Content produced in partnership with Explore Brevard.
There are few experiences quiet as exhilarating as conquering a steep climb on a bicycle, then zooming downhill into a flat valley. Every year, thousands of eager cyclists experience this rush as they descend upon Brevard, North Carolina, to explore the countless trails which span hundreds of miles. Experienced cyclists know Brevard by name, but you don’t have to be a pro — or even own your own bicycle — to fully experience all this stunning western North Carolina town has to offer.
The Bike Shops
If you don’t own a bike or don’t want to deal with traveling with one, Brevard has plenty of shops that can get you equipped and out on the trails. Each one of these bike shops has its own unique offerings and services, but you’re guaranteed to have expert advice and help no matter which one you choose.
Let’s start with The Hub, which offers bike, rack, and safety equipment rentals along with some tasty craft beer for a post-ride drink. The Hub is also on the edge of Pisgah National Forest, about 3 miles north of downtown Brevard, so it’s a great access point to all the exciting trails there. The Hub also has Pisgah Tavern, which originally opened in the early 1940s and serves a variety of beers on tap and in a can. The tavern serves brews from North Carolina and beyond. It’s a great way to meet other cyclists and get some insider info on the best trails. Cheers!
Next is Sycamore Cycles, just across the Hendersonville Highway from the entrance to Pisgah. Sycamore also offers rentals, repairs, and expert advice about cycling the area. Sycamore is also the perfect early morning stop for a rental pickup because they have Crank, a coffee shop inside the bike store. Get a coffee, tea, pastry, or smoothie while you chat with the crew inside and get their take on the best trails in Brevard and insight into what type of bike might be best for you.
Finally, there’s Squatch Bikes and Brews, near downtown Brevard. At Squatch, you can rent several types of bicycles based on your needs, or they can give the bike you own a tune-up to make sure it’s trail-ready. After a ride, swing by Squatch for a beer, too. They have North Carolina beer on tap as well as a selection of canned options. Squatch also organizes group rides every week. You can find details on their website and Facebook page.
As a reminder, cell phone service can be spotty out on the trails, which is great for relaxation and unwinding, but not so great for tracking where you are. The Hub, Sycamore and Squatch all have hard copies of the trails, so make sure you grab one before you head out to explore.
Pisgah National Forest
So, you have your bike, your helmet and your map. Let’s start pedaling toward Pisgah National Forest, which is more than half a million acres (!!!) and is home to whitewater rivers and waterfalls, which are easy to get to thanks to well-kept trails and roads.
If you can only do one trail in Pisgah, hit the Pisgah Highway right next to The Hub and ride about 6 miles to Looking Glass Falls, one of the country’s most viewed falls. It’s right off the roadway and impossible to miss. You can see the falls from the observation deck or take the stairs down to the base of the falls. Along the way you’ll see stunning views of the bubbling, churning Davidson River. There are plenty of places to pull off and snap the perfect photo or take a break from peddling and listen to the calming sounds of water rushing by.
DuPont State Forest
DuPont State Forest is a little further out than Pisgah, but absolutely worth the trip. DuPont is more than 10,000 acres large and has 4 major waterfalls on the Little River. Some of those breathtaking waterfalls in DuPont include High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls, which are all part of a loop trail and can be hiked or biked. Be sure to watch trail signs, however, as some areas do not allow bicycles. This is especially the case if you want to go down to the base of the falls and explore.
If you can only do one trail though, try the Fawn Lake Loop Trail which will take you by Bridal Veil Falls. It, along with the aforementioned Looking Glass Falls, is one of the 250 waterfalls in Transylvania County. They don’t call Brevard “North Carolina's Land of Waterfalls” for nothing, folks.
Where to Stay
Pilot Cove is near the mouth of Pisgah National Forest and has modern, spacious cabins with plenty of room to store your bike overnight. Cabins also have balconies overlooking Pisgah and Brevard. They also have television and internet, so you don’t have to completely unplug. Within bike-able distance to Pisgah, and just a short drive to DuPont, Pilot Cove is the perfect home base for your cycling adventure. Happy trails!