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Best of DuPont

 4.6 (125)
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Map Key

18.0 Miles 29.0 Kilometers



1,885' 574 m


-1,879' -573 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (19°)

3,059' 932 m


2,315' 706 m



All Clear 84 days ago
Closure lifted 12/24. History

Getting forecast...

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

craig campbell

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-


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 Pitch Pine Trail over to Lake Dense Trail. At the end of this you're back on Conservation Rd where you'll climb a pretty steep road up to the Airstrip. From 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 over to 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 Pitch Pine Trail (1.0)
- Right on Three Lakes Trail [may be called Dense Lake Trail] (0.7)
- 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)

- Left on White Pine Trail (0.2)
- Rt on Hooker Creek
- Left on Ridgeline


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Your Check-Ins


Dec 3, 2018
Randy Taylor
Yes please!
Nov 11, 2018
Justin Kretzmann
Oct 27, 2018
Jesse Barr
Oct 22, 2018
Hayden Hughes
Oct 14, 2018
Will Spielvogel
Oct 8, 2018
Chris Vega
Sep 19, 2018
Jessica Dean
Sep 9, 2018
Joel Mathewson

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 125 votes


  4.6 from 125 votes
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75,362 Since May 14, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

Joe Virtanen
Asheville, NC
Joe Virtanen   Asheville, NC
This loop is getting some bad press lately in places like Reddit, but we had a great time! Climbing is mostly pretty casual, and the downhill trail sections were fantastic. Lots of options to add miles as well. We had a good laugh trying to blast over the creek at Wintergreen (it looks doable coming up to it) and ended up at a dead stop halfway across when the water got thigh-deep and got soaked. Very refreshing! Aug 20, 2018
Ride this loop yesterday(Sep 22, 2018)... worst 18 mike loop if you’re looking for any downhill reward after all the fireroad climbing which there is a massive amount of. If looking for float downhill with some technical or one or the other after beating your will be teased most the ride. Ridgeline at the end was the most fun and the trail or two before it. I will post a picture of a more proper way to ride two areas of DuPont that will keep the smiles for miles. But if you’re looking for thigh beating with some good view of the landscape and some short lived fun downs until ridgeline, this is the loop for you. Still some fun downhills during, but they are not connected well on this loop at all. Lastly, from a previous comment I see here, this is not even close to the best loop or trail Pisgah has to offer. By far, way better loops in Pisgah than this. Sep 22, 2018
Mimi Frawley
Hendersonville, NC
Mimi Frawley   Hendersonville, NC
In reponse to some comments: They have closed the trails three times since last fall, so it is not true that they don’t close the trails. If they close, they are really bad and please respect. Otherwise, users are expected not to impact the trail with ruts, but unfortunately it happens frequently. ATVs (no motorized vehicles) are not allowed on the roads or trails, so the trail is not torn up by ATVs as someone said. Rain events cause most of the damage, added to by horses and bikers using the trails when they should stay off. At the beginning of this ride, take Jim Branch up!! Can’t imagine why you would take Lake Imaging road instead of single track, unless you ride here often and want some variety. It is a climb, but you get some flow reward before the end, and Locust is a zippy trail over to Hilltop. 2 days ago

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