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Level: Intermediate
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +817/ -422 ft
Total: 242 riders

Mountain Biking Dark Mountain Trail

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#36 of 542 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#711 in the world

West of Wilkesboro, the Dark Mountain Trail system is currently a 6 mile singletrack trail. The trail system has something for everyone: good climbs, fast descents, a couple of techincal switchbacks, and log crossings... not to mention a fantastic view of the lake shore!

For more riding near Kerr Scott Reservoir, be sure to check out the Overmountain Victory Trail and Warrior Creek Trail.The main trail, a doubletrack jeep road, runs up a forested ridge and across the top. A network of interlocking singletrack trails loops off the jeep road. The trail's toughest climb comes at the start, as the jeep road makes a steep ascent to the top of the ridge. The trail network features loop after loop of singletrack trail rolling through a mature forest with tall poplars and pines. You'll roll through rhododendron tunnels, dip past an old homestead, snake up and down wooded ridges, skirt the edge of a pony pasture, and cruise past a finger of the lake.

First added by searsandrewj on Dec 12, 2003. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
To get to W. Kerr Scott Dam from Winston-Salem and points east, follow US421 north to Exit 286B (SR268). Turn left at the traffic light at the bottom of the exit ramp. Proceed approximately 3.0 miles. Turn right onto Reservoir Road; look for a large brown "W. Kerr Scott" directional sign. Drive across W. Kerr Scott Dam. Park in the lot down the hill to the left. The trails are around W. Kerr Scott Reservoir. Make sure to park outside the gate, if you plan to be riding after hours (gate hours are posted at the Dam).
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Dark Mountain Trail Trail map

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Local Info

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eastwood (on Nov 7, 2021)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Nov 7, 2021)
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Dark Mountain Trail videos

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Dark Mountain Kenda Super D #3…
Dark MTN .m4v
Dark Mountain Downhill run
Dark Mountain
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Wilkesboro, North Carolina

| 0 mi
Intermediate | 3.9 mi
Intermediate | 45 mi
Beginner | 3 mi

Rider questions

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  • dlaido

    This was our "consolation" trail as we were visiting from Florida and Warrior Creek and OVT were closed. This trail was shorter, seemed like a little more "work" on the climbs than Warrior Creek and was less "flowy". That being said it was still a fantastic trail and the downhill at the end was so much fun we took a connector and rode it twice.

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  • sdmcglynn

    This trail is tough, with some brutal uphill climbs, but my god does it reward you. Super fun downhill sections, with big berms and fun floating rollers. Definitely worth it and you'll have earned those downhill turns.

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  • ChrispyGTS72

    After looking at my old review, I needed to take another stab at a review for this trail. Dark Mountain has changed significantly this past year. To the point where it has some of the most amazing flow after the strong hill climbs. So much fun and you feel like you're going down hill FOREVER!

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  • ChrispyGTS72

    This was my first time riding this trail, while I liked it it doesn't quite flow like many of the others in the area. Literally every root (which was about 10,000) were covered in leaves so it was a bit difficult to navigate. Much of the trail seems unridden so there were some strange areas of growth that made it hard to navigate. Great overlook and challenging climbs to say the least.

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  • Ron Hobson

    This trail is great, though it doesn't quite have the flow of warrior creek trail. It's a bit more old school in it's build and can offer some torture on the climbs when racing through it. The new downhill at the end is fantastic and a lot like warrior creek. I enjoyed it a lot more when just riding and not in a race. It reminds me a little of hobby park in Winston Salem. Not my favorite trail in NC, but a very challenging trail with some really fun sections.

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  • shawnmoore1

    The new downhill section of the trail is a berm filled roller coaster of excellence!

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  • Rjoyed

    Great trail if roots are your thing until you find #6. We only did the Core trail, #4, and ended with #6. Core and #4 are super rooty but #6 is fun! Fast! Loved it! My son and husband did #6 4x's.

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  • Joel DH

    I know lots of people say this trail is awesome, but I had hard time finding the flow. I can pump turns, roots, and dips, but I still struggled to find pumpworthy lines on this trail. I crashed after grazing a tree [got that on my gopro, complete with epic sideways flying through the air endo.] and continued to ride with my arm all bloody and scraped up. Maybe that is the reason I felt messed up with this trail. I'm going back soon, and will see if my mind changes.

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  • jon.lechner

    Slow trail. Lots of climbing. Lots of exposed roots. Was a bit wet the day we road which made roots slick. Got lost at first but once looked at trail map was able to figure out trail system which is guided by numbered optional trails and "C" for main trail. Was able to open up a bit on trail #6 which is mostly downhill.

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  • scubasteven74

    This trail has a little bit of everything. Relatively short, steep climbs and decent, roots, a few rocks and some great flow. I followed the "blue" course, which is evidently the same route they use for the Burn 24 race and it ended up being just short of 7.5 miles with about 1,100 feet of climbing. With all of the connector trails, you have endless options for different routes of different lengths. There were several trees down along the route, which required frequent dismounts. After you ride Dark Mountain, I recommend having a snack by the lake (they recently installed new benches) then riding across the dam and checking out the OVT and Shiner's Gap. Combining both trails makes for a great half-day of riding.

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  • arbysauce   ✓ supporter

    Fun, easy trail with nice flow. No long climbs or descents, but a good mix of short climbs and quick descents that allow you to maintain good speed throughout. As of today, 1/12, the trail is dry but covered in leaves with downed trees on multiple sections. Trail maintenance is scheduled this weekend which should help fix these small issues.

    My one complaint: every map I have seen of this trail shows it as one continuous 6 mile loop. It's actually 8 sections with another "C" trail that I assume means connector. The signage is a little confusing and caused me to double back a couple times but overall a fun trail. If you want the epic, ride it along with OVT and Warrior Creek, otherwise just hit up Warrior Creek the the best trail in the area.

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  • jrf8592

    Did this trail over Memorial day weekend and found it to be very tough and technical. It has many switchbacks and was too confusing. After about 3hrs of riding and mostly in circles it was time to be done with this trail. I dont like this trail at all and will prob never do it again. OVT and Warrior much better trails.

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  • Lee Harris

    Older trails, very rooty & rocky. Has some good jumps on the main trail. It probably doesn't get a lot of use with OVT & Warrior Creek right down the road. Full review and video here

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  • Ramzy Haddad

    Fun trail, but it comes with A LOT of climbing at first. Very tight, twisty singletrack with a great downhill/fun section at the end.

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  • double_ewe

    really love these trails. good climbs, bermed downhills feel like a roller coaster. there's one downhill run (#6 i think) that comes through a rock garden into a fast, smooth jump run. will definitely get your heart going!

    there are a lot nastier trails out there, but still probably not a great choice for beginners.

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  • YETI26

    Found trail to be badly rooted. No way to get any flow. Even the "easy" loops are far from it. Don't bring a beginner here!

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  • JBX

    Great trail, raw trail, no features
    Trail signage is confusing

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  • pico26

    Hell Yea! Spectacular (for a Florida rider) trail. to bad I couldn't ride Warrior or Overmountain, closed due to excessive rain. 12 hour drive to see what N.C. had & I can say it fulfilled my dream.

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  • kristintopka

    The trails were not marked clearly at all and we got lost several times, and the arrows pointing where to go were pointing in directions that didn't exist. The trail maintenance was okay with lots of roots and rocks. It provided a great workout...whew!! I wouldn't give it an intermediate rating, more like black diamond. I've completed about a dozen trails off this website, and it's definitely one of the hardest.

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