gravel biking in Pisgah national forest

Gravel Biking in Pisgah National Forest

Brevard and Transylvania County are synonymous with epic mountain biking and scenic road cycling, but there’s a thrilling adventure hiding in plain sight: gravel biking. This unique sport is quickly gaining traction, and there’s no better place to experience it than on the countless gravel roads snaking through stunning Pisgah National Forest.

Imagine the perfect blend of mountain biking’s rugged exploration and road cycling’s smooth efficiency. That’s gravel biking in a nutshell. You’ll be riding on unpaved roads, but unlike mountain biking, the terrain is generally smoother and less technical. Gravel bikes resemble road bikes, but with wider, treaded tires that provide extra grip and stability on loose surfaces.

gravel biking in Pisgah national forest

Why Transylvania County is a Gravel Biker’s Paradise

Thanks to sprawling Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Recreational Forest gracing our doorstep, Transylvania County boasts hundreds of miles of well-maintained gravel roads. Often referred to as “Forest Service” or “FS” roads, these hidden gems weave through the pristine wilderness, offering unparalleled opportunities for exploration by gravel bike.

What Kind of Bike Do I Need?

The beauty of gravel biking lies in its accessibility. The growing popularity has led to a surge in gravel-specific bikes with wider tires and a more relaxed geometry for comfort on rougher terrain. But you don’t necessarily need a dedicated gravel bike!

  • Gravel-Specific Bikes: These offer the best performance and comfort, featuring wider tires and a more upright riding position.
  • Road Bike Conversion: Many road bikes can be “up-fitted” with wider, treaded tires, transforming them into capable “gravel grinders.”
  • Mountain Bike Repurposing: Your trusty mountain bike can tackle gravel with ease! Hardtail mountain bikes make fantastic gravel bikes without any modifications.

Finding Your Gravel Adventure

Ready to hit the open road? Here are some resources to help you navigate Transylvania County’s extensive gravel network:

  • Maps: Paper maps are your friend! Pisgah Map Company offers detailed maps highlighting the various FS roads in Pisgah and DuPont.
  • Mobile Apps: For a digital option, Avenza Maps Mobile Apps offer downloadable Forest Service Maps you can access on the go.
  • Online Resources: Websites like AllTrails and Trailforks provide user-generated routes and reviews.

Getting Started: Your First Gravel Ride

DuPont State Recreational Forest offers a fantastic introduction to gravel riding. Here’s a beginner-friendly route suggestion:

  • Start your adventure from the DuPont Visitor Center Parking Lot on Buck Forest Road (89 Buck Forest Road).
  • Enjoy the scenic ride along Buck Forest Road, crossing the charming covered bridge over the Little River.
  • Take a right onto Conservation Road, followed by another right onto Bridal Veil Falls Road.
  • Soak in the breathtaking beauty of Bridal Veil Falls before turning around for a 4.5-mile round trip adventure.

This route is a perfect introduction to the joys of gravel biking. Feeling adventurous? Many of DuPont’s gravel roads offer opportunities to extend your exploration!

Local Bike Shops: Your One-Stop Shop

For expert advice, gear, and the latest gravel bikes, visit one of our fantastic local bike shops! These friendly shops are staffed by passionate cyclists who can answer your questions, recommend routes, and help you find the perfect gravel setup for your Transylvania County adventure.

Ready to experience the thrill of gravel biking in Brevard? Book your stay at Pilot Cove today and get ready to explore! We offer bike storage to keep your precious ride safe as well as a mudroom, washer, and dryer in each cabin to freshen up your cycling gear after a long ride. Come experience Pisgah National Forest and the thrill of gravel biking today!

Pilot Cove