Mountain Biking in the Grandfather Ranger District


The Grandfather Ranger District is a section of the Pisgah National Forest in the eastern Blue Ridge mountains of NC. It includes areas such as the Linville Gorge Wilderness, and areas near the district's namesake - Grandfather Mountain. Though not as well known as the Pisgah Ranger District, Grandfather has some trails too and shouldn't be overlooked when planning a trip to the area.

Only a handful of trails are officially open to bikes in this district. This is not a dense, interconnected network of mountain bike trails, like those found farther south in the Pisgah district or DuPont State Forest. However, the trails which are open are some of the most highly regarded in the region, often used to make long, "epic" rides, with singletrack on the descent. Many more miles of gravel roads available to cyclists, linking together the trails and delivering you to the top of the ridges.


In the far southern portion of the district, the Kitsuma/Young's Ridge trail forms part of a popular loop when combined with the Point Lookout Greenway or Mill Creek Road to return up to Ridgecrest. Heartbreak Ridge, near the Curtis Creek section of the district and shown in the video below, is another long trail which is typically used to descend the Black Mountains from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mount Mitchell State Park. It's usually combined with the Old Mitchell Toll Road or Curtis Creek Road to form a loop. Several more trails are open to bikes in the Wilson Creek area near Grandfather Mountain, including Greentown, Thorps Creek, and Wilson Ridge. Other trails in Wilson Creek are not open to bikes despite seeing some usage, and are thus not recommended.

Heartbreak Ridge in Black Mountain NC from Justin Mitchell on Vimeo.