Area Info / Biking at Bent Creek
Biking at Bent Creek
Western North Carolina Trail Systems:
Part of the Pisgah National Forest, Bent Creek has become increasingly popular as of late. Because of its relative lack of technical trails, Bent Creek is an ideal spot for the beginning to intermediate mountain biker. That said, it has plenty to offer even the most seasoned riders as well. Because of its close proximity to Asheville, Bent Creek has become one of the most popular collection of trails in Western North Carolina with lost of locals coming out for day trips or after dinner rides.The area that hosts the trails is officially called the Bent Creek Research and Demonstration Forest located at the top of the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest.
As its name suggests, the forest's primary function is not for mountain biking, but research. One of the countries oldest research forests, Bent Creek has been playing a vital role in the conservation of America's resources by serving as an outdoor lab for the USDA Forest Service to develop and demonstrate sound forestry practices regarding fire, insects, diseases, timber, wildlife, water, and recreation. Since the forest service is gracious enough to share this resource, it's important for mountain bikers to make sure they stay off of restricted areas where their impact might interfere with decades of careful research. Not to worry, most trails are open to mountain bikes- check out our map of Bent Creek bike trails to see just how many are available.
While mountain biking isn't the world's safest activity, it can be plenty safe if you take the right precautions (start slowly, always wear a helmet, etc.) If you're still a little edgy about going out on the trails for the first time, you can rest assured that Bent Creek is one of the safer places to ride out there. Because of the popularity of the area, the Southeastern Mountain Bike Patrol was formed with the stated mission of helping to make the trails of the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests better places for mountain biking. They often provide mechanical or first aid help as well as valuable information and tips on mountain bike riding and they're hard to miss in their bright yellow jerseys with the NMBP logo.
Trails vary in length from 3.8 mile long North Boundary Road, a moderately difficult trail with some medium climbs, to the half mile long Small Creek trail which is a great place to start for beginners. There's quite a few other trails that offer a great variety of technicality, steepness, and obstacles. It's this variety coupled with the beauty of the Bent Creek area that keeps riders from near and far coming back again and again.