Daniels Ridge Loop: A Flowy, Technical Masterpiece in Pisgah National Forest
- Distance: 3.1 miles
- Level: Intermediate
- Route Type: Loop
- City: Brevard
- State: North Carolina
Daniels Ridge Loop, a trail in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, North Carolina, is an all-rounder that delivers a balanced biking experience for those who love both technical climbs and flowy descents. Situated in the pristine wilderness, the trail offers various loops, rewarding waterfalls, and beautiful creek-side riding.
From Asheville, NC, take I-26 to NC-280 South. Follow NC-289 to Brevard and turn right onto US-276 into Pisgah National Forest. After crossing a bridge, take a left at the fork and continue past the fish hatchery to the second gated road, which turns into gravel.
Route Options and Directions
- Clockwise Loop: For those who prefer technical climbing with fast, straight-line descents, taking the trail clockwise is the way to go.
- Counter-Clockwise Loop: If you're after a more challenging downhill with technical features, opt for the counter-clockwise loop.
- Waterfalls: Expect to be rewarded with sight of two waterfalls along the trail.
- Scenery: The trail boasts breathtaking views of creeks and Looking Glass granite dome.
- Trail Conditions: While some areas have been affected by weather conditions, recent maintenance has improved the trail substantially.
- Technically Flowy: The trail's technical elements, especially rock gardens, offer good flow for those skilled in bunny hopping or line choices.
- Loop Variations: The trail offers flexibility with different loops, but beware not to mistakenly head off to the Farlow Gap trail.
- Seasonal Impact: Recent rain can make the trail more challenging due to wet roots and rocks.
- Best For Hiking or Riding?: While some find certain sections more suitable for hiking, others argue that riding provides a well-rounded experience.
- Trail Access: Some camp near the trailhead for an extended biking weekend and suggest linking it with other trails like Cove Creek.
Daniels Ridge Loop, set in the picturesque backdrop of Pisgah National Forest, offers something for everyone — whether you're in for technical challenges or looking for some speed. Its unique nature allows you to pick between clock and counter-clockwise loops, presenting distinct riding experiences. While some may argue that sections of the trail are best hiked, especially when wet, the loop undoubtedly stands as a favored trail among mountain bikers for its flowy descents, technical rock gardens, and awe-inspiring natural beauty. So whether you're in town for a day or planning an extended stay, Daniels Ridge Loop should not be missed.