At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

New bike trails coming to Wilson Creek

A project that will add 10 additional miles of mountain biking and hiking trails to the Wilson Creek Area in Caldwell and Avery counties has been approved by the Pisgah National Forest’s Grandfather Ranger District. 

This five-year effort began in 2015 when the Grandfather Ranger District began a partnership with local mountain bike users and volunteers — and in particular the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance — to improve maintenance of the Wilson Creek Trails. Under this partnership, users saw restoration of some of their favorite area trails, including Woodruff Ridge and the “21 Jumps” section of the Wilson Ridge Trail.

Work began to formally assess needs for changes to the current trail systems, and greater connectivity for the area’s mountain biking trails was identified as a need — hence the recently approved project. 

Work will begin this winter to construct new sections of trail on Yancey Ridge, Schoolhouse Ridge and Jackson Knob Trails. This work is funded through a Santa Cruz Bicycles PayDirt Grant awarded to the Northwest N.C. Mountain Bike Alliance and an N.C. Recreation and Trails Program Grant awarded to the Grandfather District. Additional work will take place on surrounding Forest Service roads through a partnership with Trout Unlimited.

Go to top