1. A couple of spots require a modicum of trail sense to keep on script.
2. There's lots of bears, especially in the late afternoon/evening. They want nothing to do with you. Help them with this. If you have a bear sighting, just keep moving. Do not ever put yourself between a mother bear and her cubs.
3. It's Pisgah. Bear Branch Trail #328
, Lower Spencer Branch Trail #140
, and Middle Fork Trail #352
always have muddy sections. There are some downed trees on Middle Fork.
Park on the road in the limited spots by the entrance to Wash Creek Horse Camp. Ride up the road towards the parkway. Look for FS Road 5001 on the right. Climb FS Road 5001 through the recently logged section. There's a couple of spurs that go off this road, if you stay straight and climbing you'll be on track.
At just under two miles, look for Bear Branch Trail #328
off to the right. It is not signed but has some blue blazes on the trees. It's just after a small opening with an old fire circle with a square rock the size of a small cooler. Descend Bear Branch. It will abruptly T into a forest road, go right and look for the trail off to the left just after a small wooden bridge.
Continue descending back to the car. Start climbing again back up the road but continue until you hit Spencer Gap Trail #600
off to the left. Climb the steep gravel until it goes into some steep singletrack. You'll briefly hit a field and then continue back into the forest. The grade lets up and you've got a fun climb with some small rock and root gardens. Spencer Gap Trail #600
T's into Trace Ridge Trail #354
. Take a left and go about 20 feet until you see Spencer Branch Trail #140
to your right.
Turn your suspension on and get ready to rock. This is a purpose-built trail with constructed rock features all of which are totally flowable. Cross Fletcher Creek Rd. (FR 5097)
and continue straight on Spencer Branch Trail #140
. When you hit the intersection with Fletcher Creek Trail #350
, take a sharp right and cross the large creek. Just after the creek crossing, look for Middle Fork Trail #352
off to your left. Ride this up until you reach Fletcher Creek Rd. (FR 5097)
. Take a right on Fletcher Creek Rd. (FR 5097)
and ride until you hit the top of Fletcher Creek Trail #350
Descend the flowy goodness of upper Fletcher Creek Trail #350
until you hit the creek you crossed on the way up. Continue through the creek and straight on lower Fletcher Creek Trail #350
. You've got a short, steep climb and then all-out-speed. Fletcher Creek Trail #350
merges into Hendersonville Reservoir Rd. (FR 142)
. Continue on the gravel road up a climb until you hit the Trace Ridge Trailhead parking lot. Take a right and on the backside of the parking lot and hit lower Trace Ridge Trail #354
After a switchback and a short, steep eroded section, continue on to Wash Creek #606
. Spin out your legs until it T's into a gravel road, take a right and in 100 feet you're back at the car.