Friday, October 22, 2010

Buckwheat Knob (Trail #122), Pisgah National Forest, Brevard, North Carolina

Let me put this frankly: Timm Muth labels this trail as the last section of "Satan's Staircase." Yes, it is that steep!

This section of singletrack climbs straight up from the end of the Bennett Gap Trail at USFS #477 to the top of Buckwheat Knob and a junction with the Black Mountain, Club Gap, and Avery Creek trails.  Be prepared to push your bike up almost the entire length of this trail. 

If you plan on descending this section, get ready to place your chest on your saddle and ride those brakes as the trail drops straight down the mountain side.  Even if you're running a lot of suspension, there's bound to be more braking than flowing, though I would like to get my downhill rig out here and try it out!

The trail does flatten out right at the end when it crests the knob.
Bottom Line: This trail is crazy steep, so be prepared whichever way you ride/hike it!

Navigational Resources

Timm Muth has written an awesome guidebook with detailed statistics and directions.  It includes almost all of the worth-while trails in North Carolina, and features a big section on the Tsali trails.  If you're planning on spending a lot of time in NC, this is a great investment!

The Buckwheat Knob Trail is included in this book as a part of the Big Avery loop.

The maps that I have come to live by are all a part of the National Geographic Trails Illustrated series.  Easy to read, almost always up to date, tear resistant and water proof, these maps are designed to ride in your Camelback for months on end! #780 contains all of the Brevard-area Pisgah National Forest:

Getting There
I recommend connecting to it from the Bennett Gap Trail. This trail isn't long enough to be worthy of it's own ride anyway, so utilize one of the resources above to work it in to a larger loop.

Your Turn: Do you have more information that needs to be included, or do you have information on new developments since I originally posted this review?  If so, please leave a comment and help keep this post up-to-date and as useful as possible.

PS: It has occurred to me that I'm not always consistent in the way I review trails. Sometimes I review large chunks of trails that run together in one post, and in others I break it down by individual sections of trails, like I have here for the various trails I rode that day in Pisgah. Which do you prefer: individual trail sections or large loops of singletrack?


Jeremy (Goldengoose),  October 22, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

I personally prefer chunks that are typically workable on a single ride over individual sections. If one specific section is not to be missed, by all means, give it more attention. As long as you tell us why it deserves the hype, I'm happy with the added knowledge. Pisgah NF ,NC creates a challenge because the majority of the trails are short sections with their own "name" that you'd probably link up to others in the area when riding a loop. Bull Mountain here in GA is better written up in this manner as well, IMO.

Greg Heil October 25, 2010 at 6:59 AM  

Hey Jeremy, thanks for the input. Ah, the age-old trail review question! I guess I'll continue much as I have been already, but I'll try to evaluate how I go about it case-by-case.

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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