Take the road less traveled, camp, and do it all over again!  Bikepacking is an incredible way to experience all that Appalachia has to offer.  If winding your way through pristine wilderness with the added challenge of a self-supported tour sounds right up your alley, these routes will both challenge and inspire.  As with any trip into the wild, gear selection and route planning are vital to having a safe and fun ride.  Weather is also not to be taken lightly...an easy day in the backcountry can take a 180 in an instant so make sure your gear is dialed for the expected, and unexpected, conditions ahead.  

 

The best part is while we all long for multi day trips on a one of a kind gravel gobbler with custom made frame bags, with the right planning chances are you can dip your toes into the bikepacking world with the bike you already have and a backpack.  It may not be as sexy, but gear like proper first aid and navigation provisions are far more important for getting started.  So study your route, grab some friends, study your route even more, and get ready to experience one of the South East's premier bikepacking trips!  

bikepacking-logo.png
Rockgeist-horizonatal-logo-final-9.6_edi

Bikepacking.com is BY FAR the premire resource for all things bikepacking.  From gear reviews to routes this is your go to when you are planning your next adventure!

Not only do our friends at Rockgeist make some of the world's best bikepacking gear right across the mountain, but they also offer gear rentals...which is a great option if you are looking to take your first trip.  From full custom to universal gear, they truly do it all.

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.39.55 AM.png

LITTLE OAK

Enjoy an epic overnight adventure straight from downtown Johnson City!  FSR 87 serves as the TN cut though for the Trans America Trail and roll a few miles on it and you'll know why.  Decently graded surfaces and an actual campground make this a great route for first-time bikepackers and simply a great route close to home.  87 see's a fair amount of traffic (well...for a forest road) from horses, dual sport motorcycles, and Jeeps so even though we'll bet you won't see a soul you should always ride as if you will...this means stay in your "lane" on blind turns and run daytime visible head and taillights at all times.  87 also makes for a great straight shot with a friend to drop you off at the Little Oak Campground plus this route is easily possible with most 2wd cars in the event your plans change unexpectedly.

Distance

66mi

Overnights

1

Elevation

6,312

Difficulty

5/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 9.28.42 AM.png

USA RAFT UP AND OVER

This unique route from downtown Johnson City takes you up and over Buffalo Mountain with camping at USA Raft.  A true mix of surface starts and ends with asphalt, gravel on FSR 188 in the middle, and rugged double track at the decent back to Erwin on trail #29.  USA Raft is located directly along the Nolichucky river and has everything from cabins, campgrounds, raft trips, and even a taproom.  Trail #29 can be very wet after rainy days, so it's best to watch the forecast closely and/or prepare for some walking if need be.

Distance

57mi

Overnights

1

Elevation

4,784

Difficulty

5/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.13.11 AM.png

LOOKING GLASS

The Looking Glass Loop Overnighter is designed to be a fairly easy one-night getaway in and out of downtown Brevard, North Carolina. The route quickly disappears into the Pisgah National Forest and weaves together some of region's finest gravel, faint two-track, and flowy singletrack, all the while taking in views of Looking Glass Rock.

Distance

39mi

Overnights

1

Elevation

3,770

Difficulty

4/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.25.37 AM.png

TWO GORGES

This gravel bikepacking loop skirts the rim of Linville Gorge and passes through the Wild and Scenic Wilson Creek Gorge before returning to Morganton, NC via the Catawba River Greenway. Boasting 6,250+ feet of climbing over 74 miles, it's a challenge. But with incredible scenery, plenty of camping opportunities, and a speedy 20 mile descent, it makes a great sub-24 hour escape

Distance

75mi

Overnights

1

Elevation

6,272

Difficulty

4/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.29.55 AM.png

BIKEPACKING PISGAH

A four day bikepacking route that traverses each of the four major trail networks in Buncome and Transylvania counties — the Pisgah Ranger District, Dupont State Forest, and Black Mountain area — the heart of western North Carolina mountain biking within the mecca of craft beer.

Distance

132mi

Overnights

3

Elevation

15,435

Difficulty

7/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.32.56 AM.png

YANCEY RIDGE

An overnighter that follows Wilson Creek, climbs through Lost Cove, and traverses the Blue Ridge Parkway up to Beacon Heights... all before dropping in to the epic Yancey Ridge downhill. A quick Pisgah getaway for mountain bikers coming from Charlotte or the Piedmont.

Distance

37mi

Overnights

1

Elevation

4,800

Difficulty

8/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.35.52 AM.png

TRANS-WNC

The Trans-WNC bikepacking route runs the length of the North Carolina Appalachians and takes in some of the best singletrack in the Blue Ridge. As part two of four in the greater Southern Highlands Traverse, the Trans-WNC starts at the terminus of the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail (VMBT) and finishes at the head of the Trans North Georgia (TNGA).

Distance

314mi

Overnights

5

Elevation

3,548

Difficulty

7/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.52.47 AM.png

APPALACHIAN GRAVEL GROWLER

The Appalachian Gravel Growler is a 4-6 day bikepacking route that explores one of America’s top craft beer destinations via iconic bucketlist gravel roads through North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains. Though challenging, the route is designed specifically for drop-bar gravel riding and is approachable on nearly any bike.

Distance

217MI

Overnights

5

Elevation

21,400

Difficulty

6/10

Screen Shot 2021-01-29 at 6.56.10 AM.png

IRON MOUNTAIN TRAIL

The Iron Mountain Trail in Virginia was formerly a 24 mile section of the Appalachian Trail until 1972 when they reoriented the trail slightly to the south. This ridgeline gem is perfect for an overnight bikepacking trip and can even be done without a tent or bivy via the two shelters that were built during its AT history.

The IMT traverses a long ridge in a beautiful tract of wilderness. When ridden east to west, it climbs up, then has a hearty dose of ups and downs before it finishes with 6 miles of screaming downhill, creek crossings, and rock gardens that spit you out right into the town of Dmascus.

Distance

45MI

Overnights

1

Elevation

4,847

Difficulty

7/10

JohnsonCityLogo_1Color_White (1).png
2018_Trek_logo_white.png