Bent Creek Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The nearly 10 miles of doubletrack and singletrack open for biking in Bent Creek Experimental Forest are comprised of a 6.5-mile loop, with a 1.6-mile one-way out-and-back (3.2 miles total) tacked on for good measure. This popular trailhead, actually called Hardtimes, is named for the gated road leading to nearby Lake Powhatan. The road leads into a part of the original 1,100 acres George Vanderbuilt purchased south of Asheville, part of which now contains the Biltmore House and its estates."
--Steve Jones, Mountain Bike! The Southern Appalachian & Smoky Mountains (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Bent Creek North Loop starts at the heart of Bent Creek Experimental Forest and then travels up the slopes of Little Hickory Top to reach the park’s northern boundary. Scenic singletrack and well-maintained dirt roads make up the route. The highlight of the hike is reaching Ingles Field Gap and then tracing along the spine of Stradley Ridge to encounter views of west Asheville and Enka, before looping back downhill to the trailhead."
--Jennifer Pharr Davis, Five-Star Trails: Asheville (Menasha Ridge Press).
Lot''s of fun. Plenty of options to explore for all levels. I will definitely go again when I am in the area. The climb on the back side can be a little long, but overall fairly easy ride.
Just Plain Heinous
Little Hickory Top
Ingles Field Gap
Pine Tree Loop
A lot of smaller unmarked connector trails
Kickass singletrack, some dirt and a lot of gravel (large gravel) doubletrack
First off ….It’s the day before New Years Eve…and Damn Cold around mid 20’s….So cold the water in my CamelBak hose froze…and the Gaterade in my water bottle had become a slushy.
The week before must have rained pretty good…lots of frozen muddy ruts…added to the excitement.
We started with no particular loop in mind…Ride till we drop…or freeze…Started with the Espresso Trail (Unmarked but right across the paved road form the parking lot.) made some rights at several unmarked “Y” intersections Fern Glen to Wolf Creek (Sweet singletrack) then made it to Rice Pinnacle road near the ruins of an old boy scout lodge. We then rode RP rd. to Ingles Field Gap trailhead.. Up Up and more Up…We turned back (Fun downhill) Got to be an easier way up…So we ride on Ledford Branch road to Sidehill which was a grinder but not as bad as IFG. Came to the IFG Connector…which was an ass-kicker of a climb then made it to IFG more up…up ….up…After several breaks and several hop off the bike and cry like a baby… Made it to 5 Points. 5 Points is were Little Hickory, IFG, N. Boundary Rd. hiking trail to Enka and Tony Michaels Parkway which is a dirt doubletrack up the shady side of the mountain…Once we made it up to 5 Points I think I coughed up a lung…damn cold dry air…
Anyway made our way up the TM parkway (nice view of the town of Enka down in the valley) first trail on the left is Betty Heinous (Little Sister of Mo) Betty was awesome …some really nice technical sections Fast and Steep…Did a nice endo face plant into rock fields and then there is a serious drop then sharp right…Very fun Betty merges with Mo( coming in from the right) into Just Plain Heinous….This was a kickass fun and fast gravel, dirt and rock filed doubletrack…Almost bought it at a turn that had a small water crossing which was icy and filled with some big ass rocks… Everyone made it thru that…from there on was a straight downhill double track Laurel Branch road…FAST as Hell…30+mph watch it though loose and large gravel…quite the adrenaline rush…
Went on down till went left onto Lower Sidehill which was a blast until we hit the mud that was thawing in the sun…so much mud that there was zero traction and several of us took some major spills….fun section of rooty single track. Made it to Boyd Branch Road and started up again this gravel doubletrack to went right onto Sidehill (Awesome Singletrack) trail again and then back to Ledford Branch Rd. and that was a nice coast to the Parking area.
Fun ride…Couldn’t imagine riding Mo Heinous…Betty was Heinous enough for the lot of us!
WE had a great time! My wife and I went, she is a less experienced rider, but these trails allowed her to really expand her skills! We climbed to the top, and then screamed down the single track! Best MTB experience we have had since moving to the Carolinas!
Fun, Fun, Fun. I think the good stuff, side hill and all the stuff that branches off of it is closed untill Dec. 15 for hunting season.
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