The Emerald Outback @ Beech Mountain is a 7-mile trail park open to the public year round. The trails are maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain and criss-cross the mountaintop.
USA Cycling hosted its 2013 and 2014 collegiate national championships at the Emerald Outback, which is fast becoming one of the premier mountain biking locations in the Southeast. It’s also a great destination for hiking and trail running.
The Emerald Outback is comprised of double track, single track, grassy areas and dirt/gravel roads, ranging from 4,700 to 5,400 feet in elevation, which makes the Outback one of the highest mountain biking trail systems on the East Coast.
Several miles are single track, described as “typical rocky, rooty, East Coast mountain biking single track. The trailhead is located at the top of North Pinnacle Ridge Road at the Summit Lot, at the point where the power lines come over the mountain.
All trails are well-marked, with green designating beginner routes, blue designating intermediate routes, and black designating advanced trails.
There’s a nice variety to the trail system, alternating between lush forests and open spaces with gorgeous views. While there’s plenty of isolation in the trees, the path doesn’t stray too far from some kind of connecting road or bailout point.
Trails are free and open to the public seven days a week.
For more information, including trail maps, visit www.emeraldoutba