Outdoors Briefs

Cycling updates

Get started with mountain biking

Take a ride with experienced rider Alex Kirby 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 5 at Chestnut Mountain Bike Park in Canton .

Youth and adults who are new to mountain biking will be able to pick up skills and confidence on the trails during this free program. Loaner bikes and helmets will be available. Registration required with Haywood County Recreation and Parks at bit.ly/haywoodrec.

Race Lake Logan

The annual Lake Logan Multisport Festival is just a month away, with three tri-sport events coming up in Haywood County Aug. 5-6.


The weekend will kick off Saturday, Aug. 5, with a half-ironman race that includes a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. Then, Sunday, Aug. 6, will offer an international triathlon race — a 1,500-meter swim, 24-mile bike ride and 10-kilometer run — as well as the shorter sprint triathlon, featuring a 500-meter swim, 12-mile bike ride and 5-kilometer run.

If you’re not competing, get up early to watch the athletes swim across the mountain lake before switching into biking and running gear. Anyone driving N.C. 215 and the Bethel area that weekend should plan for delays as they share the route with racers.

Related Items

Learn more or sign up at www.gloryhoundevents.com/event/lake-logan-multisport-festival.

Cycle Asheville

The Gran Fondo Asheville will offer an exploration of the best serpentine roads, climbs and descents in the Asheville area Saturday, July 16, departing from downtown.

The event includes 100-mile, 60-mile and 30-mile route options along a well-marked course. The course includes timed-segment competitions, meaning that the overall time from start to finish does not matter — only timed segments. Rankings will be determined based on the combined time for all timed segments on the chosen route.

Registration is $145 for the 100-mile or 60-mile and $90 for the 30-mile through July 6. Prices increase by $20 July 7-12. On-site registration is $180 for the longer routes or $125 for the shorter. Learn more at granfondonationalseries.com/gran-fondo-asheville.

Forest Service proposes fees for two mountain bike areas

New fees have been proposed for two popular mountain biking trail systems in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, with public comment accepted through Aug. 22.

The U.S. Forest Service wants to charge $5 per day or $30 per year to use the Jackrabbit Mountain Bike Trail System in the Nantahala National Forest near Hayesville or the Pisgah Complex Mountain Bike and Horse Trail System in the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. The Pisgah Complex consists of the Bent Creek, North Mills River, South Mills River and U.S. 276 Corridor areas on the Pisgah Ranger District. The proposed fees for the Jackrabbit System and Pisgah Complex are separate — each would require its own daily or annual payment. The charge would apply only to use by mountain bikers and equestrians.

Pisgah District Ranger Dave Casey said the proposal is a response to high levels of use that make increased maintenance and enhancements for these areas “imperative.”

“While none of us would prefer to have a fee associated with mountain bike and equestrian use of these trails, these funds would greatly expand our capacity and ability to improve and maintain these important trails,” he said.

Following the public comment period, the Forest Service will assess the input and present the proposals for review by the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee at a future date. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable new fees and fee changes.  

This process could take time to complete. Fee proposals for the Brown Mountain OHV Trail System, Roan Mountain Day Use Area, Swan Cabin, Tsali Mountain Bike and Horse Trail System and Wayehutta OHV Trail System all went through the public participation process in 2019 but are still awaiting review by the committee.

All funds collected through the fees would stay within the Forest for use in operating, maintaining and improving the sites where they were collected.

For more information, including a link to the online comment portal and contact information for questions about the proposal, visit fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/recfeeproposals.

Cycle mountains to coast

The 24th annual Mountains to Coast ride with Cycle North Carolina will start in Banner Elk Sept. 30 and end Oct. 7 at Emerald Isle, Visit N.C. Executive Director Wit Tuttell announced. 

With beautiful tourist stops along scenic back roads, the Mountains to Coast trek is the highlight of the year for many cyclists from across the nation. Cycle North Carolina expects 900 cyclists to participate in the state’s only cross-state, fully supported ride. Participants will average 60 miles per day and stay overnight in Wilkesboro, Winston-Salem, Mebane, Henderson, Tarboro and Kinston. 

Online registration is open at ncsports.org.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


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.