Bent Creek is a great intro to Pisgah riding. This route hits most of the trails in the area in a reasonable, logical route. Bent Creek is a big bowl, so if weather or fatigue presents, you're always within 20 minutes of the car.
Using the "blue dot" feature is recommended.
Start at the Rice Pinnacle parking lot. Exit the backside of the parking area and take an immediate right on the Blue Connector
singletrack amd continue until it T's into a powerline. Take a right, and then in 50 feet, it T's into a gravel road-ish trail. Take a left and descend for about 100 feet until you cross a small wooden bridge. Immediately after, take a right on Wolf Branch
Climb to Ledford Branch Road
. Go right for maybe 0.25 miles and look for Ingles Field Gap
trail on the left. Climb through the recent travesty that happens when you give SORBA a bulldozer, avoiding descenders since the new improved line crosses the descent and the ascent line (don't get me started). Continue up this climb, passing the Ingles Field Connector and continuing to climb.
After a short lung-buster section, you reach Five Points. Take the Green's Lick
connector and continue to climb until just after a short rhodo tunnel. Green's Lick
is off to the left. The total climb is close to 5 miles. Take a break. Descend. And descend some more. This is the best descent on the route. There are several jump lines but also lines to avoid the jump lines. It's rocky and loose and fast. Follow your bliss.
When Green's Lick
T's into Sidehill
, go left and begin the most technical climbing of the route. After the second creek crossing, the grade mellows a bit. Continue climbing, then take a short descent until a sharp right onto Hickory Gap. This is a non-technical descent, which T's into Boyd Branch Road
. Go left and look for Boyd Branch
trail off to the right by the picnic tables. Descend Boyd Branch
to Bent Creek Road
. Go right until you hit Campground Connector 329
, and continue to the four-way paved intersection. Go right and immediately after crossing over Bent Creek, take a right onto Pine Tree Loop #336
Continue until it T's into the gravel connecting Explorer Loop #337
and Pine Tree Loop #336
, and take a right. Almost immediately it T's again; take another right. You are on Explorer Loop #337
now. Cross a creek and take a left continuing on Explorer Loop #337
. Continue until it T's into gravel and take a right.
Cross the bridge and go left on Bent Creek Road
. The climb starts out mellow but gets steep. At the top of the straight steep section go right on Sidehill
. A short steep climb is followed by a mellow descent that gets rockier towards the end. Take a right at the T and go until you hit the road.
Take a right, go about 50 feet, and head back up the road you were on about 30 minutes ago. Go past the first sign for the Explorer Loop #337
, the second sign for Explorer Loop Alternative, continuing up the gravel until on the left, just before a bridge over a small creek crossing, is the real Explorer Loop #337
. Climb. Continue past Chestnut on Explorer Loop #337
. It T's once. Take a left to continue. Go through a medium creek crossing and in a couple of minutes, look for a left turn on gravel.
Take a left onto Pine Tree Loop #336
. Climb past the connector until you hit Deerfield Loop #335
on your right. Go on Deerfield Loop #335
until it T's. Do a sort of Z maneuver to hit Small Creek Trail
and continue until it T's into the lakeside trail. Take a right, continue until it T's into a gravel road, go left, and then immediately left again.
Continue straight up a gravel road which turns into pavement. Cross a four-way intersection and then continue on to Campground Connector 329
. Cross Bent Creek Road
and continue on to Ledford Branch Road
. Continue until you hit Hickory Mountain Loop
and climb, then continue straight past the intersection with Sidehill
. Continue until hitting Five Points, then descend Ingles Field Gap
, then Wolf Branch
back to the parking lot.