The climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway from town is really well ridden, and people come from all over to tackle the grades up to the Cold Mountain Overlook.
What Makes It Great
A nice flat cruise along the river will give you a five mile warm up, but it turns uphill past Looking Glass Falls, and remains that way for the majority of the next 12mi. US 276 is a National Scenic Highway, with plenty of pull-offs to snack and catch your breathe.
The road surface varies, but is well maintained, critical for the the descent back into town. The ride to the Parkway is about 18 miles once you enter Pisgah National Forest, so from town it will be about 21 miles to the Parkway. During the summer this route can be busy, as it can during the leaf season, but midweek it is not so bad.
Who is Going to Love It
This route is something that just about any cyclist can do, but will be most enjoyed by those looking to get in decent ride with some serious climbing.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
You can ride right from town to this classic Western North Carolina climb, or park just inside the forest entrance at the Pisgah Ranger Station on the right.