|Coontree Gap Map (Click for larger view.)|
Listed on the Pisgah Ranger District map as #144, the 3.7 mile (one-way, 7.4 out-and-back) Coontree Gap mountain bike trail is a butt kicker! Heading uphill, it is a steep, gnarly hike-a-bike with only a few short, rideable sections (for me at least). Coming down the other direction, this is a sick downhill that will challenge your handling skills with all of the large water bars and stair-step construction. Get your butt behind the saddle and caress those brakes!
Pisgah National Forest is no joke. Its reputation for being steep, technical, and not-very-much-fun is well deserved.
At least, it's not very much fun if you don't appreciate getting chewed up and spit out by the forest. But if that kind of thing gets you off: travel to Brevard and check this place out!
"It should also be noted that this is a seasonal trail that is closed April 15-October 15," due to this being the peak hiking season. Mountain bikes are welcome from October 15 - April 15. Not all of the trails in the area are seasonal though, so check the map listed below for additional information!
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 Coontree Gap 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:
From Brevard, head north on Highway 64, and then take a left on US. Hwy. 276 which leads into the heart of Pisgah National Forest. Go a couple of miles, and park at the Coontree Picnic area on your left. The trail starts on the opposite side of the highway.