Starting out of the parking lot in the Big Ivy district of the Pisgah National Forest, access to the Staire Creek Trailhead can be reached via a gravel ascent up Coleman Boundary Rd. Along the road there are multiple waterfalls and vistas with southwest views of the Appalachian range. This area is one of the old growth areas and massive trees line the road to each side giving the gravel grind some nice views to take your mind off of the task at hand. On the way to Staire Creek two other trails will be passed on the right hand side as you are climbing the road. First is Elk Penn which was apparently used for filming portions of "The Last of the Mohicans" then further up the road is Walker Creek which is another trail that is worth riding while out in the Big Ivy region. Approximately 2 miles up the road the gravel descends briefly past a massive rock outcropping on the left which is usually frequented by climbers throughout the weekends.
The Staire Creek trailhead is located on the right side of the road as you are climbing at the intersection with an old logging road going further up the mountain to the left. Staire Creek begins with a brief fast flowing descent down to steeper portions below where loose rock and fast lines can be found as you make your way down the trail. The Big Ivy district was also an area of filming in the first Hunger Games movie along with other regional areas such as DuPont forest in Brevard NC. While many locals say the built up cave half way down along the right side of the trail was part of the film production, that has yet to be confirmed. The trail can be broken down into three segments with two creeks separating them. The trail is either a brake burner or for the more brave the brakes can be let off and the trail can be ridden full throttle all the way to the bottom without a pedal stroke making it a popular trail for downhill shuttles during the summer months. The road closes from January 1st through April 1st so during those months pedaling to the top is the only option. Approximately 3/4 of the way down Walker Creek and Staire Creek merge into one trail that leads riders to the bottom trail head and back on to the road leading to the parking lot. While this trail is very fast it is easy to miss much of the beauty that you pass along the way. It is worth pushing up from the bottom at least one time in order to have time to take in all of the massive old growth forest and numerous cascading streams throughout the trail and the region.
Take exit 15 off of Interstate I-26 towards Barnardsville. Drive for about 10 minutes passing through Barnardsville proper. Towards the east edge of town take a right on to Dillingham Road. Continue on Dillingham Road until the road turns to gravel and you enter Big Ivy district. Continue for a half mile until the obvious right hand turn over a bridge where you will find the parking lot.
Trails in Route
More Stats for Freehub Magazine: Big Ivy Shuttle mountain bike route
Altitude change-1,276 ft
Altitude min2,651 ft
Altitude start3,933 ft
Altitude end2,656 ft
Distance climb1,698 ft
Distance down2 miles
Distance flat264 ft
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
Recent Trail Reports Along Route
Nov 17, 2018 @ 5:21pmNov 17, 2018
|Wet and leaf covered made for sketchy conditions. One small tree down. Overall was super slick today. Lot of run off at the bottom, last creek crossing was about foot deep|
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