Cycling Through the North Carolina Bike Trails

Cyclists have miles of North Carolina bike trails to pedal throughout the state. In fact, North Carolina is a popular destination for mountain biking, competitive cycling events, and those ready to explore scenic bicycle routes crisscrossing the state’s diverse landscape.

North Carolina ranks No. 22nd on the Bicycle Friendly Communities as designated by the League of American Bicyclists. The state is home to 13 bicycle-friendly communities stretching from Asheville, Boone, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte to name a few. Mountain biking is the only way to go for some who want the adventure of taking on some of the state’s challenging bike trails. Cyclists also head to North Carolina to hit the open road to cover a bike route.

There is a lot of ground to cover when it comes to the bike trails of North Carolina. Leisure riders will find it easy to get around on two wheels on the state’s well-designed bike trails. Riders can experience a variety of bicycle routes offering a wide range of access and discover how a trail connects through state parks and other well-known bike regions.

Where can I ride my bike in North Carolina

Where can I ride my bike in North Carolina?

Getting out on a bike is highly encouraged possible across North Carolina; there are few places considered off-limits to pedal a bicycle. The state has a rich history of cycling often reflected in the naming of a trailhead of a bike route.

A few popular North Carolina bike trails include::

Neuse River Trail – a nearly 30-mile paved bike trail located east of Raleigh taking cyclists along the banks of the Neuse River.

American Tobacco Trail – is just over 22 miles of a former railroad route from the 1970s. The trail, located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle near Durham, is featured as a National Recreation Trail.

Carolina Thread Trail – cyclists will find this gem travels through 15 counties of North Carolina and features a network of bike trails including Long Creek Trail, Seven Oaks Preserve Trail, and the Falcon Trail.

North Carolina’s Outer Banks region is a great place to ride and take in the fresh air. Cyclists will get to experience a little bit of everything while pedaling bike trails in this part of the state.

However, mountain biking ranks high on the list for cycling in North Carolina. In fact, the state is home to a region known as the “Cycling Capital of the South” because it attracts all types of bike riders ready to hit nearby trails. So be sure to bring your bike along to check out the wide variety of trails offering a variety of experiences to explore the natural beauty of North Carolina.

Does North Carolina have good mountain biking?

The state has over 30 mountain bike clubs listed which serves as a good indicator that there are plenty of options for mountain biking throughout North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway takes riders across the prime territory for cycling. Riders have excellent access to the Blue Ridge Mountains crossing from northeast to southwest. It’s a biker’s paradise with areas like Brevard, Boone, and Asheville as top destinations.

The Pisgah National Forest is a haven for mountain biking in North Carolina attracting riders worldwide. The state forest system includes more than 300 miles of mountain bike trails.

Is Asheville good for biking?

Whether on a road bike, fat-tire bike, mountain bike or a city bike there will be a lot to discover in Asheville. As a top biking destination, Asheville is in the center of it all when it comes to getting out on two wheels.

When riders are ready to put in the miles, there is a lot to choose from, starting with short routes under 10 miles up to others more than 30 miles depending on the trail. Select from one of the Asheville bike tours to see the city listed as one of the state’s Bicycle Friendly Communities up close. Take in the scenic road views on the Elk Mountain Scenic Highway to get your heart racing. Or set your day to enjoy the stretch of Blue Ridge Parkway that loops around Asheville.

Is Asheville good for biking

What is the best season for mountain biking in North Carolina?

The usually mild climate of North Carolina is ideal for mountain biking for much of the year. However, the sweet spot typically is from about mid-April to early or mid-October annually. The state hosts several bike events during the year, but the month of September seems to be the peak season to hit the mountain bike trails of North Carolina.

Bikers may need to keep a keen eye on the weather especially during the summer when a thunderstorm can roll in quickly and make conditions hazardous for cycling. Chilly mornings and evenings may call for an extra layer or two to keep warm while riding.

Planning to log the miles on one of the state’s mountain bike trails is easy to do. And chances are there will be a mountain bike event planned somewhere around the state for enthusiasts to enjoy.

Mountain biking trails near Highlands

As the town of Highlands, North Carolina is nestled in the Nantahala National Forest, at the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains, the region is a magnet for mountain biking.

Top destinations include:

  • Highlands NC Greenway – this historic trail takes bikers to scenic spots overlooking Highlands.

  • The trailhead for Yellow Mountain Trail – as one of the highest elevations in the area, this trail packs in just over 12 miles of adventure for bikers.

  • Whiteside Mountain Trail – a sure foot is needed to pedal this national trail with the steepest cliffs in the eastern U.S.

  • Mountains-To-Sea Trail – like its name suggests, the trail crosses North Carolina from the mountains to the sea. 

The mountain bike trails near Highlands offer a high degree of adventure like few other parts of North Carolina.

Best Mountain bike trails in Western North Carolina

The list of best mountain bike trails in Western North Carolina is lengthy, giving riders an option depending on the day and location. However, Brevard holds the title of Mountain Bike Capital of North Carolina. The locals take bike culture seriously in this part of the state and help visitors have a great experience while in the region.

  • DuPont State Recreational Forest and Pisgah National Forest near Brevard are home to what top mountain bikers describe as the best riding in the country.

  • Tsali Recreation Trail System – is the must-ride-route for mountain bikers.

  • Headwaters Loop – designed as a one-way ride, the bike route is considered easy but incorporates challenging sections along the Yadkin River.

  • Looking Glass Rock Loop – mountain bike riders pedal in the shadow of this picturesque peak.

  • Tour de Transylvania – the approximately 60-mile route takes riders about four hours to complete.

  • Bent Creek – the nearly 30-mile mountain bike trail which covers a portion of the original property that now houses the Biltmore Estate.

  • Kitsuma Mountain – is touted as a top descending mountain biking route.

Most of the great trails in this part of the state are found in the Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Western North Carolina, known as the High Country or the Mountain Region, is made of charming towns that can serve as a destination for bikers to explore.

What is Tour de Cashiers?

What began as a small group of riders coming together to pedal the region over 35 years ago has today grown to attract more than 300 competitive riders to the area’s mountain trails. Mountain bikers can choose one of the three routes, covering between 25 miles to 100 miles. In recent years a 5K race was added to the Tour de Cashiers

The annual event typically takes place in September, maximizing the prime mountain bike season in North Carolina. Surrounded by the region’s natural beauty, riders catch glimpses of the mountain valleys, nearby rivers and the majestic mountains.

Cashiers is where visitors will find small-town charm in high gear on a daily basis. Over the years, this mountain town has become a luxury vacation destination. And although summer is a popular season to visit the area, autumn is also an exciting time to enjoy local festivals and popular events like the fall foliage each year.

What is Tour de Cashiers

Great Real Estate Is Available Near North Carolina Bike Trails

The intricate network of bike trails of North Carolina takes riders from the state’s Atlantic coast in the east to the Appalachian Mountains in the west. Landmark Real Estate can help potential buyers locate property within pedaling distance of many of the popular bike trails. In addition, when it’s time to sell a property, this team of expert brokers also works diligently to showcase niche features close to the state’s Mountain Bike Capital.

Contact any Landmark real estate broker to view a property on the market and evaluate which bike trails are in the area. Take a moment to cycle through the available properties on our website and contact us to take a closer look to discover if it's a match.

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