Situated in Fontana Village, North Carolina, Brooks Cove Trail serves as one of the crown jewels in a network spanning 20 miles. Designed for intermediate cyclists, the area offers a range of trails that go beyond the moderate terrains of Tsali, and delve into technical complexities reminiscent of the famed Pisgah trails.
Starting from Bryson City, take the US 74 West and veer right onto NC 28, driving past Tsali. After about 30 minutes, a stop sign will guide you to turn left, leading to Fontana Village on winding roads. Once there, park at the Adventure Center and gear up for the experience.
The trail network in Fontana Village is diverse, well-marked, and quite technical. Brooks Cove Trail, for instance, provides:
Recent races have led to significant trail maintenance. Trees have been cleared, and leaves swept away, enhancing the ride quality. However, some trails do suffer from overgrowth and downed trees—something to consider while picking your path.
While Fontana Village has been likened to 'little Pisgah,' it's worth noting that the terrain is not as picturesque as its larger counterpart. Nonetheless, for those seeking steep and technical courses, this network is a worthy destination. Races like the Icycle cross country provide an excellent opportunity for exposure to various trail features under the veil of competition.
Fontana Village offers more than just a network of trails; it offers a community-driven, technically challenging mountain biking experience that's highly recommended for those who find Tsali a bit too easy. With numerous trails to pick from and a vibe that screams 'cyclist’s haven,' it stands as a must-visit for anyone serious about mountain biking in North Carolina.