt of a climb through a couple of nasty switchbacks. Folks ride this both directions, but if you ride it counter-clockwise, you get to finish by riding down the 'spiral'. Witchback
is not consistently hard from a technical standpoint, but there are a couple of tough rock gardens and one really tough climb called Heartbreak Hill.
has more sustained climbs and longer descents than other trails at Angler's. There is also plenty of wildlife and beautiful forest scenery along the ride, although once you come out of the back loop, you may get a nice whiff of the nearby water treatment facility as you enter the fun section called Cliffside.
Cliffside is a nice flowing benchcut ride along the 'cliff' that has several nice downhills and accompanying climbs. Toward the end, get ready for the 'Spiral' which you'll need to maintain some speed to make it through the high banked ravine ride.