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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came up to Banner Elk for a few days with my wifes family. My father-in-law and I brought our bikes. I am an experienced rider, he is not. I am looking for EASY singletrack in the area. I posted a thread on my local forum for trail suggestions for Pisgah because I thought we would be close by. Not the case and the drive would be too much to get there now. Now I am searching the web for trails in this area but I'm not having a lot of luck. Is there ANYTHING close by that we can ride?

Also, any hiking beginner/intermediate hiking trails in the area worth visiting?

Help me. I don't want to be stuck in a motel room for 3 days with no where to ride.
 

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They can ride the trails at Sugar. They're open from dawn to dusk regardless of when the lifts are running and there is no fee to climb.
 

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There are plenty of places to ride closer than wilkesboro(drk mtn and ovt are awesome though). Plenty of hiking trails also. If you are staying in Banner Elk then the closest place to ride would be Lees Mcrae. There is a lot of songletrack behind the soccer and lacross fields. Just find Hickory nut gap road off of hwy 194. They are pretty easy and more cross country oriented. Sugar mountain also has a cross country course that is a little more advanced. Sugar is starting there weekend lift ride on the 4th so you can bring your bikes and ride the lift if you want. Most of the riding in this part of Pisgah is more advanced and require a guide or really good directions. Although not completely required, shuttling is a good idea if you want to ride anywhere in Pisgah or off of hwy181. There are an infinite # of ways to ride the trails and link up other trails around here. You can pick up a map from most of the gas stations around here if you want to check out Wilson Creek/Pisgah. Yancey ridge and schoolhouse ridge are good rides that do not require a shuttle.
You can also go to either Boone Bike and Touring or Magic Cycles in Boone and they can point you in the right direction.
As for hiking you can hike for free off of the parkway. The tanawah trail is a great hike and starts near price park and ends 14 miles to the southwest at Beacon Heights. If you want a really awesome hike and views then check out Grandfather mountain. It is privately owned so a fee is required. It is 5 dollars to hike for a day on the profile trail(off of hwy 105) ,and the Daniel Boone scout trail/Nuwati trail(accessible from the Boone fork parking area and .5 miles up the tanawah trail off the parkway). If you want to hike the grandfather trail and want to visit the park itself it is 14 dollars per person. You can access any trails from inside the park along with the animal habitats and swinging bridge. This weekend is a really busy weekend and I would advise to stick to the backcountry trails if you just want to hike. Hope you enjoy your holiday, feel free to drop me a line if you want more specific directions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. Sugar_Brad, thanks for the info on Lees McRae. Is/are the trailhead(s) easy to find behind the soccer and lacross fields? Is the riding fairly easy and non-technical? If it was left up to me, I would be looking for hard climbing with mach-level downhills.
 

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there isn't really a trail head, just cross the creek and go past the slalom course. There you will see obvious single track. Like Bizutch said you can climb sugar if you want a challenging climb, the downhill on the cross country course is pretty easy with a couple tough sections. If you are willing to drive to wilkesboro then Dark mountain would probably be more like what you are looking for.
 

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Aren't there a bunch of hiking and biking trails up on Beech Mountain?

For hiking, I'd go up to Roan Mtn.
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=banner+elk&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLD&um=1&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=imageFor some reason, the directions didn't come with the link. From the destination on this link, ask for directions to NC-1348

A grassy ridge, at 6000' is about as good as it gets in NC. Hike east from Carver's Gap.

Personally, I like Grandfather more, but there's a $14 entry fee. You'll want to avoid it during the Highland Games, too.
 

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The very top of the profile trail at Grandfather is pretty nuts IIRC. I haven't been there in a few years but seem to remember sketchy wooden ladders leading you to the top of very large rocks and amazing overlooks. As mentioned before, Beacon Heights is a very nice place as well and not too far from Banner Elk.
 
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