Emerald Outback Loop - Beech Mountain
ElevationAscent: 789' 241 m
Descent: -791' -241 m
High: 5,307' 1,618 m
Low: 5,049' 1,539 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)
Current trail conditions
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“The highest MTB trail system east of the Rockies!”— Paul Stahlschmidt
The weather on Beech Mountain changes constantly. It's a good idea to check with the town Parks and Recreation office at (828) 387-3003 for an update on the conditions at Beech.
There are two main parking lots, the Summit Lot, and the Base Lot. To access summit lot, turn left on N. Pinnacle Ridge Rd. from the Beech Mtn Parkway and follow the signs for EMO. The Base Lot is closest to the Visitors Center where there are Restrooms and a Bike Wash. This ride starts at the Base Lot and follows the cues below.
With the exception of Southern Ridge, some of the trails in this featured ride are great the other direction. For more info or to piece together another loop, see the description and elevation profiles of the individual trails.
After about a mile, Oz Forest Run ends at Southern Ridge Trail and Wizard's Way. Turn Right on Wizards briefly and then take a left on Jackalopes Trail. Jackalopes is tight and twisty, and one of the more technical trails at EMO. Some of the trail segments here remain from the rake and ride days and also from a time when the NORBA XC race circuit stopped here in the 1990s. The trail crosses several small creeks and the headwaters of Buckeye Creek, including a nice waterfall called Zig-Zag Falls.
Take a right on Northview a short, open trail that is one of the least technical at Beech. When you arrive at the intersection of Southern Ridge and Chamberlin's Loop, stay right. At the next intersection, youll see a sign for Chamberlins again. Take a right here.
Chamberlins is a lollipop design. This trail is the only trail that has not been re-worked as part of the recent trail efforts. Its very unique in that the trail is very narrow with lush undergrowth and large ferns. The end of Chamberlins is a good pitch. After completing the loop portion, youll stay right on all the intersections and turn right on Southern Ridge.
Southern Ridge Trail is definitely worth the work as it offers amazing views of the Elk River Valley, Grandfather Mountain, and the BMRs Oz Run. Beyond the overlooks the trail will get steep, rocky and tight, so if you arent up for that, you can backtrack this route to the intersection of Chamberlins and take the Grassy Rd 1 and Bail-Out Rd back.
When arriving back at the intersection of Oz Forest Run there are two options. Oz can be taken to the right for a bit more mileage and a reverse of the first trail on this loop. The other option is left on the shorter Wizard's Way, which this route follows.
Once you are back at the Summit Lot Gateway you can stop and relax or continue to backtrack the same roads from the start of the ride.
Land Manager: Town of Beech Mountain
Apr 12, 2019: SHANE OUTPOST PUBLIC MEETING PRESENTATION
Mar 18, 2019: NC Vacation Rental Act Workshop