Wicked trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 29-June 4, 1997
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Wicked trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains
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Wicked trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Question: Would you please recommend some wicked singletrack in the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Rocky Paiano
Charlotte, NC
[email protected]

The high country offers
miles of singletrack

Adventure Adviser: According to Jim Parham, author of the six-volume series, Off the Beaten Track ($12.95, 704-488-6601), there are tons of "wicked singletrack" trails to choose from in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Two he recommends are the Bull Mountain Trail in north Georgia and the Laurel Mountain Trail in North Carolina.

Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, the 11-mile hard-pack singletrack Bull Mountain Trail starts with a 3-mile continuous climb that involves crossing numerous streams and hiking past waterfalls. It ends with a tight, twisting downhill through trees. You'll find the trail north of Dahlonega off Highway 52 on Forest Service Road 28. Signs will direct you to designated biker parking lots.

Parham recommends the 13.5-mile Laurel Mountain Trail in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest. Be forewarned, however, that the singletrack is loose, rocky, and steep, not like the hard-pack dirt most people are used to in the Tsali Recreation Area. Be prepared for a climb with many (we mean many) rocky switchbacks on the downhill return. If you ride this trail anytime soon, you'll find the rhododendron and laurel so thick, you'll think you're biking through a tunnel. Huge exposed slabs of rocks with great views are also along this trail.

To get to the trail, drive 3.5 miles west of the North Mills River Campground on Forest Service Road 1206 in the Pisgah National Forest, north of Brevard.

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