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Level: Advanced
Length: 2.3 mi (3.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +45/ -624 ft
Total: 57 riders

Mountain Biking Heartbreak Ridge

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#22 of 546 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#356 in the world

Begins with a hike-a-bike for about 200 yards and then drops straight down the south side of the mountain. Greasy roots and rocks everywhere. Very, very steep.

First added by Aaron Chamberlain on Jul 29, 2015. Last updated May 2, 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
Starts from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Heartbreak Ridge Trail map

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williedillon (on Aug 20, 2023)
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Good (on Aug 13, 2023)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Old Fort, North Carolina

Expert | 59 mi
| 6 mi
Easiest | 8 mi
Advanced | 2 mi

Rider questions

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  • kamoteus   ✓ supporter

    Parked @ the junction of Jarett Creek and Curtis Creek Trails. Shuttled all the way up from Curtis Creek Rd to Blue Ridge Parkway about 15 miles and then parked @ the Overlook near Mt. Mitchell Entrance. Hit the Blue Ridge Parkway going to the trailhead about 3.5 miles and pretty much hike a bike from the singletracks of Heartbreak Ridge to the summit about half a mile and then the unending downhill started all the way to the bottom of Star Gap before hitting Jarett Creek's 4 miles of doubletracks gravel grinding. Last 4 miles from Jarett Creek is another fast downhill to the junction. Total miles on this ride is about 19 miles. #awesometrails

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  • Superfly Lee

    Rode up from Old Fort Picnic Area to the top and then back down before riding Kitsuma. Climb took me forever, but I took a lot of breaks to soak in the scenery, take some pictures, and try to save some energy for the descent. Some of the longest fast descents I've ever ridden. This ride is epic, but not for the faint of heart or novice riders. It wound up being about 18 miles up and back down and 3500 feet of climbing.

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  • Rusnew904

    Fun trail, I've only accessed it as an out and back after riding Kitsuma. As in ride/walk the singletrack all the way to the top then come back down. The singletrack climb is a soul crusher, feels endless at times. The downhill you are rewarded with is loooong.

    The toughest section is at the top with a narrow trail corridor a few very tight trees you will struggle to get through with modern width handlebars. There are also some off camber root clusters you have to be prepared to slip on. All old school, rough n tough singletrack and it's almost always wet.

    After the narrow bits, the trail opens up some and you can pick up a lot of speed. Be prepared for a few 90 degree corners after the fast sections. Plenty more rocks and root clusters here as well.

    After a few minutes you will hit a steep, punchy climb. You'll have to downshift quickly if you want to clean it. After that, there's one more section of downhill that marks the end of "upper" heartbreak.

    A 5-8 minute climb will take you to lower heartbreak which generally has a little more flow but still pretty techy. The main challenge here is steep 180degree switchbacks. There are at least half a dozen of these and some are very hard to do clean. The last straightaway is steep and rough with a nice little rooty/rocky section with a drop at the end to cap it off. The drop is no big deal at less than 2ft but you will have to pay attention to your line to do it safely.

    If isn't the most steep or technical downhill in Pisgah but it is certainly one of the longest and it takes some skill and stamina to descend it quickly.

    Be sure to check out Kitsuma and Star Gap if you want to make it an epic day!

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  • nickc

    This descent is awesome! and well worth it if you pedal there via the Old toll Rd. I have to say that it wasn't as steep as I expected considering some of the descriptions and reviews of the trail. In fact there are a few good sections that if you know the trail you could really open it up and get some speed going. There are definitely steeper rides in Pisgah. Beware that this ride does require a SOLID amount of pedaling to ride. Does have some great views too!

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  • Aaron Chamberlain   ✓ supporter

    Hold on to your butts, cause this is a ROWDY descent. Begins with a steep hike-a-bike for about 200 yards immediately after turning off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once you top out, it drops you over 2,500 feet in about 4 miles. The top of it is the most technical with tons of roots and rocks that are most likely going to be wet. Steep, steep, steep.

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