Updates Planned for Mountain Bike Trails in North Carolina’s Pisgah Ranger District

In the coming year, three the of the most popular mountain biking trails in the Pisgah Ranger District—Avery Creek, Buckwheat Knob and Black Mountain—will receive some much-needed maintenance. Pisgah Area SORBA (Southern Off Road Biking Association) will devote $190,000 to maintaining and rerouting several of the region’s most beloved trails with funds from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), beginning in March.

In recent years, the Pisgah National Forest has become one of the country’s top destinations for mountain biking. In the forest’s Pisgah Ranger District, which encompasses more than 160,000 acres southwest of Asheville, there are more than 300 miles of trails, many of which have become nation-favorite rides, drawing athletes from all over the country.

The riding is steep, technical and largely unsustainable, with certain trails forming deep ravines from constant use and erosion—a fact that Pisgah Area SORBA, Western North Carolina’s largest bike club, is systematically trying to address.

Trail maintenance sounds like a win for local bikers, but every time one of Pisgah’s mountain bike trails gets slated for work, a vocal subset of local bikers cry foul. Pisgah is known for steep lines and rocky, rooty tread. Both Avery Creek and Upper and Lower Black Mountain are advanced rides with near-constant drops, tangles of roots and rock gardens to navigate. It’s the kind of riding that has put Pisgah on the map. It’s also the kind of riding that can wreak havoc on local streams and water sources if left unchecked.

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