ElevationAscent: 1,454' 443 m
Descent: -1,452' -443 m
High: 3,001' 915 m
Low: 2,314' 705 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)
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“A tour of most of the trails rebuilt in 2015.”— craig campbell
Locust starts with a moderate climb and then descends about 100 feet where speeds can reach over 25mph. Locust will end at Lake Imaging Road. Continue to the right to prepare for Hilltop trail. Hilltop's excitement level depends on your fitness as it takes some power to maintain speed through the small ascents and descents.
After exiting Hilltop loop, you'll intersect with Lake Imaging Road where you'll take a right. Take the next left onto Buck Forest Road where you can either relax or stretch your legs out on a bit of fire road up to Hickory Mountain Road intersection. Take a left on Hickory Mountain Road for a bit more of riding on a fire road, taking a left on White Pine Trail. White Pine Trail is a connector trail to your next descent: Hooker Creek Trail. This is a really fast section of trail that keeps you on your toes as you descend down to Hooker Creek.
After this descent there's a bit of climbing to get back up where you'll take a right on Ridgeline trail. Climb Ridgeline a bit watching for Hickory Mountain Loop on your left. My Featured Ride has you going clockwise with a stiff climb in the beginning. I've heard people say CW is more fun and some say CCW is more fun. If you have the time, try it both ways and judge for yourself. Either way, this trail is the most technical with mostly rock features, that IMO, destroys a lot of the flow to this trail. While this trail isn't part of the 2015 rebuild, it's only about a year old, and worth doing.
After Hickory Mountain Loop, you start a bit of backtracking back to Hooker Creek. From Hickory Mountain Loop , take a left onto Hooker Creek Trail where you descend immediately. Unfortunately, you get to ascend all the flowy goodness you experienced moments ago. After you reach the top of Hooker Creek at the intersection of White Pine Trail, take a right that will connect you back onto Buck Forest Road.
Continue to backtrack by taking a right onto Buck Forest Road where you'll make quick work of this road as it's all downhill back to Lake Imaging Road. Take a right onto Lake Imaging Road where you'll climb for a few minutes (passing the exit to Hilltop loop) until you reach Locust again. Take a right on Locust being prepared for a quick climb with a short rewarding descent back to the intersection of Isaac Heath. We're continuing to backtrack by keeping left onto Issac Heath back to the top of Jim Branch. You end the ride with a fast descent down Jim Branch back to Lake Imaging parking area. I intentionally excluded Ridgeline on this ride, but if you're up for it, climb and descend Ridgeline to finish the ride.
At various points during this ride, there are bailouts with short distances back to the car. Your first and last bailout point is on Buck Forest Road where you can opt to take Jim Branch back to the car. Your next good bailout is taking Hickory Mountain Road all the way to Ridgeline and take Ridgeline back to the car. The third bailout is at the end of Hooker Creek where you can take a left onto Ridgeline and take Ridgeline back to the car. You also have the option of descending Ridgeline after Hickory Mountain Loop.
Biked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed, History & Background
Local Club: Pisgah Area SORBA
May 28, 2020: BOD Meeting Minutes May 2020
Apr 15, 2020: Pisgah National Forest Closures
Apr 10, 2020: Appalachian Rock Armoring
Land Manager: North Carolina Forest Service - Dupont State Forest