Picture groomed singletrack meandering through established forest and surrounded by water. Now picture what it would look like if the forestry service allowed logging companies to drive their trucks and bulldozers over every square inch of it, because that is what happened.
The closest trail system to Murphy, NC, Hanging Dog was never a place you went solely to ride sweet singletrack. It was a place you went to get some serious exercise. Although it only boasts 10 miles of trails, you're liable to burn the same amount of calories as you would on 20 miles of Tsali or Tanasi. Much of the trail system is simply laid out on existing logging and fire roads with singletrack only where it was needed to make a connection. That's not to say it wasn't enjoyable. It was, in it's own sadistic way, a beautiful ride. It was just a beautiful ride your legs and lungs paid for.
Closed for more than a year, Hanging Dog trail system was reported "REOPENED" by the forestry service in around June of 2013. It quickly became apparent that their idea of an open MTB trail and anyone that rode MTB's idea of an open trail were polar opposites. Hundreds of felled trees deemed too small by the lumber companies were left laying across the new dozer roads. 5 foot tall grasses covered the "trail" leaving the whole network impassable. Thanks only to the efforts of the few local regulars, the system has once again become a network you can ride.
"So", you may be asking yourself, "What is Hanging Dog now?" Well, it's a bit less pretty and it's a lot less singletrack-y, but thanks to the efforts of the local riders, it's as much of a workout as it has ever been.