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blue Angler's Ridge (Red Loop and Witchback)

  4.2 ( 20 )

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15.7 mile 25.2 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,560' 475 m
Descent: -1,556' -474 m
High: 574' 175 m
Low: 394' 120 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)


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Trail shared by Logan Watts

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Minor Issues 77 days ago See History
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A great introduction to the well-built, flowing Angler's Ridge trail system.

Logan Watts

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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.

Need to Know

Trail facilities include a bike wash and heated bathrooms!


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.

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.

Hot Tamale 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.

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.

Witchback 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.


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Feb 2, 2019
Jeffrey Wood
Allen’s first tracks here 12mi
Sep 2, 2018
Darren Taylor
Jun 17, 2018
Cory Liverman
Great trail system. Well marked. Good flow and tech. 6mi
Apr 5, 2018
Dav Voi
Dry with some sticks in trail from recent snow 20mi
Mar 12, 2018
Carlos Zuluaga
18mi — 2h 30m
Oct 22, 2017
James Flanigan
Oct 2, 2017
J.R. Noble
May 29, 2017
Gregg Dodson

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 20 votes


in Anglers Park


  4.2 from 20 votes
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8,699 Since Jun 29, 2013
Intermediate Intermediate

Al M.
Kansas City, MO
Al M.   Kansas City, MO
I did the CW Red Loop and while the trail was very well kept and maintained, I just didn't really find it fun. In fact, it's more work than anything. It honestly felt that I've climbed more than I went downhill. The climbs range from mellow, to holy crap, I'm gonna walk it. But the downhill sections are just incredibly short. While there's not much elevation, the changes are pretty extreme. I found it hard to get in the zone because as soon as I point downhill, it's over almost immediately and is followed by another steep climb. Rinse and repeat for 15 miles. Shaking my fist in the air and cursing the trail gods for all the work I put in for a 5 second downhill section. I mean, it's a great workout and your lungs and legs are gonna feel it. But as far as fun goes for me, it just really wasn't that great. Maybe the CCW Red Loop is better? Apr 8, 2018
Very disappointing trails. I drove along ways to ride them after hearing good things but these trails were not enjoyable. They are extremely overgrown to the point that you can't see the trails at times; I left with a bad poison ivy outbreak because of this. It felt like there was alot of climbing for very little downhill in return. Not much for technical riding besides short steap climbs and descents May 26, 2018
Lisa Ropke Randall
Canton, GA
Lisa Ropke Randall   Canton, GA
Nice XC style trail system near Danville. We were here to drive at VIR and this was a nice bonus a couple of miles from our hotel. Very well marked - we were able to follow the red loop and Witchback Trail easily. The majority is singletrack and is of moderate difficulty. Lots of roots but you can still keep your speed up pretty well. Good variety but you’ll need to work a bit to keep the flow. I enjoyed Witchback the most since it had longer climbs and longer descents. There’s a paved bike path here too, so there are options for kids or novice riders. Also the park has bathrooms, a bike wash and tool stand. Jul 1, 2018

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