There is an abundance of mountain biking in the High
Country. Mountain biking is a very popular activity
and there are many local bike shops in the area.
Each year the High Country plays host to several
bike races and biking events that are becoming
popular among mountain bikers everywhere.
There are several trails to ride in the Boone,
Blowing Rock and Banner Elk areas. The Benson Hollow
Trail, located in Blowing Rock, is considered the
2nd “Best Mountain Biking Trail in North Carolina”.
Other trails like 18-mile ride and Buckeye Trail are
very close to Boone and Blowing Rock and also top
There are also a few places on Beech Mountain near
the ski resort and in the summer, Sugar Mountain
Resort provides a lift service to mountain bikers.
You can bring your bike and ride the lift up, and
practice your downhill skills.
Mountain biking enthusiasts everywhere will tell you
that the best mountain biking in North Carolina is
in Western North Carolina, near the Pisgah, Tsali
and Dupont state forests. These areas are very close
to the Asheville and Brevard areas, just a short
trip away from the High Country.
If you are up for a challenge or two, then check out
some of the bike races and events that happen each
year in the High Country area. A popular one that
usually draws large crowds and racers is the Blood,
Sweat and Gears Challenge. This event and race is
especially grueling on riders, considering just one
part of the route includes a 21 mile portion of the
Blue Ridge Parkway, a climb over a 4,500 gap on
Snake Mountain, and another 10 miles of “flat” areas
near Deep Gap. The race is a century race, basically
a 100 mile loop that begins and ends in Valle
Crucis, North Carolina.
Another fun race takes place in Wilkesboro, the BURN
24 Challenge, and usually has many participants. The
Showdown at Sugar Mountain is a NORBA National
Championship Event that showcases both professionals
and also has some amateur events. This event is
usually very big with participants coming from all
50 states, and usually takes place sometime in May.
Whether you are mountain biking or biking on the
road, you will love the experience of being able to
bike in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers bicyclists 470 miles
of picturesque travel across Virginia and North
Carolina. Elevations vary from 600 to 6,000 feet,
and the road encompasses a variety of ever-changing
weather conditions, regardless of season.
The Parkway was designed as a scenic leisure road
for motorists, and therefore bicyclists should be
prepared for significant distances between developed
areas and services that vary by season.
Bicycle riders must comply with all applicable
state and federal motor vehicle regulations.
Bicycles may be ridden only on paved road
surfaces and parking areas. Bicycles, including
mountain bikes, may not be ridden on trails or
The bicycle operator must exhibit a white light
or reflector visible at least 500 feet to the
front and a red light or reflector visible at
least 200 feet to the rear during periods of low
visibility, between the hours of sunset and
sunrise, or while traveling through a tunnel.
Bicycles must be ridden single file except when
passing or turning left and well to the
right-hand side of the road.
Bicycle speed must be reasonable for control
with regard to traffic, weather, road and light
WE ALSO SUGGEST:
Wear a bicycle helmet.
Be sure your bicycle is in good operating
condition. Carry a spare tube and tools for
Wear high visibility clothing. It sets you
apart from the scenery and makes you more
visible to motorists.
Avoid the Parkway during periods of low
visibility. Fog and rain may occur
Exercise caution when riding through
tunnels. Please be sure your bicycle is
equipped with the proper lights or
reflectors. There are 26 tunnels in North
Carolina and 1 tunnel in Virginia.
Temperatures vary greatly along the Parkway
due to different elevations. Wear your
clothing in layers.
Drinking water is available at all picnic
areas, campgrounds, and visitor centers.
Make an honest evaluation of your abilities
before beginning a bicycle trip on the
Parkway. In some sections, you will climb as
much as 1,100 feet in 3.4 miles.
When cycling in a group, adjust your spacing
to allow motor vehicles to pass safely.