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Bent Creek Epicito


A Pisgah Lite mini-epic featuring a reasonably rational route linking most trails in Bent Creek.

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3,318' 1,011 m


2,126' 648 m


2,602' 793 m


2,606' 794 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed

No E-bikes.


Bent Creek is a good intro to Pisgah. However, it can be challenging to link all the trails into a good route and the maps don't help. This route features several sections of hard technical climbing with no hike-a-bike, the epic-ish descent of Green's Lick, and the full Explorer Loop #337, Pine Tree Loop #336, and most of Deerfield Loop #335. Plus other fun stuff. If you get lost you're not lost, just go downhill until you hit Bent Creek Road.

Need to Know

Bears. Bees. Papas and Beer is the spot for post ride food and drink.


Advised: Use the blue dot feature on the MTB Project mobile app for this ride.

Start at the Rice Pinnacle parking lot. Exit the backside of the parking area and take an immediate right on the Blue Connector singletrack, continue until it T's into a powerline. Take a right, and then in 50 feet it T's into a gravel roadish trail. Take a left and descend for about 100 feet until you cross a small wooden bridge. Immediately after, take a right on Wolf Branch trail.

Climb to Ledford Branch Road. Go right for maybe a quarter mile and look for Ingles Field Gap trail on the left. Climb through the recent travesty that happens when you give SORBA a bulldozer, avoiding descenders since the new improved line crosses the descent and the ascent line (don't get me started). Continue up this climb, passing the Ingles Field Connector and continuing to climb.

After a short lung-buster section, you reach 5 points. Take the Green's Lick connector and continue to climb until just after a short rhodo tunnel, Green's Lick is off to the left. The total climb is close to five miles. Take a break. Descend. And descend some more. This is the best descent on the route. There are several jump lines but also lines to avoid the jump lines. It's rocky and loose and fast. Follow your bliss.

When Green's Lick T's into Sidehill, go left and begin the most technical climbing of the route. After the second creek crossing, the grade mellows a bit. Continue climbing, then take a short descent until a sharp right onto Hickory Gap. This is a non-technical descent, which T's into Boyd Branch Road. Go left and look for Boyd Branch trail off to the right by the picnic tables. Descend Boyd Branch to Bent Creek Road. Go right until you hit Campground Connector 329, and continue to the four-way paved intersection. Go right and immediately after crossing over Bent Creek take a right onto Pine Tree Loop #336.

Continue until it T's into the gravel connecting Explorer Loop #337 and Pine Tree Loop #336, and take a right. Almost immediately it T's again, take another right. You are on Explorer Loop #337 now. Cross a creek and take a left continuing on Explorer Loop #337. Continue until it T's into gravel and take a right. Cross the bridge and go left on Bent Creek Road. The climb starts out mellow but gets steep. At the top of the straight steep section go right on Sidehill. A short steep climb is followed by a mellow descent that gets rockier towards the end. Take a right at the T, go until you hit the road.

Take a right, go about 50 feet and head back up the road you were on about 30 minutes ago. Go past the first sign for the Explorer Loop #337, the second sign for Explorer Loop Alternative, continuing up the gravel until on the left, just before a bridge over a small creek crossing, is the real Explorer Loop #337. Climb. Continue past Chestnut on Explorer Loop #337. It T's once, take a left to continue. Go through a medium creek crossing and in a couple of minutes, look for a left turn on gravel.

Take a left onto Pine Tree Loop #336. Climb past the connector until you hit Deerfield Loop #335 on your right. Go on Deerfield Loop #335 until it T's. Do a sort of Z maneuver to hit Small Creek Trail and continue until it T's into the lakeside trail. Take a right, continue until it T's into a gravel road, go left and then immediately right after the bridge. Look for your first left in about 100 feet, take it, go up until you see the first singletrack, Hard Times Connector, off to your right. Climb a short, hard climb and then descend. Cross a paved road, continue on the trail, cross the bridge on your right, and climb back to the parking lot.

History & Background

Old cow farm.


Shared By:

J. Matt with improvements by David Tate

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 15 votes


  4.5 from 15 votes
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199 Views Last Month
8,709 Since Sep 2, 2018



Ingles Field Gap - Bent Creek Experimental Forest - Asheville, NC
Aug 23, 2017 near Bent Creek, NC
Green's Lick - Bent Creek Experimental Forest - Asheville, NC
Oct 9, 2017 near Bent Creek, NC
Looking up at the "Wheel Breaker" DH
Nov 11, 2017 near Bent Creek, NC
Riding Greens Lick and Connecting Trails
Nov 16, 2018 near Bent Creek, NC
Start of Northern Boundary at Five Points
Jul 14, 2013 near Bent Creek, NC
Lower sidehill trail break
Jul 28, 2016 near Avery C…, NC



Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 37 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In


Mar 1, 2022
Kevin Ruiz
Oct 27, 2021
Dan Riggs
20.6mi — 15h 11m
Jul 19, 2021
Zvi Pardes
May 30, 2021
Trevor Norris
May 19, 2021
emma young
Suz and Em 5/19/2021 Epic beautiful ride. A must do Mtn laurel trees in bloom Rhododendrons
Dec 23, 2020
Lauren LittleRedClimbingHood
Did the first part of the loop - fun, lots of long rocky sections that weren't too hard.
Nov 22, 2020
Jeremy Hoffman
Beautiful, flowy, warm! 23mi
Sep 10, 2019
J. Matt
Very dry and fast. 20.7mi — 2h 15m