Asheville is the hub of cycling on the East Coast. Other cities may argue for this status, but very few offer the diversity of cycling this area. Below are samples of excellent areas for cycling in and around Asheville, all of which are within a two hour drive of the city. There are rides for the family and moderate skill level mountain bikers along with something for the more adventurous. You can find more information by visiting Liberty Bicycles at 1378 Hendersonville Road, or at libertybikes.com.
Bent Creek The Bent Creek Experimental Forest offers great mountain biking just ten minutes from most areas of town. Bent Creek offers a diversity of off-road riding, and for the casual cyclist, a variety of gravel road and light duty trails. Roads such as Hard Times and South Ridge as well as the Explorer trails in Bent Creek allow a new off-road rider to get their toes wet without getting in over their heads. For those looking for more aggressive and technical riding, trails such as Green’s Lick, Little Hickory and Lower Sidehill will offer plenty of adventure and adrenaline. Information is available at srs.fs.usda.gov/bentcreek, or you can visit Liberty Bicycles to pick up a detailed trail map.
Dupont Forest Dupont State Forest is located on the back side of Brevard. Many people know it by its waterfalls, but Dupont is also home to some of the best mountain bike trails in the Southeast. Go out and ride the Ridgeline trail to enjoy its fast, flowy terrain or try out Cedar Rock and get a touch of slick rock. For more information, you can visit dupontforesttrails.com or pick up maps of Dupont Forest at Liberty Bicycles.
Swamp Rabbit Trail If you’re looking to do some family riding only a short drive from Asheville, check out the Swamp Rabbit trail. This wonderful path system begins just north of Traveler’s Rest High School in South Carolina and weaves through many communities and parks on its way to downtown Greenville. A great place to end your ride in downtown Greenville is Reedy River Park, and there are also lots of cafes and shopping along this route. More information can be gathered at greenvillerec.com/swamprabbit.
Virginia Creeper Trail Located in Southwest Virginia, the Creeper Trail follows an old railroad grade. Beginning in Abingdon, VA, it passes through Damascus on the way to Whitetop Station. Lots of shade and plenty of streams are some of the highlights of the Creeper Trail. There are bed and breakfasts along the way, as well as many cafes and restaurants to feed hungry children and grown-ups along this family friendly route. Point to point from Abingdon to Whitetop Station is thirty-four miles; if you’re not ready to tackle the whole distance, start in Damascus, which is only seventeen miles to Whitetop station. A great source of info for this is vacreepertrail.com.