It’s true that we offer life-changing cycling vacations in storied international destinations like France and Italy. But did you know we can also arrange your life-changing Asheville cycling vacation in Western North Carolina?
Asheville and the surrounding area is quickly climbing up to join the ranks of Tuscany and Provence and we couldn’t be less surprised. This area offers some of the best riding routes (road, gravel and dirt), the best breweries, the best scenery, the best eats, and the best people you’ll ever experience. After this post, we hope you’ll be ready to pack your bags and schedule your pet sitter for a cycling vacation to Western North Carolina.
First, let’s talk about the riding.
We mentioned you can find world-class riding – no matter the terrain. One of our favorite road routes is a ride up to Mt. Mitchell from Asheville via the Elk Mountain Scenic Highway. This is definitely a route for those who want to push their limits and test their climbing skills. It’s a sustained climb all the way up to 6600.’ The bright side? It’s one of the most scenic and unforgettable rides you’ll ever complete. Big range views, beautiful open pastures, and winding mountain roads are just a few of the perks to completing this big ride!
Another favorite road ride in WNC takes you a little west to the small mountain town of Brevard. Sitting in the shade of the Pisgah National Forest, Brevard is a stop you don’t want to miss. You can find any outdoor activity you want within a few minutes. We particularly love to climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on HWY 215 and then after a cruise on the parkway, head down HWY 276 for some jaw-dropping exciting descents. Breathing in the fresh forest air on this ride will cure any ailments you have! Your Asheville cycling vacation isn’t complete without a stop at Sliding Rock or Looking Glass Falls to catch your breath and see some famous waterfalls.
There is also endless gravel riding in this neck of the woods.
Heading east from Brevard, you can turn into the Pisgah National Forest and meander up along Cathey’s Creek, past Cathey’s Creek Waterfall, to Gloucester Gap. Then you can enjoy a descent down to the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. Take a minute to wander through the fish hatchery and fill up your water bottles before heading back to Brevard for some refreshing post-ride beverages.
We can’t forget about dirt riding!
This area is quickly becoming a mecca for mountain bikers from all over the world. From Black Mountain to Pilot Mountain and Bennett Gap you’ll find endless gnarly terrain that challenges even the most competent rider. Looking for something a little tamer? Head over to DuPont State Recreational Forest to hit up a local’s favorite: Ridgeline! This smile-inducing descent is fun and perfect for all ages and skill levels.
WNC truly does have something for everyone. If you’re just looking for a relaxing spin on your Asheville cycling vacation, head over to the famous Biltmore Estate and enjoy their easy-going trail system on the estate property. Finish your ride at the Antler Hill Winery for an award-winning glass of wine!
If you’d prefer a glass of beer, then Beer City USA (a favorite moniker for Asheville) won’t disappoint!
Wicked Weed Brewing is a favorite for locals and visitors alike. Located in downtown Asheville, it has a wide selection sure to suit your palate. Asheville is also home to New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Nevada, and just a short ways down the road in Brevard, you can find Oskar Blues Brewing. All big names with big personality! There are over 60 breweries in Western North Carolina so you won’t be searching too long for your next beer stop.
Asheville has also become a nationally recognized destination for foodies. The downtown scene will have you drooling before long for sure! Check out many of the amazing restaurants that feature local farmers and fresh food. You can’t beat it! One of our personal favorites is Curate. Make sure you get your reservation in advance though – they fill up quickly!
As you can tell, we have a passion for Western North Carolina and we want to share it with you. Let us take you on the Ashevlle cycling vacation of your dreams in this amazing riding, eating, drinking and relaxing mecca!