30.7 miles
Distance
4,092 ft
Climb
-4,027 ft
Descent
4,165 ft
High Point

Bitty Trip Day 1 - Group A

Ride out from camp onto I-26, which sucks, but it's wide open and has a big shoulder, just be safe. Cruise for ~6 miles on road then take a left on Turkey Pen Rd, which is a ragged dirt road that spits you into South Mills River for just a sec, cross over the creek bridge, then take your first right on Mullinax and climb some easy grade but chunky single track. This will get you to Squirrel, the main attraction, where you'll turn left. Squirrel is an up-and-down classic Pisgah singletrack, lots of roots and rocks, but some semblance of flow too, fun to ride both directions. You'll enjoy this for ~7 miles before you hit "the wheelchair ramp" of South Mills River (other end of that trail), turn right and make an easy 1.5-track pedal up to tee into Buckhorn Gap, where you'll turn left and continue the easy climb up to the Black Mtn intersection. Remember this intersection, you'll see it multiple times as it leads to a lot of great trails, but today you're going up and over to the "full pull" Black Mtn DH. Turn left and get ready to hike, as it will be a good 15-minute hike (pedal it as long as you can) up some ledges and nasty roots, finishing with some big rock ledges to a great overview of the whole Pisgah forest. Good place to stop for a beer. From here get ready for some gnarly DH, it's rooty, rocky, fast, with some ledges and ruts, highly recommend you go straight down the gut for maximum enjoyment, but there are some easier rolling lines if you swoop around to make it more manageable. You'll spit out in an opening to Maxwell Cove where you'll go straight into a rooty, techy climb of ~200ft or so up to Middle Black where the climbing ends and it's truly all DH from there. Middle black is a good ~700ft drop of fast trail with some awkward roots, a ledgy run into a tight switchback, a nice chunky rock staircase, and some fast smooth sections (smooth for Pisgah at least). The last turn of Middle takes you directly into Lower Black which is the Ranger District's "Flow Trail". Swooping turns, mostly smooth singletrack with a few rock piles and roots tossed in for good measure. At the bottom, spit out to the right to the parking area and 276 (road) that you can cross over into Davidson River Campground and take the flat Estatoe Trail (gravel greenway) back to camp.

Detailed Description
Bitty - Day 1A - Squirrel! is a 31 mile moderately popular expert route located near Brevard North Carolina. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction. This route includes 13 trails. This route climbs 4,092 ft with a max elevation of 4,165 ft then descends -4,027 ft.
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Pisgah Area SORBA (www.pisgahareasorba.org)
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44 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
Mtbchick16 (Oct 20, 2022 at 16:53)
Rode this today from Squirrel Gap to FS 476. The suspension bridge is out, made for a frigid river crossing using the horse ford. Lots of leaves down but entire trail is rideable.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Mtbchick16 (Oct 20, 2022 at 16:53)
Rode this today from Squirrel Gap to FS 476. The suspension bridge is out, made for a frigid river crossing using the horse ford. Lots of leaves down but entire trail is rideable.
[Reply]
  • + 0
BennetgapBen (Sep 18, 2022 at 15:56)
Great fun on my specialized turbo levo e bike
[Reply]
  • + 0
shinnyboy (Aug 24, 2022 at 10:35)
Rode this yesterday and have to confirm trail was so over grown and 20-30 small trees down.
stream crossing ok but the rest was brutal.
[Reply]
  • + 0
shinnyboy (Aug 24, 2022 at 10:35)
Rode this yesterday and have to confirm trail was so over grown and 20-30 small trees down.
stream crossing ok but the rest was brutal.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Roost66 (Jul 2, 2022 at 6:28)
Very nice and flowy, best of all the Black mtn trails.

Ride up the gravel road, nice climb and all downhill from the top.
[Reply]
  • + 0
steelispossiblyreal (May 7, 2022 at 21:22)
This is one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. Perfect combo of chunk and flow. Great little jumps. Big berms with sick wall rides. If you’ve only got a quick lap in you this is the move.
[Reply]
  • + 0
sunringlerider (Dec 4, 2021 at 15:38)
Trail Squirrel Gap
Solid meh, it’s a fun challenging trail. But for the effort of getting to the top, there are many better options to ride in Pisgah area.
[Reply]
  • + 0
sunringlerider (Dec 4, 2021 at 15:38)
Trail Squirrel Gap
Solid meh, it’s a fun challenging trail. But for the effort of getting to the top, there are many better options to ride in Pisgah area.
[Reply]
  • + 0
sunringlerider (Dec 4, 2021 at 15:38)
Trail Squirrel Gap
Solid meh, it’s a fun challenging trail. But for the effort of getting to the top, there are many better options to ride in Pisgah area.
[Reply]
  • + 0
dvrkelly (Jun 2, 2021 at 22:01)
We
[Reply]
  • + 0
dvrkelly (Jun 2, 2021 at 22:01)
We
[Reply]
  • + 0
manglermixer (May 31, 2021 at 22:39)
There are sections of this that ride just fine. From the eastern end to Cantrell is great, just don’t miss the bridges. On the western end, squirrel to end is fine. It’s that middle section between Cantrell and western end of squirrel that’s kind of the no go zone.
[Reply]
  • + 0
manglermixer (May 31, 2021 at 22:39)
There are sections of this that ride just fine. From the eastern end to Cantrell is great, just don’t miss the bridges. On the western end, squirrel to end is fine. It’s that middle section between Cantrell and western end of squirrel that’s kind of the no go zone.
[Reply]
  • + 0
josesanchez89 TMBA (Mar 17, 2021 at 11:44)
Trail Squirrel Gap
A Pisgah classic. If you love Mt biking ride squirrel gap.
[Reply]
  • + 0
josesanchez89 TMBA (Mar 17, 2021 at 11:44)
Trail Squirrel Gap
A Pisgah classic. If you love Mt biking ride squirrel gap.
[Reply]
  • + 0
josesanchez89 TMBA (Mar 17, 2021 at 11:44)
Trail Squirrel Gap
A Pisgah classic. If you love Mt biking ride squirrel gap.
[Reply]
  • + 1
yoimaninja (Sep 8, 2020 at 6:35)
Black Mountain LOWER was probably the best DH ride of my life! ...Black Mountain UPPER was probably the worst climb of my life!
[Reply]
  • + 0
pistol2ne (Aug 2, 2020 at 13:24)
Everyone pretty much nailed it. Upper is tough as shit. Hike a bike and need to be on it. The bottom is sooooooooooo much better than Upper. Heed the warnings unlike this west coast kook.
[Reply]
  • - 1
HenryCoat (Jul 26, 2020 at 12:33)
We started at Club Gap and rode down all of black mountain from there. Overall this route is not worth doing. The reworked upper black is only worth doing backwards (easy to west) which is well built specifically for that direction. The two mile climb on Middle Black is 95% hike a bike unless you have mad trails skills in which it would be 90% hike a bike. The middle black downhill was ok but not worth the climb. If you start where it intersects with turkeypen gap or turkey creek road, you’ll have a blast. The lower section has the perfect combination of tech and flow.

Summary: ride upper black East to west. Don’t mess around with middle black. And lower black is awesome.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Billroske (Jul 13, 2020 at 18:43)
This is a well travelled paved road.
[Reply]
  • + 1
rodmentor (Jul 4, 2020 at 15:24)
Perfect for little kids.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Billroske (Jun 5, 2020 at 16:08)
Estatoe is the flat along the river. Thrift cove is the uphill slug but super fun down.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Billroske (Jun 5, 2020 at 16:05)
After a second ride w the whole family including 8, 13 and 13 year olds, we stumbled upon the best ride plan. Park at Oskar blues brewery. Take the Brevard greenway spur and turn right on the greenway. Go past the field and cross over into the -toe trail. Follow that to the end. If not crying yet turn around go have a beer at the end. If you have tough kids go across the road to the holly - green trail and go up as far as you can - it’s a slug for kids. Bomb back down and return to Oskar for a beer. Good day indeed.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Billroske (Jun 4, 2020 at 15:33)
Estatoe. That is the dirt connector. Great beginner trail.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Billroske (Jun 4, 2020 at 15:32)
Totally agree with write up. I have an 8 and 14 year old who aren’t that into biking. This was perfect for them to feel like they were mountain biking but low risk. No tears at all.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Billroske (Jun 4, 2020 at 15:30)
Great path to take the kids to get them a ride. Best part is after intersection of 64 and hospital road. Hits awesome when cross over to the dirt path - can’t recall name.
[Reply]
  • + 0
LeoFaruq (Apr 16, 2020 at 18:46)
This seems to be the description for the other buckhorn gap climbing up from Avery Creek. This trail actually has 1 or 2 small creek crossings and only ascends about 250 feet from South Mills River to the intersection with Black Mountain and Clawhammer on a non-technical trail surface.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Sstephns (Nov 24, 2019 at 12:05)
Bring some good travel and hang on. Hike a bike for a mile if you go claw hammer and do upper. Comments below are trash, this trail is fun. Go full tilt and don't look back.
[Reply]
  • - 1
imalikyoaz (Sep 10, 2019 at 10:44)
Climb up the gravel road, and turn right or die. Upper black is horribly awful. Middle is great for a full suspension, still very technical, lower was the most fun on my hardtail, but the hike a bike to upper pretty much ruined it. Don't go up to upper black, it's a piece of eroded trash.
[Reply]
  • + 0
swagner2 (May 20, 2019 at 13:02)
DONT RIDE. MASSIVE EROSION AND OVERGROWTH. Trail is destroyed past Cantrell connector (coming downhill).
Trail crosses river 10+ times. Overgrowth will leave you crawling along valley floor. Not riding. I’ve ridden this trail in the past and it was rideable in the day. But now it’s not maintained at all. You will severely regret not heading others warnings.
[Reply]
  • + 0
swagner2 (May 20, 2019 at 13:02)
DONT RIDE. MASSIVE EROSION AND OVERGROWTH. Trail is destroyed past Cantrell connector (coming downhill).
Trail crosses river 10+ times. Overgrowth will leave you crawling along valley floor. Not riding. I’ve ridden this trail in the past and it was rideable in the day. But now it’s not maintained at all. You will severely regret not heading others warnings.
[Reply]
  • + 0
gebby111 (Mar 27, 2019 at 3:47)
Can confirm previous comments.... made the mistake of trying to link up squirrel to Cantrell and got abused by the forest.. so bring a machete and extra water and food if that’s what you’re in to
[Reply]
  • + 0
gebby111 (Mar 27, 2019 at 3:47)
Can confirm previous comments.... made the mistake of trying to link up squirrel to Cantrell and got abused by the forest.. so bring a machete and extra water and food if that’s what you’re in to
[Reply]
  • - 1
0ldd0c (Oct 15, 2018 at 13:47)
We began at Club Gap and had to walk/ carry our bikes up a very steep, washed out 4 mile climb that was not rideable (unless you’re on a motocross bike). Then the downhill with equally washed out trail to rattle your mind and bike. Our advice, don’t start at Club Gap if you want to ride and not carry your bike
[Reply]
  • + 1
LegitBiker9000 (Aug 11, 2018 at 13:01)
You're going to be hiking through atleast nine rivers. But if you can shred through rivers, then i would say just send it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
LegitBiker9000 (Aug 11, 2018 at 13:01)
You're going to be hiking through atleast nine rivers. But if you can shred through rivers, then i would say just send it.
[Reply]
  • - 3
LegitBiker9000 (Aug 11, 2018 at 12:48)
We started up from club gap, which in its self, quite a challenging climb. To be honest the trail is fairly technical, but eases out on the bottom half with the rock gardens. I usually ride out west, so i find the east coast to be really lame. But to any advanced rider looking to shred something somewhat challenging, I'd suggest this trail. It also has a great loop. Don't even think about climbing up this trail
[Reply]
  • + 1
mikemcnoskill (Jun 16, 2018 at 16:04)
I think the previous comment was really about this trail. It’s very overgrown and more hiking than riding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
mikemcnoskill (Jun 16, 2018 at 16:04)
I think the previous comment was really about this trail. It’s very overgrown and more hiking than riding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
jastrain (May 6, 2018 at 12:18)
Do not ride from squirrel gap to Cantrell Creek. This is a horse trail. It is very over grown, full of mud pits, downed logs, and about a dozen deep water crossings.
[Reply]
  • + 1
jastrain (May 6, 2018 at 12:18)
Do not ride from squirrel gap to Cantrell Creek. This is a horse trail. It is very over grown, full of mud pits, downed logs, and about a dozen deep water crossings.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Pgerm (Feb 21, 2018 at 8:00)
I began the trail with Club Gap to Black Mtn.... Whoa what a kick in the balls. I wasn't prepared for the nearly 2 hrs of hiking my bike up a mountain. The downhill was real chunky with big rocks and big drops. Scetchy as hell, but awesome. Really tested the limits of me and my bike. About 1/2 way down the trail transformed into a fast, fun, and flowy route with berms and jumps. Next time I'll skip the hike a bike and probably try to meet up where the flow starts near thrift cove trail
[Reply]
  • + 1
tonylapy (Dec 3, 2016 at 16:41)
Rode this trail a day or two after a good rain. Heading up to Squirrel Gap, 17 horses and their riders made us pull over and wait. What those 68 hooves and piles of droppings did to that trail was a shame. Badly eroded in places, couldn't wait to see the Squirrel Gap sign.
[Reply]





Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Loop
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    One Direction
More Stats for Bitty - Day 1A - Squirrel! mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    2,129 ft
  • Altitude start
    2,238 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,303 ft
  • Grade max
    -106.2%
  • Grade min
    98.4%
  • Distance climb
    15 miles
  • Distance down
    13 miles
  • Distance flat
    3 miles
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Black Mountain Trail (Lower)
Oct 29, 2022 @ 2:06am
Oct 29, 2022
South Mills River
Oct 23, 2022 @ 6:27pm
Oct 23, 2022
Along the river, many trees down. One pile of downed trees is large and difficult to get around. (There, I lost the trail for ten minutes, then found it again.) Heavy overgrowth of rhododendrons everywhere along the river. Something like a dozen walk through river crossings are required. It really sucks.
Estatoe Trail
Oct 23, 2022 @ 12:04pm
Oct 23, 2022
Squirrel Gap
Jul 28, 2022 @ 12:18pm
Jul 28, 2022
Just one tree across the trail, about halfway to Cantrell from Mullinax. Slick, some moist spots. Normal mid-summer conditions.
Brevard Greenway
Jul 7, 2022 @ 2:08pm
Jul 7, 2022
more reports »
  • By HuckGnarris & contributors
  • #15511 - 455 views