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Rocky Branch


A unique gem in the heart of Belmont that is a shorter, tamer version of Back Yard Trail (BYT)

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669' 204 m


605' 184 m


323' 99 m


326' 100 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Trail close for 24 hours after rain. For current trail conditions, go to


Rocky Branch is a hand built trail in downtown Belmont that opened in late 2013. It is very similar to Back Yard Trails (BYT) in topography and has plenty of short, punchy climbs and lots of TTFs to keep it interesting. All the harder, more technical parts of the trail can be bypassed by taking the green / shortcut options. The trail is close to five miles in length and if you take the shortcuts to avoid the more technical sections is about 1.5 miles. New for 2017, there is now a pump track at the start of the trail to play around on.

Need to Know

The trail is very well marked at all major intersections and getting lost should not be an issue. All of the technical sections of the trail have a bypass so you can hit or skip as many features as you want.


Rocky Branch starts at the end of Woodrow Ave at the intersection of Sacco St. near the trail's parking lot. After a short initial descent that crosses a bridge, the main trail takes a sharp left turn and climbs very quickly. The Rocky Branch Bypass is the right option and this shortcut takes 3/4 mile off the total trail distance.

The trail opens to a clearing after another 1/4 mile that runs parallel to a residential fence line and quickly dips back into the woods where a 1/4 mile climb takes you to the highest point of the ride. Once reaching the apex of the trail, a 1/4 mile speedy descent awaits which has a few berms, drops, and jumps along the way. At the bottom of the descent, there is another shortcut that can be accessed to the right which bypasses the next 1/4 mile of trail.

After another 1/4 mile, another shortcut forks off to the left which allows you to skip another mile of trail and a brutal 10% grade climb. The trail climbs for 1/4 mile and spits you out at a scenic overlook of the neighboring high school ball fields which offers a great place to rest or regroup. The trail forks left and back into the woods and descends twice on the way back to the intersection with the shortcut at the 2.75-mile mark.

The trail ascends for 1/5 mile to another intersection with a shortcut which forks to the left. This is the most technical part of the trail due to the man-made TTFs. After 1/4 mile, the trail intersects again with the shortcut and descends for 3/4 mile back to the parking lot. This section is by far the most fun part to ride due to the flowing downhill and nice TTFs, highlighted by a kicker with a ravine landing, a ladder bridge kicker, and a massive log skinny. There is one last intersection with a shortcut at the 3.3-mile mark which allows you to skip last section. The trail pops back out of the woods by the start of the trail and travels 0.1 mile back to the parking lot to conclude the ride.

This trail has been updated in 2017 with about an extra mile of trail and a few reroutes that have a ton of wooden ladder jumps, drops, and rock and stump kickers to get some airtime on. The trail gnomes surely have been busy here.


Shared By:

Vinnie Connors with improvements by Larry Conger

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 17 votes


  4.4 from 17 votes
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204 Views Last Month
10,688 Since Sep 11, 2015



2 Bridges in first mile of trail visible from upper trail.
Aug 24, 2020 near Belmont, NC
Highlights Feb 2019
Aug 24, 2020 near Belmont, NC
Bridge over Toubled Waters.
Aug 24, 2020 near Belmont, NC
Nice approachable drop from down hill perspective. Well-marked and nice landing, makes you feel like a pro.
Aug 24, 2020 near Belmont, NC
Same drop from uphill perspective. Maybe two foot drop, with good signage, nice landing and run out. Well done trail blazers. This one is a lot of fun.
Aug 24, 2020 near Belmont, NC
Drop to step up was a bit wet on this ride. I'll be back when it dries out. Looks amazing—very daunting though. Signage is appropriate and visible.
Aug 24, 2020 near Belmont, NC


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Nov 22, 2020
Joe Pay
Oct 22, 2020
Darren Stratton
Sep 7, 2020
Jason Elder
Sep 3, 2020
German Gonzaga
Apenas vamos a darle
Aug 23, 2020
Pete Krug
1st ride here. Loved it! 3.5mi — 45h 00m
Jun 25, 2020
Joshua Alvarez
Feb 23, 2020
Heath Frye
Sep 22, 2019
Cliff Markman