This loop features a mostly gravel road climb on Wash Creek Rd, followed by a fun, rewarding downhill singletrack back to the parking area. This one is intermediate in difficulty with a typical, technical, Pisgah-downhill, but not as hard as others you can ride in the area.
Area typically takes a little longer than other sections of Pisgah to dry out.
Last time I tried to drive from Bent Creek, Wash Creek Road was closed off just below the parkway. It's best to drive in from Mills River to avoid the potential road closure.
This loop is a great, fast downhill with a moderate/easy climb to get there. The climb is mostly gravel/forest road with the last mile or two on singletrack. The descent is on mostly hard packed clay with lots of typical Pisgah terrain with some roots/rocks on washed-out/eroded trail with some small drops. Nothing too technical, except for the drops, but is moderately difficult due to the washed out trail.
Park at the Trace Ridge Trail #354
trailhead and ride back down the forest road entrance, turning left onto Wash Creek Rd. At mile 2.7, take a left at a gated forest road onto Spencer Gap Trail #600
. Around 2.9 miles in, make a right to stay on Spencer Gap Trail #600
This trail turns into singletrack from here on out. At mile 4.4, make a left onto Trace Ridge Trail #354
. This is a short, steep ride to the top of Trace Ridge at mile 4.7. From here, enjoy an almost 1,000 ft singletrack descent back to the parking lot.