Cyclists Enjoy the Best of Three Worlds on Beech
Forget the best of both worlds. On Beech Mountain, cyclists get the best of three worlds.
Beech offers a trifecta of biking/cycling options: (1) Road cyclists have 51 miles of designated routes; (2) Cross-country mountain bikers have seven miles of trails in the Emerald Outback; and (3) Downhill mountain bikers have the highest lift-served park east of the Rockies!
Road Cycling – Beech Mountain’s 51 miles of bike routes have a storied history. They were once the final stage of the Tour Du Pont, which was won twice by Lance Armstrong. Armstrong also made Beech Mountain one of his preferred training grounds prior to winning his first Tour de France title.
The main climb ascends 1,400 feet in just over three miles. It is one of many rides for advanced cyclists. There are also options for less advanced cyclists, with routes for those content to cruise along with lesser changes in altitude.
All routes begin at the Visitors Center. Most trails run through paved residential areas, while others take you by Buckeye Lake and the Recreation Center. Get trail maps and more info at: www.bikebeechmountain.com
Cyclists looking for the most extreme challenge can enter the Beech Mountain Metric. This timed ride takes place each May and is a classic mountain metric century that finishes in the town of Beech Mountain after a grueling 8,000 feet of total elevation gain. For details on the Beech Mountain Metric ride, please click here.
Cross Country Mountain Biking – The Emerald Outback @ Beech Mountain features about seven miles of trails that range in elevation from 4,700-5,400 feet, giving the park the distinction of being among the highest such venues on the East Coast. There’s a nice combination of single track, double track and gravel road trails traversing the mountaintop, all accessible from a trail head in the town of Beech Mountain and a second trailhead at the end of North Pinnacle Ridge Road.
The Emerald Outback hosted USA Cycling’s Collegiate Mtn Biking National Championships in 2013 and 2014, and several trails were rebuilt and redesigned in the fall of 2014. For a free trail map or more info, visit the Emerald Outback website.
Beech Mountain Resort – Test your downhill skills on nine exciting downhill trails served by the chairlift at Beech Mountain Resort. The trails are open Friday through Sunday from early June through mid October.
Trail ratings vary from easy to extremely difficult. The most difficult trails were the site of USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships in 2011 and 2012.
The resort offers mountain bike rentals, equipment rentals, lift tickets and food & beverage service. Bikers may also ride the lift to access the Emerald Outback trail system.
For more info and a map of the downhill trails, please click here.
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