North Carolina 28770

Elevation Gain3,067ft
Trailhead Elevation1,617ft
Elevation Min/Max1617/3164ft
Elevation Start/End1617/1617ft


Kitsuma is a hiking and biking trail in McDowell County and Buncombe County, North Carolina. It is 4.3 miles long and begins at 1,617 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,067 feet. The Old Fort Picnic Area picnic site is near the trailhead. There are also parkings. Kitsuma Peak (elevation 3,159 feet) can be seen along the trail.

Kitsuma Professional Review and Guide

"Kitsuma is an awesome ride—period. Once you climb past the dozen or so initial switchbacks (which, strangely enough, are kind of fun in their own right), you’re faced with a torpedo run down along knife-edge ridgelines that drop forever. You’ll drop a ridge, switchback, then contour run until the next ridge peels off, over and over again.

Most of the trail is smooth and buff, but screaming down an 8-inch-wide track along a 60-degree fall line brings its own form of adrenaline. The return trip is 5 miles of easy cruising on an abandoned and gated section of old US 70, with excellent views of the ridgeline you just descended. I can’t do it justice; just ride this trail and it’ll instantly be one of your top five favorites. Tread: 5 miles of singletrack; 3.8 miles of abandoned highway; 1.5 miles of pavement."

Kitsuma Reviews

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The beginning of Kitsuma was a fairly tough switch back climb up that leads you into a fast tight downhill single track... that will have your rotors smoking by the end of the run and having you screaming for more... and that's where I was disappointed... there's just not enough single track. Your riding on asphalt more than you are on single track and that's not what I look for in mountain biking. But I had never been there before, I rode, enjoyed it and I would go back. As for a ride in general it was great, tough climb in tough climb out... blazing fast single track. I would recommend this as a must ride, but there are many other options that offer up more and better payout for your efforts. But as I mentioned... I'm partial to tight single track and not riding asphalt.
Some of the sweetest singletrack around . Swithback climbs were a little grueling but once they were over it was a blast ! Highly recommend this trail ..
Very good trail. A little more technical than I expected.
I rode this trail after only about two months experience on a comfort mountain bike. The switchback climbs at the beginning ate my lunch. I walked a lot. Once at the top it was the thrill of a lifetime. Great fast running on the ridge. The ride back down narrow with lots of sharp turns. The highway home is long and all slihtly uphill. But I was there during blackberry season and wild berries were everwhere. Take lots of breaks and eat lots of berries. I have upgraded the bike and am in better shape - I plan on goping back and mastering this great run.

Kitsuma Photos

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Trail Information

Epic Cycles (828) 669-5969
Local Contacts
USGS Old Fort
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018