A fairly mellow ride, for Pisgah at least. A good place for visitors or those averse to steep climbs to taste Pisgah. Starts with a long gravel climb with mellow grades, followed by a fun singletrack downhill that starts flowy and adds some rock farther down. There are a couple stream crossings, so expect wet feet.
Just before you reach the North Mills Rec area campground, hang a right onto FR 5000. There's a gate here, and it's not well-signed. After a couple miles, you'll reach the Wash Creek Horse Camp and a fork in the road. There is limited parking here, and it might be busy enough to make the next turn difficult to see. Keep left and cross the stream. You'll drive past a few roadside campsites before you reach the Trace Ridge trailhead/parking area. Once you reach the trailhead, begin the climb up Fletcher Creek Rd. (FR 5097)
After around 6mi, look for Fletcher Creek Trail #350
on your left.
This ride starts with a long, gradual climb up Fletcher Creek Rd. (FR 5097)
, aka Never Ending Road. It's not a consistent climb. Rather, there are quite a few spots where the road pitches downhill where you can catch a breather. You'll pass by the intersection with Spencer Gap Trail #600
, first on your right and then on your left. A little later, you'll take a left turn onto Fletcher Creek Trail #350
Fletcher Creek Trail #350
starts off with a nice, flowy downhill as it drops down into the valley. After the second stream crossing, you'll meet up with the bottom of Spencer Gap Trail #600
and Middle Fork Trail. Keep left and climb up the steepest climb of the ride. There are a couple false flats along this section, and it starts to get a bit rockier than you've seen so far.
Once you reach the top, be prepared for the steepest part of the ride overall. Thankfully, it's a downhill section. This stretch is fast and it's the rockiest part of the trail, so keep on your toes. At the bottom, you dump out onto Hendersonville Reservoir Rd. (FR 142)
, which gives you a stretch of gravel back to the trailhead. You'll finish this ride with an approximately half-mile gravel climb up Hendersonville Reservoir Rd. (FR 142)
to the trailhead.