First time newbie rider heading to Brevard/Ashville area and am wondering if you think it is worth hiring the, “Bike Farm” out of Brevard to lead me on a tour of Dupont for day one of riding to get familiar with the trails and get tips on riding them? Looking for fun novice/ intermediate trails to explore and also a decent campground to tent camp that is not too packed with RVs. Have been reading about Bent Creek, Tsali and Dupont.
While I can’t speak to the camping aspect all 3 trail systems are fun in their own right for MTB’ing. If you’re in the area, DuPont is a must. Great trails for all levels. Not sure you really need a tour guide. Check out mtbproject.com for suggested rides based on rider level and distance (it will give you a step by step guide and you can go at your own pace). Tsali would be the best option for a novice rider as it’s fast and flowy without any major climbing. Just understand that it’s a bit of a drive from Ashville. Bent Creek is ok IMO but I can’t think of a reason I would ride there vs Dupont… aside from riding down Green’s Lick for the pucker factor :0 lol
Jody, I hired the guides at the Bike Farm for my first trip to the area, and rode in DuPont. The Bike Farm is limited in where they can guide due to their permit restrictions, but they can still take you on some nice trails. They are kinda expensive…I think it was right at $300 for me for the day, and that was riding my own bike. They also have a fleet of rentals, which I think is now Yeti…they were using Santa Cruz. You can also camp at the Bike Farm, but bare in mind that it is very primitive camping. It’s not like camping at Davidson River Campground in Brevard where you have access to nice restroom’s. There are other guides in the area too, and I think some are more affordable than the Bike Farm. Regardless of who you chose to guide you, for a first timer, you can’t go wrong with hiring someone that knows the trails.
Sycamore Cycles in Brevard is a great place to stop and get route suggestions. They’ll give you a print out with directions to the trailhead and a cue sheet for linking up a great ride, and they’ll go over it on the trail map so you’ll get a better idea of what you’ll be riding. It’s a great shop. You’ll have tons of fun on whatever trails you ride in Dupont.
The Davidson River campground is popular but pretty crowded and often completely booked. North Mills River is another option for camping and it’s smaller, but also books quickly. There’s dispersed camping along many of the gravel roads in the forest on a first come, first serve basis. If you can go up mid week there’s a good chance you’ll find an open spot. Weekends is a bit tougher.