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Spencer Branch to Fletcher Creek Loop

 4.5 (17)

Climb up to the fantastic Spencer Branch Trail #140 with a creek-side ride down Fletcher Creek Trail #350 to top it off.

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3,338' 1,017 m


2,400' 732 m


1,167' 356 m


1,168' 356 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features Drops/Jumps · Views


Loop tour of a couple of North Mills classics. Nice way to enjoy the incredibly varied descent of Spencer Branch and the fast flow of Fletcher Creek.

Need to Know

Pit toilets available at the horse camp.


Park by the gate at the horse camp about 0.5 miles before the Trace Ridge Trail parking lot, or alternatively you can park at the Trace Ridge lot.

Start off with a long, steady climb up Wash Creek Road to get the heart pumping, then take a left at the gate a couple of miles in to start up Spencer Gap. Things start getting steadily steeper once you leave Wash Creek, but Spencer Gap is in good condition for climbing.

You'll steadily gain elevation until you are just below the Parkway, at which point the climbing turns into more of a nice traverse along the path of the parkway with a couple of little tech obstacles along the way. The traverse culminates in a fairly challenging root section that you need some speed for, after which you find yourself at the top of Spencer Branch.

Get ready, because you'll be loving life all the way down Spencer Branch. The descent starts off with several rocky drops in a row, followed by a quick turn that leads into flowy turn after flowy turn with some nice rock gardens to spice things up a bit. Dive into the rightward switchback with a big smile on your face, hit a few more rocks and some optional air, and be greeted with a beautiful flow section through a grove of young trees. The descent ends with some tight turns and drops, and a recommended not-that-bad-it's-super-chill-dude log skinny right before the fire road.

After some high fives with your mates, or a loud "I don't care who hears it" yell if you're solo, look to your right and you'll see a drop on the left side of the road into the lower portion of Spencer Branch, which meanders nicely along the creek with a few drops, crossings, and a tight turn or two thrown in. After this nice Lord-of-the-Rings terrain, you'll turn left onto Fletcher Creek Trail #350, which continues the descent, until it doesn't, until it does again. The final descent at the end of Fletcher Creek is fast, flowy, and just a ton of fun.

After this fun descent, you'll need to pay your dues a bit on Forest Road 142 back up to the Trace Ridge lot.


Shared By:

Joe Virtanen with improvements by Christian E

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 17 votes


in Trace Ridge


  4.5 from 17 votes
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62 Views Last Month
4,709 Since Jul 15, 2019



Starting to get nice and techy!
Mar 15, 2019 near Avery C…, NC
Follow the signs for Spencer Gap when you reach this spot.
Apr 6, 2017 near Avery C…, NC
Ripping the top before it starts getting really tight...
Mar 15, 2019 near Avery C…, NC
Falling water on the gravel trail out
Jul 14, 2020 near Avery C…, NC
The Falls at the bottom of Fletcher Creek.
Mar 27, 2021 near Avery C…, NC
Fun trail to ride with an intermediate rider!
Sep 18, 2019 near Avery C…, NC


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 96 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Apr 29, 2023
Sara Wines
Nov 26, 2022
Jamie Burkholder
Great ride, the heavy amounts of fallen leaves made seeing the trail a challenge. 9.7mi — 3h 00m
Sep 18, 2022
Matthew Brown
Sep 16, 2022
Cory Liverman
Jun 17, 2021
Jonathan Boriack
Mar 17, 2021
Mike Nosal
"Quick" gravel ride to the trailhead. Drop kick to the chest (climb) into some mixed DH,Tech,singletrack which will get you grinning. 10mi
Nov 19, 2020
Roberto Malorni
Sep 16, 2020
Jonathan Linder