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Some of the best singletrack in DuPont State Forest in a nice loop.

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3,059' 932 m


2,315' 706 m


1,885' 574 m


1,879' 573 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed


This route includes some of the best DuPont has to offer from a flowy perspective, but you'll have to work at it with the climbs throughout the route.

Need to Know

There are three creek crossings in this route, but in most cases, there are rocks that allow you to hop across without getting soaked.


There's two options for starting this ride, with Option 1 being what the GPS uses. Arguably, Option 2 adds a little more singletrack and removes the climb up Lake Imaging Road.
Option 1: (The way the route was recorded and if you're following GPS, the way it'll take you.)
This route starts with a nice warm-up climb up Lake Imaging road. Take a right on to Hilltop Loop.
Option 2: (And arguably a bit more fun and interesting)
Start out on Lake Imaging Road going around the pond to the right. The first trail entrance to the left is Jim Branch. Take a left on Jim Branch. You'll have the option of bypassing the tough rock garden in favor of smoother singletrack if you wish. Jim Branch is a 1.2 mile trail, which will be a climb in this direction. At the top of Jim Branch, take a right on Issac Heath. Issac Heath is only .5 miles long and will lead you onto Locust Trail. Take a right at the end of Locust Trail where you'll immediately pick up Hilltop Loop directly straight in front of you.
---- same from here ----
Hilltop Loop is a fun little loop that will spit you back out on Lake Imaging Rd. A short ride on Buck Forest Rd to Conservation Rd, and you'll take Three Lakes Trail. At the end of this you're back on Conservation Rd where you'll climb a pretty steep road up to the Airstrip. Cross over the Airstrip, take Fawn Lake Rd over to Mine Mountain Trail. The start of Mine Mountain will be climbing, but the descent down to Fawn Lake parking area is a blast. You'll pass Fawn Lake parking lot on Fawn Lake Rd down to Conservation Rd. Cross over Conservation Rd to Reasonover Creek Trail. At the bottom of this, you'll have to cross your first creek.

The next 2.5m is a climb up Reasonover Creek to Turkey Knob Rd & following Turkey Knob Rd over to Turkey Knob Trail (newer trail). Turkey Knob Trail is IMO the best trail of this loop.

The end of Turkey Knob will dump you out at Briery Fork trail where you'll find your second creek crossing and climb out for a while crossing over Joanna Rd to Grassy Creek Trail.

A bit more climbing through Wintergreen Falls and Tarklin Branch up to Guion Farm parking area, go into the parking area and out onto Hickory Mountain Rd. From Hickory Mountain Rd, you'll take a left on Hooker Creek Trail, which is a super fast section, but can be dangerous if there are loose rocks on the trail. At the end of Hooker Creek, you'll cross your third and final creek crossing. After the crossing, you'll climb back out to Ridgeline Trail. Ridgeline probably doesn't need an introduction, but this is a super fast downhill that will finish your ride.

If you'd like to add some length to this already burly ride, add The Best of Dupont: Burnt Mountain/ Cedar Rock Big Rock Figure 8 to your outing.

Here is turn by turn directions with distances:

Start from Lake Imaging Parking Lot (distance in miles)

Option 1:
- Start on Lake Imaging Rd (1.0)
- Right on Hilltop Loop (1.0)
Option 2:
- Start on Lake Imaging Rd (0.4)
- Left on Jim Branch (1.2)
- Right on Issac Heath (0.5)
- Right (more straight than anything) on Locust Trail (0.4)
- Right on Lake Imaging Rd and immediately onto Hilltop Loop (1.0)
---- end options. Same from here on out ----
- Right on Lake Imaging Rd (0.1)
- Right on Buck Forest Rd (0.5)
- Left on Conservation Rd (0.1)
- Left on Three Lakes Trail (1.7)
- Left on Conservation Rd climb road up to Airstrip [avoid Shortcut Trail] (1.0)
- Right on Fawn Lake Rd (0.1)
- Right on Mine Mountain Trail (1.4)

- Right on Fawn Lake Rd (0.2)
- Cross over Conservation Rd to Reasonover Creek Trail (1.2)
- Right on Turkey Knob Trail (3.3)
- Right on Briery Fork trail (0.4)
- Cross over Joanna Rd to Grassy Creek Trail (1.5)

- Right on Sandy Trail (0.1)
- Left on Wintergreen Falls Trail (0.4)
- Right on Tarklin Branch Rd (0.8)
- Left on Guion Farm Connector (0.4)
- Cross over Buck Forest Rd to Hickory Mountain Rd (0.3)
- Follow Hickory Mountain Rd to the top of Ridgeline
- Left on White Pine Trail (0.2)
- Rt on Hooker Creek
- Left on Ridgeline


Shared By:

craig campbell with improvements by David Anderson and 3 others

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 210 votes


  4.6 from 210 votes
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Ridgeline - DuPont State Forest - Cedar Mountain, NC
Aug 24, 2017 near Etowah, NC
Dustin coming down Ridgeline...
Jun 13, 2013 near Etowah, NC
Creek crossing on Best of DuPont Ride.
May 8, 2017 near Etowah, NC
DUPONT, with friends.
Jun 4, 2021 near Etowah, NC
Turkey Knob - Downhill to Briery Fork
Aug 18, 2017 near Etowah, NC
Worked for the downhill but it was totally worth it.
Aug 5, 2020 near Etowah, NC


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 27 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Apr 14, 2024
Chris Beasley
Mar 29, 2024
Wild Skies
Mar 6, 2024
Hector Morillo
Mar 4, 2024
Julio Jaime
Oct 29, 2023
Private User
Oct 26, 2023
Tommy Burke
A great ride. Workouts on some serious climbs, esp. Conservation rd. Awesome descents on Mine Mtn, Turkey Knob, Hooker & Ridgeline 22.2mi — 2h 33m
Oct 21, 2023
James Douglas
Oct 17, 2023
Glenn Gemmill

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