Cycling Trails in NC: Heading Toward Tougher Terrain


So far in our series on Cycling Trails in NC, we went through some of the most scenic and rides anywhere in the state. No cyclist would argue that they make for a fantastic ride. Some enthusiasts though prefer a bit more of a challenge and maybe a little more nature in their rides.

Well, these are for those who are a bit more “extreme” about their riding. There are plenty of challenging Cycling Trails in NC. In actuality, there are so that its tough narrowing the choices down. However, on the trails below, you can “take it to the next level.”

Don’t Let Your Eyes Play Tricks on these Cycling Trails in NC

Now, our headline here is an obvious play on words. To explain, it is actually coincidental and does not have a lot to do with the riding portion of our first trail. That being said, due to the amazing natural surroundings of this ride, you may be rubbing your eyeballs briefly. But at least you will be enjoying the ride!

Hanging Rock, Greensboro and Winston Salem

Well, in “stepping up the game” and taking on some more challenging Cycling Trails in NC, we start at Hanging Rock. Officially, North Carolina Route 8 and 89 is this curvy and scenic ride. As you move South toward Danbury, things get interesting as the trail climbs and twists along and up the hill. There is a gorgeous view at this point of the ride but be careful of those sharp curves that come out of nowhere.    

As for the “eye rubbing” we allude to above, that comes as you reach Sizemore Road and have an incredible view of Hanging Rock to your direct right. You truly will have to look twice and at the same time, you’ll realize why it’s called “Hanging Rock,” as the huge masses appear to just be hanging off the mountainside.

Back to Earth…or at least the Ground with Cycling Trails in NC

All right, no more tricks or illusions! Just moving on to some hardcore riding and our next two amazing Cycling Trails in NC.

Cashiers Tour, Smoky Mountains and Cherokee

The next on our Cycling Trails of NC list is one that will no question leave those thighs burning. While the trail is only 10 miles, Cashiers is perched on a plateau that is surrounded by Nantahala National Forest. Thus the views and accompanying scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

Jump on this entry among our Cycling Trails in NC on U.S 64 at Cashier’s Commons. Next, turn right on to North Carolina 107. Now let the hairpin turns and heart-thumping inclines take over. A great trail for mountain bike enthusiasts for sure.

Tsali Trails, Smoky Mountains and Cherokee

In the Tsali Trails of Nantahala National Forest is where we start or next grueling but rewarding trek on our Cycling Trails of NC. Get ready for more than 40 miles of heart-pounding hilly trails, broken up into several loops each that vary in degree of difficulty. 

Right Loop, which is more difficult a ride gives you much “hilly” ride with a few creek crossings and access to the Windy Gap Overlook. The moderate Thompson Loop, still gives you a hilly ride. but far less

This concludes our three post series on Cycling Trails in NC. Much like all the previous outdoor activities we detail, these are just another way to enjoy the beauty of North Carolina. Above all, the majestic natural setting at all these trails are perfect for a nice ride.

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