Your Turn: What’s the most technical backcountry-style trail that you’ve ever ridden? This takes you the base of Pilot Rock. The beginning and ending trailheads are both located on Yellowgap Road in the Pisgah Ranger District. Blackjack did have a different sort of vibe in that it felt like a bunch of big features strung together with trail, and all the ride arounds and options took some of the sting out. Yeah, I’ve ridden gnarlier trails than this before, but very few (if any) that are so far out in the middle of nowhere. This trail winds across the top of the ravine and along the base of the slopes. My body (and bike, for that matter) just can’t take that kind of abuse. (but don’t get me wrong…I love riding there! In classic Pisgah style, there’s no way you’ll be able to stay on your bike for the entire ride unless you have Herculean quads and lungs. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Only attempt this combination if you’re looking for a long day of riding and hiking! Most technical for me was likely Sleepy Hollow in Colchester, VT, but I haven’t ridden outside of New England. Thankfully, a cactus was there to catch me from going down the mountain! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to head down to Fredericksburg and hopefully the trails at Liberty University (50-60 minutes from where my parents live) and see what those have to offer. Waking up in the Pisgah forest is a magical experience: the sounds of birds and streams, the smell of fresh damp foliage, the promise of a new day and new trails to slay. Pilot Rock Trail, Pisgah National Forest. Just goes to show that every trail is different! Laurel Mountain, Pilot Rock, Squirrel Gap. I hiked three trails: Thompson Creek Trail (#602), Pilot Rock Trail… S tarting at the former site of George Vanderbilt’s Buck Spring hunting lodge near Mt. This trail is the south side of a classic Pisgah loop which includes Laurel Mountain and the Laurel Mountain Connector for the climb up, and Pilot Rock for the descent. Initially crosses a creek, then climbs through a cove forest gradually getting farther from it. Good trail to add to my “maybe someday” list. Pilot rock, definitely has a serious pucker factor. Expect a long, singletrack climb and one of the rockiest, wildest descents around. I mean, who could pass on this description: “We chose to ride the trail in reverse of the directions above and it made for a KILLER descent down Pilot Rock. In hindsight that road was too steep and twisty for my car anyways so it worked out. Fountainhead has almost nothing I would call “technical.” There’s nary a rock to be found in the place, just a lot of annoying roots. Posted by Jeff on Oct 28, 2012 @ 12:44 pm in Hiking, Hiking Blog, North Carolina, Pisgah National Forest, Rated Moderate Hikes, Vista Hikes | 1 comment | Last modified: July 8, 2017 . This is terrible. I do it all the time. This is a easy one way trail in Pisgah National Forest. I can’t even remember the name of the trail. The rocks in the middle of the trail are often thick, the grade is a bit steep (especially at the switchbacks), and in places the trail is near the edge of steep dropoffs. Pilot Rock Trail - Pisgah National Forest.. This trail comes with consequences. It took me about 2 hours to get to the peak and about an hour back down. Not as spectacular as it’s more famous cousin, Looking Glass Rock, Pilot still offer… An additional option would be to return on the Pilot Cove Loop Trail, which has outstanding views from a very large rock outcrop. I have ridden Raspberry, the approach to Black Jack, but that is as far as I ever plan on going. Comprised of over 500,000 acres, the Pisgah is primarily a hardwood forest with whitewater rivers, waterfalls and hundreds of miles of trails. Unfortunately the way google maps tried to take me to this trail had a blocked road so I didn’t actually do this trail, ended up doing another tho, and was nice. Guaranteed to give you serious arm pump, this is probably one of the most technical backcountry-style trails I have ever ridden anywhere in the nation. Looking Glass Rock is a famous landmark in Pisgah National Forest, offering breathtaking 180 degree views from the top! It suddenly felt as if I was back in Montana. Well, the most technical backcountry trail *I’ve walked* is Blackjack in the Buffalo Creek trail system. Pilot Rock is the name given a massive 300-foot high open ledge at the lower end of the long ridge extending south from Little Bald Mountain. I do remember falling at one section of a difficult climb. That said, if you fell and got injured on this trail and where all by yourself you’d be pretty screwed. The Pisgah Ranger District is home to many waterfalls, scenic views, and miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. This trail comes with consequences. Pics 1, 6 and 7 remind me very much of the Frederick Watershed area in Maryland. Widgets, Explore   Pilot Rock Trail, Pisgah National Forest. Something so peaceful about being alone in the middle of the forest!! It generally has what everyone is looking for: gorgeous scenery and great trails. After consulting with GoldenGoose and doing some research in the Singletracks trail database, I decided on the Laurel Mountain trail. This is what Pilot Rock is known for. A rideable climb and a white-knuckled descent is always a win in my book! Photo credit Icon Media Asheville. When everything was said and done, I traveled 16.2 miles and climbed over 3,000 vertical feet in 3 hours and 11 minutes of moving time. I had no problem with it in my small car. Really recommend going clockwise. If you are a climber this is the hike to the base. However, this trail does add even more climbing (as well as descending) and mileage to the loop. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. status date description; Jan 1, 2021 @ 9:38am. I did a lot of hike-a-bike on the first climb up Pilot Cove and, as GoldenGoose mentioned, at the very top of the Laurel Mountain trail. Squirrel Gap, Horse Cove Gap and Copperas Rock Loop Trails, Big Creek Trail: Blue Ridge Parkway to Hendersonville Reservoir, Pink Beds, Barnett Branch, Upper Black Mountain Loop, Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Pisgah Inn to 276, Bradley Creek, Riverside, Squirrel Gap and Laurel Loop, Blue Ridge Parkway: Mt. Posted by Jeff on Oct 30, 2016 @ 11:53 am in Forest Hikes, Hiking, Hiking Blog, North Carolina, Pisgah National Forest, Rated Moderate Hikes | 3 comments | Last modified: November 7, 2017 . Watershed may be more of a “backcountry” feel than Fountainhead, but I can’t say that for certain. Description. Laurel to Pilot is THE classic Pisgah mountain biking loop. Definitely want to revisit in the fall! Guess I didn’t really think of that. Lots of steep, but short climbs, so it can be an anaerobic nightmare if you’re out of shape, but the challenge is all physical (and, to some degree, mental), but certainly not technical. Also, based on GoldenGoose’s review, it sounded like the singletrack would be much more climb-able in this direction. I visited on Memorial Day and only saw a few other people on the trail. Those rocks and leaves look slippery as snot… got pucker? It is lightly trafficked and has a lot of unique features. There are amazing views along this stretch! Views for days. With more than 500,000 acres, Pisgah National Forest sprawls across multiple management units. Mount Pisgah Trail . This trail worked into the loop very well, and turned a lot of the gravel road into singletrack. Make sure you take blue ridge parkway I guess instead of going in the back way. Fountainhead is flowy, and all the GPS data I’ve seen from the previous layout makes it look insane. Best MTB Gear | As I neared the top of Laurel Mountain, I realized I was riding in low-lying clouds. Pilot Rock has a bench for you and your space. Nothing more exciting than hanging off the back of your bike and trying to make a switch back with a serious penalty for not making it. I shot a few photos to try to showcase the rocks, but as usual these aren’t the rockiest spots on the trail (I was trying to hold on for dear life in those), and the rocks look bigger in real life: I do have to disagree with GoldenGoose on one thing: I wouldn’t call this trail DH-bike worthy. With a trailhead on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pilot Rock trail is ideal for a fall hike - cooler temperatures and vibrant autumn scenery your companion for a memorable excursion into Pisgah National Forest. I was riding solo. It’s known as a classic Pisgah ride with a big climb at the beginning and a portion of the ride on the popular Black Mountain Trail. Moderate trail with great views of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Looking Glass Rock once you reach Pilot Rock. I think I still have to give the number one spot to the black diamond trails in Palmer Park. The lack of appreciable downhill rests and near constant climbing makes it tough in my book. I haven’t ventured that far south. As such, it offers more seclusion. In a very short distance, look for the trail to bear to the right at a spot where going straight will take you into a camp site. Distance: 3.6 miles Blaze: Orange Difficulty: Difficult Maps: Dunsmore Mountain. Shut-in Trail. 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