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Level: Intermediate
Length: 22 mi (35.4 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +834/ -1,189 ft
Total: 35 riders

Mountain Biking Old Toll Road

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#83 of 546 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#1,543 in the world

The trail is about equally doubletrack and singletrack. The climbs are long and very rocky but there are no switchbacks. This is a popular hiking area. Please be nice to the hikers especially on the Raindow Way trail. It is the only trail open to bikers in Montreat, so we don't want it to be closed to bikes. Once you get to the Old Toll Road, almost any trail to the left is off limits to bikes. It is a beautiful area and a great place to ride.

First added by dalmasp on Oct 13, 2005. 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
Take exit 64 off of I-40. Travel north on Hwy. 9 through Black Mountain to Montreat. A mile past the Montreat gate, turn right onto Lookout Road. When the pavement end and the road turns to gravel, turn into the first parking area on the right (About 200 yards of gravel road). This is the trailhead for Rainbow Way. It is the only trail open for bikes in Montreat. Go around the black gate at the end of the parking area and start up Rainbow Way. Take the left fork at all trail intersection until you reach an intersection where the right fork is marked as the Old Toll Road. This is the Old Toll Road from Black Mountain all the way to the top of Mount Mitchell. From the marked fork to the Blue Ridge Parkway is around 10 miles. There are several trails branching off to the right most of which have signs. Rattlesnake and Heartbreak Ridge are the 2 best know trails that branch off of the Old Toll Road. Take the Old Toll Road and climb till you are ready to turn around. Ride back down to the trailhead.
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Old Toll Road Trail map

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Hap Proctor (on Aug 13, 2023)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Aug 13, 2023)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Montreat, North Carolina

| 2.8 mi
Easiest | 8 mi
Advanced | 2 mi
Advanced | 4.1 mi

Rider questions

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  • Aaron Chamberlain   ✓ supporter

    Note that this is a review for the entire ride that the topo map shows. This includes riding down Heartbreak Ridge.

    The Old Toll Road starts out really steep, but the grade eventually mellows. However, it does get much rockier the higher you go. Most of the trail is rideable though.

    There are great views on the way up, especially in winter. Follow the Toll Road all the way up until you see an old camper and trailer. You can't miss them. The trail down Heartbreak begins to the right.

    The descent down Heartbreak and then Star Gap makes it all worth it. It's around 7-8 miles of near continuous descending. Of course, this being NC, there are a couple of steep walls to get up and over on the way down.

    The Toll Road is a much better way to get up to Heartbreak than Curtis Creek Road.

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  • EZ-E

    Recommend getting a trailmap before riding, found one on pg 2 of 2 at this link:

    I rode out on the Rainbow Road(Orange Trail Markers) trail. Most of the trail that I rode was doubletrack somewhat boring and more suited to trailrunning or maybe to build endurance. There are some sections which you will have to step off and hike it. There are trail blazes out there, but without the map they don't help much. There are also many trails that are marked as off limits to bikes. If Kitsuma is closed, this is about the closest option. The one plus to this trail network were there were some great views from the trail.

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