“One of the fastest downhill trails in Pisgah.
— JR JR
Seasonal use for bikes is from Oct. 15 to Apr. 15 only.
Easily shuttled, Bennett is one of the fastest downhills around, and is best suited for the advanced rider or an advanced-intermediate rider looking to improve downhill technical skills. A gravel climb, great views, technical rock drops and high speeds make this trail a wonderful quick ride not far from the forest entrance.
The trail runs a straight line along a ridge for most of it with several hike-a-bike sections due to combinations of excessive roots and steepness. Shortly after the two obvious overlook areas of Looking Glass Rock off to your right mark the approach of two of the biggest features on the trail. One is a tight left hairpin staircase turn and the second is a 4 foot rock drop with a steep, technical approach. Toward the bottom, the trail dips into a sidecut on the north slope of the ridge before popping back out onto the road. From this point, the descent is not as steep as the first section of trail and offers a fun and fast ride to Avery Creek Road
. There are plenty of lines to choose from through roots, rocks and many water bars as you near the road. Watch out for hikers.
Most begin from Bennett Gap and travel downhill. This trail is mainly a ridgetop trail and affords nice views of the Pisgah Ledge, Looking Glass Rock, the Avery Creek valley, and Black Mountain. The terrain and vegetation varies quite a bit as you pass through a wildlife opening, traverse rocky outcrops, drop down through two gaps and climb over Coontree Mountain. After passing Coontree Gap, the trail crosses some small streams that add an array of ferns, mosses and wildflowers to the variety in vegetation. You'll notice the Bennett Gap Trail intersects the Perry Cove Trail (#151) at Saddle Gap, and then shares the trail with almost one mile of the Coontree Loop (#144)be sure to follow the red blazes.