Hiking & Biking
Brevard Is Best With Bicyclists
Looking for a good place to go bicycling? Look no further than Brevard. For the second time in five months, Bike magazine has recognized Transylvania County as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the country.
In March, the magazine featured the Black Mountain Trail in Pisgah National Forest as one of its “33 Best Rides in North America,” a list that included mountain biking trails in Moab, Utah and Whistler, British Columbia.
“To be mentioned in the same breath as Moab and Whistler is a huge honor,” says Mike Hawkins, chairman of the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority. “We know that we have some of the best mountain and road biking in the country. But it’s only recently that the word has been getting out nationally.”
The July 2009 issue of Bike magazine features Brevard in its cover story “Secret Stashes: Six Hidden Destinations with Incredible Trails.” The magazine cites Brevard as “the perfect starting point for some of North Carolina’s best singletrack.”
In addition to profiling the trails of Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest, the article’s author, Brad Walton, recommends Brevard as a base camp for riders over other more well-known destinations like Asheville. Citing Brevard’s location “right at Pisgah National Forest’s back door,” Walton describes the area’s 1 million acres of terrain and hundreds of miles of trail as “all just a few pedal strokes from the west side of town.”
“We’ve always thought of Brevard as a natural choice for cyclists to base their riding vacations,” says Hawkins. “Asheville is a great place to visit, but we believe that Brevard has a whole lot to offer as well in terms of accommodations, dining and entertainment. And when it comes to proximity to the trails, you just can’t beat Transylvania County.” The county has more than 600 miles of single- and double-track biking trails. With the numerous unpaved Forest Service roads, the mileage figure approaches 1,000.
In addition to the national press, local race directors are helping to spread the word about Pisgah and DuPont. Todd Branham, who heads up Blue Ridge Adventures, is sponsoring the inaugural Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race Oct. 15-18, 2009 in Pisgah National Forest. With a purse of over $15,000, it will be the richest mountain bike stage race in the country.
Branham said the race is attracting star riders from across the country, including Jeremiah Bishop, the 2008 national marathon and short-track mountain biking champion, and Evan Plews, a nationally-ranked rider from Oregon. “Not only are we attracting world-class riders,” Branham said, “we’re getting tons of interest from national cycling manufacturers and vendors who are starting to recognize that Transylvania County is becoming a major cycling draw. They want to be where the riders are.”
“In Pisgah, you’ve got classic single-track trails with lots of big climbs and fast descents,” Branham said. “And just a few miles down the road in DuPont you’ve got purpose-built trails that take you over a completely different landscape – sand, slickrock, even waterfall routes.”
In short, it’s a cyclist’s mecca.
added: July 27, 2009
updated: August 3, 2009