Rocky Knob Park
ElevationAscent: 881' 268 m
Descent: -879' -268 m
High: 4,000' 1,219 m
Low: 3,246' 990 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 51% (27°)
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“Great all-mountain riding in Boone, NC”— Paul Stahlschmidt
Family Friendly The Rocky Knob Pumptrack and Keendergarten trail are both good beginner areas at RKP.
Rocky Branch (2.6 mi.) has the least elevation gain, and includes some spots where surface material was added. But this trail does have some punchy technical areas and the rugosity of the tread is not smooth; thus its moderate rating. Many of the mountains springs dump out at this lower elevation, so the climb up sees a few armored sections and culvert-style bridges. At the second powerline crossing youll find the Jump Start skills area, and just beyond that will be Middle Earth.
Middle Earth (1 mi.) rises up the lower of the two mountains to about 3580 ft. The trails in general get more difficult the higher up you go, and Middle Earth starts this change with steeper climbing and more loose rock. At the summit of this climb, youll be at The Saddle, crossing powerlines again. Nice views here. From this point, you can access PBJ, Skinny Skills, and Stone Binge skills areas. After a short descent past Stone Binge, Boat Rock starts by forking off to the right.
Boat Rock trail (3.6 mi.) is named after the large rock formation that it encircles, a name which volunteers came up with. The most difficult grunt of this trail is the leg up to the Rock itself. Beyond that, there are some bulkier rock gardens and a few elevated wooden bridges that travel around or over boulders. After 1.3 miles, there is an option to shorten the Boat Rock loop to 2.5 mi. by taking an optional bailout connector. Taking a hard left around a boulder at this spot, youll climb a bit and pass over two more wooden features on the last leg of this trail.
'Ol Hoss (.75 mi.) is dubbed in tribute to the late musician Doc Watson, a former resident of nearby Deep Gap, who referred to his first guitar by this name. The trail is .75 miles long, and skirts the summit of the mountain at 4,000 ft. (750 ft. from the parking lot). From the intersection with Middle Earth, the initial rise is not much steeper than what you've been climbing, but as you approach the last leg to the top, you'll see the side-slope rising up and the trail crisscrossing it above you. The next few turns are tighter than any switchbacks on the trails below. The boulders at the top and a large warning sign will let you know you are done climbing. The downhill on 'Ol Hoss needs to be ridden with caution on the first pass. There are mandatory drops/obstacles, and alternate lines are more difficult than the main line. Time to get your game face on from this spot and go DOWN!
'Ol Hoss merges again with Boat Rock trail and passes through beautiful forest and more rock gardens. Eventually, you are back in the Saddle again. There are several ways to get down including this featured route which takes the PBJ skills trail. The Stone Binge skills area and Middle Earth trail provide other ways down. Any way you chose, from the top of 'Ol Hoss to the parking lot you'll lose approximately 760 feet in elevation, in nearly 3 miles of descending.
PBJ is named for Pump, Berm, Jump, and thats what it is! It is sculpted into features that skilled riders can air out and not-so skilled can roll and still enjoy a nice plummet down. There are a few bigger veins of rock of course (its Rocky Knob), so be ready to encounter bumps in places. Optional lines are marked, but look well ahead for the line that suits your level. Black rating is for the optional lines and the consequences that can happen at speed.
Youll be on the final piece of this featured ride when you merge again with Rocky Branch near the bottom of the mountain. After hitting the last berm and rolling into the rhododendron tunnel, remain on high alert because you'll merge with the entrance trail just after that.
Boone Area Cyclists (BAC), a 501c3 non-profit was formed about the same time. BAC and WCTDA worked together over the entirety of the project, with BAC helping with planning and funding, and also orchestrating the 3,500+ volunteer hours used in construction. The Northwest NC Mountain Bike Alliance, a chapter of IMBA, began working with BAC in 2013, and helps organize large community work parties several times a year.
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ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed