Cycling The High Country

Spring is the time of year when thousands of cyclists flock to the North Carolina High Country to take advantage of the incredible variety of biking opportunities. The beautiful scenery is a powerful lure to these folks as are the cool temperatures which make some of the more difficult rides a bit easier to handle.


Regardless of your skill level or preferred style of biking, you can easily find a perfect spot to practice it. One of the great benefits of cycling in the High Country is that area residents take unusual heed of riders due to the fact that they accustomed to sharing the road with them.

Blood, Sweat and Gears is a grueling event which attracts some of the best cyclists in the nation. This 100 mile ride over some of the toughest terrain in cycledome is an incredible test for even the most experienced bikers.

The Blue Ridge Brutal 100 is yet another tough event which tests its riders on the world famous Blue Ridge Parkwayand beautiful Ashe County .

One of the most popular biking destinations is the Railroad Grade Road found near Todd, NC . A fantastic choice for families, the Railroad Grade Road is, without a doubt, the flattest road in the High Country and follows along the scenic New River . Dotted with several parks, riders can fish, picnic and relax. Whether you are sightseeing cyclist, a mountain biker or a ‘wannabe’ Lance Armstrong, this a fantastic place to ride.


Speaking of Lance Armstrong, if you are an incredibly well conditioned rider, you can test yourself on the climb which Armstrong himself credits for helping him rediscover his passion for the sport after his fight with cancer. This grueling trek begins at the foot of the mountain in Banner Elk and follows the

Beech Mountain Parkway all the way into Beech Mountain. Some of us get tired just driving the Beech Mountain Parkway!



The Blue Ridge Parkway is a great road for cyclists not only because of its breathtaking scenery but for the challenging terrain it offers. There are many great spots to give your legs and lungs a rest and picnic or simply relax before continuing your ride.


Off road enthusiasts will find some of the best terrain anywhere on Beech Mountain . Two downhill trails offer a tremendous ride down the White Lighting ski run. Be prepared for high speeds, tight turns, sudden drops and a lot of fun.


Mountain bikers will also love the trails on Sugar Mountain with its challenging runs and beautiful scenery. Trail maps can be found at the mountains or, you can pick a trail and discover your own routes.


No matter what style of biking you prefer and no matter what your skill level, the High Country area of North Carolina is a biker’s paradise. It’s a great place to test your skills and there are hundreds of places to ride.

Remember to always wear a helmet and ride safely. It is illegal to ride without helmets in local municipalties so, don’t risk injury or a fine. Wear your helmet!