October 17, 2012
While the loop described above includes Turkeypen Gap, Black Mt, Thrift Cove, and some road riding (both gravel and paved) I am going to focus this review on Turkeypen Gap as I feel like the Black Mt downhill ride has been well covered and no one really wants to read about road riding. Turkeypen Gap was everything mentioned in the description above and worse: rooted, washed out, steep as can be, overgrown, and unrelenting. In either direction, this trail will work you. Riding it downhill is almost as hard as riding it uphill; you'll just exhaust different muscles. I had to rest a couple times to kill the forearm pump. In either direction you get a fair share of hike a bike uphill sections. The majority of the trail gets washed out each time it rains and has become VERY rugged over the years. It has the steepness and pucker factor of Pilot
Rock but is even more punishing on your body and a bit less enjoyable, IMO. Plants have certainly taken over and there is no way to avoid getting slapped around by branches and thorns at regular intervals. With a bit of maintenance (at the very least a good pruning) this trail could be a lot more fun and a lot less physically punishing. If you like getting worked in Pisgah, this will be your trail.