The days are cooling down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy all that Western North Carolina has to offer!
Did you know that our little corner of the world has some of the oldest mountains and rivers in the world? While the Smokies, the Blue Ridge, and areas in between see carloads of visitors throughout the warm months, there’s something truly magical about experiencing local nature in the fall. Get out of the car, breathe that fresh mountain air, and find a bike ride that is exactly as challenging and nature-rich as you want.
Not sure where to start? As experts in the region, our Beverly-Hanks associates are well versed in local biking hotspots. We asked them: Where are the best fall bike rides in WNC?
Biltmore Estate | Photo Katie Ledford
My favorite place to go for a bike ride is on the Biltmore Estate. I love to experience the change in seasons—all with the added comfort that if I fall off my bike or get too tired, a shuttle is always nearby!
Bailey Mountain Bike Park is about four miles from Mars Hill University via Highway 213 and Bone Camp Road. It offers different levels of challenge for a totally thrilling ride! Not for beginners!
My son, Blaine, is a big bike rider—both mountain and road. He suggests Green’s Lick in Bent Creek for mountain bike riding. For road bike riding, try Terry’s Gap to Clear Creek to Bear Wallow for climbers. The Etowah area is great if you’re looking for flat roads.
Dupont State Forest is not only the best place to bike in WNC but, no doubt, maybe best in the country! My favorite is Ridgeline Trail. If you want six miles of the fastest, smoothest, downhill roller-coaster rides in the area, look no further! At the bottom, permanent smiles on the riders’ faces will tell the whole story. Enjoy!
Family trip to Cataloochee Valley | Photo Amanda Hill
There are biking opportunities all over WNC, but my family enjoys the Cataloochee Park in the Great Smoky Mountains, just minutes from our Waynesville home. We often see elk or bear along the ride. It makes for a wonderful Sunday afternoon adventure.
Start at New Belgium Brewery and wind yourself through woods and varying trails over to French Broad River Park along the river. Still feeling strong? Then keep going a few more miles to Carrier Park and Hominy Creek. Naturally end up back at New Belgium and reward yourself with a Fat Tire, especially on Fat Tire Fridays…only $3!
Davidson River Campground in Pisgah Forest is a wonderful, level bike ride along the river. It’s a perfect outing for almost any time of year, as enjoyed by many locals.
I love biking on the Biltmore Estate. To be able to ride all over the estate and literally ride up to the magnificent house and park your bike and walk around makes your ride magical. They have easy, moderate, and difficult trails—all with amazing nature surrounding you.
Biltmore Estate | Photo Julie May
— Beverly-Hanks WNC (@beverlyhanks) November 24, 2017