Tuesday, March 22, 2011

East Coast Slickrock Trail Review, Dupont State Forest, Brevard, North Carolina

East Coast Slickrock
Simply put, this may be my new favorite trail of all time! The loop listed below has a little bit of everything thrown in: smooth, flowy singletrack; steep, gnarly hike-a-bike; easy stream-side pedaling; steep slickrock climbing; and gnarly as crap descending!

While you may find a little bit of everything on this ride, the most prominent feature is definitely the slickrock riding! If you want to ride slickrock on the East Coast, Dupont is definitely the place to go! Slickrock is famous for providing bomber traction on abnormally steep ascents, and the Cedar Rock trail is no exception.

While riding this trail, I climbed for 15-20 minutes up a grossly steep slab of rock following cairns as trail markers. That experience was just so unique, so unlike anything else here in the Southeast, that it is permanently etched into my memory!

Since the top of the mountain is a massive slab of rock with few trees growing on it, the views off of the top are simply stunning! Be sure to bring your camera and snap some pictures.


Of course, once you reach the top, all of what transpired on the way up disappears as you focus on railing on the way back down! Descending on the slickrock was so insanely fun! But it definitely was not smooth--the rock undulates down the side of the mountain, providing plenty of drop offs with air opportunities. Keep your head up, as figuring out where exactly the trail is headed can be difficult.

Only about half of this descent is on slickrock. After that, it dives into the woods and transforms into very rocky/rooty singletrack. The rock drops continue, though, just with long stretches of dirt in between. Also keep your eyes open for a couple of small table tops (optional). The landings are perfectly smooth even at high speed!


Bottom Line

"Simply put, this may be my new favorite trail of all time!" What's not to like? Interesting climbing, great views, incredible descending, plenty of airtime...

If you live in the Southeast or are ever in the region, come to Dupont and ride this trail!

Words really can't do this trail justice. You need to check out the video:



The Route

Begin across the road from the trailhead on trail #19 Corn Mill Shoals. Head right. Hang a right on #11 Burnt Mountain. Add in #57 the Nook Trail while you’re at it. After the end of Burnt Mountain, hang a left on #19 again and then a right up #51: Little River trail. Take the first left on #16 Cedar Rock and great ready to get anaerobic on some steep slickrock climbs! At the top, hang a left on #3 Big Rock and bomb the crap out of the gnar on the way back down! Hang a right at the bottom to complete the loop.

Also, make sure you bring a map. I had a map with me and the intersections are really well marked and I still got turned around at one point!

Getting There

From Singletracks.com:
"From I-26 South, take exit 9 (Asheville Airpot). Go to the right towards the airport and Brevard. Go approximately 15 miles until NC 280 becomes US 276. Follow this into and through Brevard (staying on four lane hwy). Go approximately 9 miles past Brevard into Cedar Mtn, NC. Go left onto Cascade Lake Road. Go about 2 miles and you will see the parking area on the left."

Slickrock Climb

2 comments:

Matthew April 7, 2011 at 7:11 PM  

It's a great place. There's tons of great riding here in NC, throughout the state - even a lot of dedicated mountain bikers out in coastal NC/SC. Glad you enjoyed it, Greg. If you ever get to the Triangle, I'd be happy to show you the good spots.

Matt

Greg Heil April 9, 2011 at 8:41 PM  

If I ever make it out that may, I'll look you up! There's still so many trails that I haven't ridden in WNC though.... ;)

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

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