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Kitsuma / Heartbreak



37.8 mile 60.8 kilometer loop
45% Singletrack


Ascent: 5,762' 1,756 m
Descent: -5,751' -1,753 m
High: 4,717' 1,438 m
Low: 1,407' 429 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 48% (26°)


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Map Key

This figure-eight loop with an out-and-back on Heartbreak Ridge is gonna hurt.

RJ Manoni

Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed

Features -none-


This ride features a little bit of everything over on the Kitsuma side, while providing a longer alternative to Kitsuma.

Need to Know

Bring plenty of water and maybe a few friends.


This ride heads up Old Highway 70, down Kitsuma Trail which offers a fun and challenging start to the ride. The trail heads through a gentle forest road next to Interstate 40 then quickly goes straight up. When the forest floor is somewhat dry, it's possible, but challenging, to clear all of the switchbacks on the way to Kitsuma Peak.

After another short and steep climb, you can enjoy the legendary 2.8-mile downhill towards the Old Fort picnic area. It begins with a rocky descent into a quick left-hand switchbacks. Water bars, doubles, drops and a couple of berms accent the ridiculously fast, sometimes narrow and flowy track through the forest.

Next, head up the road to Heartbreak Ridge. This climb is gonna hurt, but you'll be rewarded with a downhill but ou have to earn it first. Heartbreak's tread is narrow, and often constricted even more by Laurel and Rhododendron encroaching into the corridor. Though it is not the most technical of trails in Pisgah, there is plenty of gnar, especially when descending at speed. Expect to encounter rocky sections with shallow drops, roots, and off-camber areas with steep slopes off the sides.

Once you are back down Heartbreak Ridge, head down Jarrett Creek Road - FSR 4030 and enjoy the long way out of the woods.


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Dec 6, 2019
Dung Le
Jul 6, 2019
David Lennard
Oct 30, 2018
Mitch Tucker
Oct 8, 2018
Kenny Byrge
Jul 6, 2018
Luke Danhof
Jul 5, 2018
Nicholas Feliciano
This trail is not for hard tails. My butt was on fire. And hands felt like they where going to break. It took me 10 hrs to finish this 30+ miles
Mar 26, 2018
Marc Skiles
Feb 18, 2018
jim phillips
Rode this route but skipped the climb up heartbreak. Instead I rode up Curtis creek road past the campground and then back down. Great ride! 39mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes


in Old Fort


  4.5 from 8 votes
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in Old Fort


177 Views Last Month
11,540 Since Oct 20, 2016



Flow riding with Singletrailer.
Oct 28, 2015 near Black M…, NC
Riding Star Pass and Heartbreak Ridge.
Nov 7, 2018 near Black M…, NC
Rock drop on Upper Heartbreak. Easier than it may appear at first glace.
Jul 4, 2017 near Black M…, NC
On the way back to the trailhead.
Aug 7, 2016 near Black M…, NC
Kitsuma - Pisgah National Forest - Montreat, NC - 10/1/2017
Oct 7, 2017 near Black M…, NC
Sunset view of mountains, trees and church near lower trailhead and parking spot
Dec 27, 2019 near Black M…, NC

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