With quick access to trails in Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Recreational Forest, Gorges State Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, plus a bike-friendly culture that supports three, full-service bike shops, Brevard is your gateway to exploring the scenic country roads and rugged backwood trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Back in town after a long day, relax with local craft brews from four breweries and great music all around town.
Isn’t it time you discovered why Single Track World said, “Biking in Brevard, NC, is like nowhere else on earth”?
Year-round, 360° Adventures
1 | “Epic” is the word used most often to describe mountain biking in Brevard and Transylvania County. And not only by locals.
2 | Believe you me, the trails around Brevard, North Carolina are, if anything, woefully under-hyped. BIKE Magazine
3 | Hundreds of miles of single track and trails to suit all all appetites through more than 500,000 acres of state and national forest.
4 | “America’s best kept secret,” declared BIKE Magazine in its January 2012 “Bike Bible of Bike Tests,” after the BIKE Magazine crew pounded Transylvania’s trails for two weeks in October 2011 during its annual gear test.
5 | Wes Dickson, a former racer and biking advocate, saw the magic of mountain biking in Pisgah National Forest before almost everyone else and opened Sycamore Cycles in 2000.
6 | Pisgah is definitely one of the top three places in the universe that I’ve ever ridden – and may be the very best one.
Adam Craig, World Cup cyclist and former Olympian, after competing in the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, Oct 2011
7 | Brevard made Singletrack’s short list of the Top Ten Mountain Bike Destinations In North America in 2013 and again when voted by readers in 2015. The only top bike destination east of the Mississippi, Brevard now shares top billing with world-class venues such as Moab, Utah, and Whistler, British Columbia.
8 | Brevard, North Carolina: Ground zero for some of the best riding in the nation. BIKE Magazine
9 | Native Eyewear zeroed in on Brevard for its 2013 Locals Only Project.
The Two-Wheeled Place to Be Seen
10 | The Trek Bicycle Company opted to showcase its newest high-end mountain bikes in the mountains of Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest in June 2014 instead of the usual bike destinations out west.
11 | Carmichael Training Systems, a leader in endurance coaching, located its North Carolina training center in Brevard to be closer to the center of singletrack action in Transylvania County.
12 | Canadian Olympic cyclists frequently train in Brevard during the winter, where the temperate climate allows bikers to ride nearly every day of the year.
13 | Because everything is a cycle here.
“Like Nowhere Else on Earth.” Believe it.
14 | Biking in Brevard, NC is like nowhere else on earth. The variety of trails, range of difficulty and easy access have made the bike culture strong in this densely forested trail hub. Singletrackworld.com
15 | The mythic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, among the most ancient mountains on planet Earth with rock outcroppings more than 1 billion years old.
16 | More than 250 named waterfalls — and countless more unnamed ephemeral falls — tumbling over raw and rocky topography from ancient continent collisions and several episodes of mountain building.
17 | Pisgah National Forest, a vast, magical forest known for 400 miles of challenging technical singletrack, “half-track” trails and rock gardens amid granitic domes.
18 | Let’s put it this way, we’ve yet to run into any of the lifers around here who’ve ridden it all. When you consider just how burly and tough the riders are out here, that’s saying a hell of a lot. BIKE Magazine
19 | Dupont State Forest, with 82 miles of mostly fast flowy trails for a wide variety of skill levels.
20 | While there is definitely technical terrain to be ridden here, DuPont is also remarkably beginner-friendly. Added bonus? Some slickrock sections (which spares you the expense of hauling your carcass to Moab or Gooseberry Mesa) and jaw-dropping views of the mountains in this neck of the woods. BIKE Magazine
21 | In Gorges State Park, named by National Geographic as “one of the last 50 great places on Earth,” try to catch your breath on the 12-mile, round trip Auger Hole Trail from Frozen Creek Acess to Turkey Pen Gap on the park’s western boundary.
22 | Bracken Preserve, a purpose-built singletrack built by the local biking community on city property that includes a climbing four-mile mountain loop or two-mile connector into Pisgah National Forest, gives Brevard the distinction of being the only town east of the Mississippi with trails that connect directly into national forest trails.
23 | The Blue Ridge Parkway, “America’s Favorite Drive,” is shared by motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists and considered one of the best cycling byways in the country, not only for the jaw-dropping views of endless blue mountain ranges but also the steep rolling terrain, extensive climbs and descents.
24 | The incredible biodiversity of the Appalachian Temperate Rainforest offers the rich abundance of numerous forest communities on any road or forest trail.
25 | The highest average annual rainfall east of the Mississippi, ranging from 60 inches in an average year in Brevard to more than 90 inches average in Gorges State Park.
26 | Transylvania County boasts the greatest elevation change east of the Mississippi, which creates the rugged, unforgiving rocky and slick terrain of Pisgah National Forest.
Races and Endurance Rides for Every Skill Level
27 | The Pisgah 36 Mountain Bike Adventure Race, March 2-3, 2019, starts at midnight on Friday and runs til noon Sunday. There are six separate stages, each with a unique format that takes 4-6 hours to complete. Expect nothing at the checkpoints except natural landmarks and bring a digital camera to provide proof. Details at Pisgah 36 MTB Adventure Race.
28 | The Annual Assault on the Carolinas, April 6, 2019, is two fully supported 50k and 100K rides and capped at 1,000 riders each year. The 100K route traverses the scenic valleys and mountains of North and South Carolina, with a challenging 6-mile climb up to Ceasar’s Head State Park, and the 50K route travels through scenic river valleys in the Western North Carolina Mountains. Registration for the 2019 event will close in October. Details at Assault on the Carolinas.
29 | The Annual Pisgah Stage Race, April 8-13, 2019, is a five-day, fully supported endurance event on some of the best singletrack in the country and most rugged trails in the East. Rhodendron tunnels, picturesque creek crossings, incredible leaf colors and timed enduro sections each day. Details at Annual Pisgah Stage Race.
30 | The Annual Looking Glass Tour, April 27, 2019, covers some of the finest roads and most beautiful terrain in Transylvania County. Fully supported 50- and 100-mile rides. Details at Looking Glass Tour.
31 | The Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race (PMBAR), May 4, 2019, is held deep in Pisgah National Forest, one of the most beautiful, rugged, and unforgiving areas in the nation. Expect no support on this course and prepare to handle any situation that arises. Teams of two riders will race to reach 4 of 5 checkpoints in any order and as fast as possible. There is no suggested route. Anticipate routes to vary between 50-80 miles, include 9,000 to 15,000 feet of climbing and take 7 to 14 hours to complete. Details at Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race.
32 | The Pisgah 111K Mountain Bike Race, May 18, 2019, follows a 111K-course on the finest grails and gravel roads in Pisgah National Forest and includes 11,000 feet of climbing. Just follow the arrows. Details at Pisgah 111K Mountain Bike Race.
33 | The Pisgah 55.5K Mountain Bike/Running Race, May 19, 2019, tests the strength and endurance of racers on a course of nearly 100 percent famed Pisgah singletrack. Also open to ultra-runners, the course includes the Pisgah classic trails of Black Mountain, Turkey Pen Gap, Laurel Mountain, and Pilot Rock. Details at Pisgah 55.5K Mountain Bike-Running Race.
34 | The Annual WNC Flyer, June 2, 2019, starts and finishes from Oscar Blues in Brevard. Winding through the picturesque valleys south of Asheville, the Flyer offers four ride options – 100, 63, 50 and 33 miles – for experienced to new riders without the long mountain climbs. Ride starts and finishes at Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard. Formerly the Fletcher Flyer, this long-standing favorite became the WNC Flyer in 2017. Details at WNC Flyer.
35 | Cycle North Carolina Mountain Ride, made it’s second start from downtown Brevard in August 2016. Details and locations are being finalized for 2019.
36 | The Dirt Diggler Gravel Grinder, September 21, 2019, is 47 miles and 5300 feet of climbing Transylvania’s best! Starting and finishing at the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch, this course will feature a backcountry/gravel road tour through some of the best kept secrets in the county. It meanders through DuPont State Forest, gated private property and ends on two miles of single track. Riders are supported on a well-marked course, chip timing, fully supported rest stops with medical assistance available, and SAG wagons. Details at Dirt Diggler Gravel Grinder.
37 | The White Squirrel Cycling Classic, October 12, 2019, is a classic fall spinner during Western North Carolina’s stunning leaf season. The fully supported ride starts and ends at Oscar Blues Tasty Weasel tasting room at the Brevard brewery. Riders will travel flat valley roads and along the French Broad River in both Transylvania and Henderson counties. Details at White Squirrel Cycling Classic.
38 | The Pisgah Double Dare Mountain Bike Race, October Oct 26-27, 2019, tests the mental and physical strengths of riders like no other race. Teams of two riders will race to reach up to 10 checkpoints per day for two consecutive days. Expect up to 70 miles of riding and 12,000 to 15,000 feet of climbing each day. Details at Pisgah Double Dare Mountain Bike Race.
39 | The Couch Potato, November 2, 2019, is a short enough course – 25 miles and 3,200+ in elevation gain – to make it doable “off the couch.” Rolling over rugged mining roads, classic Pisgah single track, cursing climbs and giggling descents, this course will test your skills and desire as you explore the intoxicating terrain of the Pisgah National Forest. Good food, brews and a camp fire at the finish. Details at Couch Potato.
40 | The Sycamore Cycles Swank 65, November 3, 2019, is mountain biking at its most primeval starting at 2,500 feet in Pisgah National Forest. Supported by Sycamore Cycles, the 35-mile route rolls over rugged mining roads, fun single track, tough climbs and hellish descents on some of Pisgah’s best trails, including Farlow Gap. Details at Swank 65.
Why We’re the Cycling Capital of the South
41 | The championship-winning Brevard College Cycling Team first alerted the cycling world there was something special going on in Brevard. The Cycling Team has won the past three Division II Collegiate Mountain Bike Championships. Named a top Adventure College in the United States, Brevard College continues to graduate champion cyclists.
42 | Brevard has been home to two world-class bike shops for many years, joined by a third in 2016:
- Sycamore Cycles, with a location in Brevard since 2000 and a second location in Hendersonville. Also home to Crank’s Coffee shop.
- The Hub, which moved across the street into a expanded facility. Also home to Backcountry Outdoors and the Pisgah Tavern.
- With a third bike shop, Squatch Bikes & Brews, that opened in mid-2016 in Brevard’s Railroad District, the hip, former industrial center of town.
43 | Oscar Blues Reeb Ranch East, opened in June 2014, is a 145-acre farm mountain bike resort nestled in a picturesque valley next to Dupont State Forest. The bike park features a pump track and trail that connects directly into Dupont State Forest. Lodging is available in a 1940s creekside log cabin tucked in the forest at the base of twin waterfalls or a barn apartment overlooking scenic rolling pastures. Mountain-bike tours of Dupont and Pisgah were added in spring 2017.
44 | The Bike Farm is a basecamp, mountain bike guide and coaching service owned by Cashion Smith and Eva Surls on 430 acres next to Pisgah National Forest. Hugging the side of a mountain with an 800-foot vertical drop in Turkey Pen Gap, the Bike Farm is open for glamping — tent camping with luxury – riding, guiding and bike camps.
45 | A proposal to convert an 18-mile stretch of unused railroad line from Brevard to Hendersonville, tentatively called the Ecusta Trail, is gaining ground. Friends of the Ecusta Trail have completed an economic impact study on the proposed rail trail and continue to meet with local community and development officials to promote the plan.
Meet and Ride Most Days of the Week
46 |Brevard boasts three local cycling groups that host a half-dozen weekly rides year round, plus regular spins hosted by local bike shops.
- Pisgah Cycling hosts the Saturday morning Spin and Grin and the Wednesday evening social ride among other local rides and events.
- The Blue Ridge Bicycle Club hosts rides in Brevard and throughout Western North Carolina.
- Transylvania County Schools have formed a Cycling Club to encourage the sport and get kids out into the forest that’s in their own backyard.
- Sycamore Cycles hosts the weekly Thursday evening ride, 6-8 pm.
- The Hub hosts the weekly Thursday evening women’s mountain bike ride for all skill levels, 6 pm.
- The new bike shop in Brevard, Squatch Bikes & Brews, offers a Wednesday night intermediate ride at 6 pm in either Bracken Preserve or Pisgah National Forest and a Saturday morning ride in Dupont State Forest.
- The Pisgah Area SORBA includes Brevard in its trail work and ride schedule.
A Town Where Spandex is Welcome
47 | You’ll be surrounded by friends wherever you decide to indulge your senses.
- Beer. The Brevard Brewing Company was the first local craft brewery in town.
- Beer. The Oskar Blues Brewery Tasty Weasel Tasting Room, with weekly music events, now has a trailhead on the city’s bike-hike path at the Cherry Street Greenway Extension.
- More beer. Sierra Nevada’s North Carolina brewery and restaurant is a short ride up 280 in Mills River. Back racks out front, trails coming soon.
- And more… In its new location at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, the Hub has expanded Pisgah Tavern and now has outdoor seating.
- The newest brewery in town, Ecusta Brewing Company, has opened its production brewery and tap room at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest across the road from the Hub.
- It’s in the name. Squatch Bikes & Brews offers post-ride refreshment, among other times.
- Try Bracken Mountain Bakery, a cyclists’ hangout, for post-ride coffee and European pastries.
- Caffeinate before your ride at Crank Coffee, the coffee shop inside Sycamore Cycles.
- Prefer wine? Stop at Wine Down on Main Street for wine and lighter fare.
- Unwind with great local music. 185 King Street features local and visiting musicians.
- Visit the Phoenix and the Fox for farm-to-table specialties and local music.