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This ride is also known as the "Clawhammer". It's an amazing ride especially if you like technical singletracks. It's a tough (mostly gravel road) climb for over 7 miles, the last 1.5 of which is mostly pushing (unless you got crazy technical skills). But it is worth it for the amazing cliff-top view from clawhammer mountain, AND for the awesome 1900 vertical foot downhill. The downhill is very rocky and rooty with plenty of waterbars. Very fun and worth the climb!
The route: Park at the ranger station. Turn right onto the main road (US 276).
Mile 0.7 Turn right onto gravel road. FS 477
Mile 2.4 Horse stables. Turn Right (behind stables) up Clawhammer Rd
Mile 3.5 Maxwell Cove rd enters from right. Stay left on Clawhammer
Mile 6.8 5-way trail junction. Turn hard right onto Black Mountain Trail.
(this is where most of us will have to push)
Mile 8.0 Awesome cliff-top view. Elevation is ~4200 ft. You cross two summits
during this part of the ride (Clawhammer and Black Mountain).
After the second summit, the fun downhill finally starts!
Mile 8.6 Turkey Pen Gap enters from left. Stay on Black Mountain (white blaze)
Mile 9.6 Another 5-way junction with trails and old roads. Stay straight on
Black Mountain Trail (look for white dot because there wasnt a sign
***ALTERNATE ROUTE: if your tired of the technical stuff, turn right
here instead (Maxwell Cove Road). This is a good gravel downhill but
WATCH FOR HORSES! It will run back into Clawhammer rd. Turn left
back down to the stables. ***
Mile 11.0 Thrift Cove Trail enters from left. Stay on Black Mountain Trail.
Mile 12.1 Mountains to Sea exits left. Stay right on Black Mountain Trail.
Mile 12.2 Thrift Cove Trail enters from left again. Stay Right.
Mile 12.5 Turn right on main road. US 276. Pass work station
Mile 12.8 Turn right and finish at Ranger station.
Get maps, pics, and other suggested routes at www.mtbikewnc.com. Under Best Rides, click on Black Mountain.
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