This is probably the best way to access Farlow Gap Trail. A steep climb on gravel roads and doubletrack brings you to the trailhead of Farlow Gap Trail. As everyone knows, this trail is no joke. The rider is subjected to loose rocks, roots, and huge drops on a very steep grade that doesn't let up. After a tough hike-a-bike, the trail mellows out slightly, with fewer drops and loose chunk. After this section you'll find Daniel Ridge Trail
that will take you back to the parking lot.
There is parking at the base of Daniel Ridge Trail
, just off of 475. Continue up 475 for a reasonable gravel climb to the intersection of 471 and 229. Take the right to Pilot Mountain Road (FS Road #229) to begin the steep climb. This trail has become eroded doubletrack that—save for some ruts—is not very technical. There are three trails behind gates that branch off of 229 as you climb. Disregard these and continue climbing. After the intersection with the Art Loeb Hiking Trail, there is little doubletrack left to climb.
After a very small descent, the trail opens up to a wide space where you can rest and prepare yourself for Farlow. To the right is the trailhead of Farlow Gap Trail. The beginning of the trail is very steep and is littered with large loose rocks that can easily unsteady your bike. There are lots of roots and large drops that don't make it any easier. If one is particularly skilled, there are many large features that can be ridden, but otherwise, one must walk them.
After crossing a creek, the grade reverses and a long hike-a-bike follows. After this section, the trail is not as steep and there's some more flow to be had. Eventually you'll come to a large "staircase" of rock and logs that can be ridden down if you're brave. Following that are some switchbacks, rocks, drops, and more rocks.
You'll then run into Daniel Ridge Trail
. Either direction will complete the loop, but staying to the right is more common. This trail is much tamer than Farlow Gap Trail but is still not to be taken lightly. The trail is strewn with rocks and some roots. Finally, when you reach the gravel road, you're home free. A short pedal brings you back to the parking lot you started in.