Feel the wind in your face and the world at your feet as you cruise on two wheels down breathtaking bike trails with gorgeous Smoky Mountain views. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist looking for a heart-pumping adventure of challenging climbs and thrilling descents or you just want to take the family on an easy bike ride along paved paths, the trails near Maggie Valley offer something for every rider and skill level. Read on to learn more about the scenic bike trails that our Meadowlark guests rave about.
Oconaluftee River Trail
The Oconaluftee River Trail is a popular 3-mile round trip bike trail along the banks of the Oconaluftee River. The wide gravel path is mostly flat with a few small hills that are easy for riders of all ages. The rippling mountain river is the main attraction, but along the way you can spot swathes of wildflowers as well as find fascinating opportunities to learn about the inspiring East Band of the Cherokee. The bike trail actually ends at the boundary of their reservation.
You can also stop by the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and explore the Mountain Farm Museum, a collection of structures that depict a typical 19th century Smoky Mountain homestead. As you cruise along, keep an eye out for the local wild elk herd. These magnificent beasts are often seen in the fields around the Visitor Center and along the trail. Just be sure to keep a safe distance of 150 feet or more and snap your photos from there.
Brevard Bike Path
The Brevard Bike Path is about 5 miles long and runs between Davidson River Campground in Pisgah National Forest and McLean Rd./Railroad Ave. This fun bike trail is built over a former railway corridor that was used at one time by Carr Lumber, an old rail company. Don’t worry, you won’t be bumping along over railroad tracks. The majority of the bike trail is paved with asphalt, making it a smooth, mostly flat ride. One gravel covered mile leads into the stunning Pisgah National Forest and is perfect for beginners and experts alike!
Perfect for everyone from beginning cyclists to seasoned road riding experts, this fun bike trail takes you deep into the woods just west of Canton, NC. Start out at the Canton Recreation Park on Penland St/NC 215, where you’ll find parking, restrooms, and picnic tables available. (It’s the perfect spot for a delicious picnic lunch after a morning ride!) Bring your camera with you for gorgeous pictures of the scenic Lake Logan. Then, as you pedal back to the park you’ll loop past quaint mountain farms along Lovejoy Road.
Cat Gap Loop
If you like your bike rides with a side of waterfalls and log bridge crossings, then the Cat Gap Loop is exactly what you’re looking for. Get up close and personal with nature as you pedal into the forest. You’ll start and end your ride at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education & Fish Hatchery. (Take US 276 to National Forest 475 Rd. to get there.) The loop takes you around John Rock, a classic Pisgah trail, and leads you past colorful wildflowers and a cascading waterfall near Cedar Rock Creek. Along the way you can test your balance as you cross over several plank & log bridges.
Point Lookout Trail
A favorite paved bike trail is the Point Lookout Trail near Asheville. At 3.6 miles, it’s a relatively short trail, but there’s moderate difficulty with uphill climbs that are even and gentle. Take your time pedaling to the top of the trail, where you can soak up serene mountain views as you listen to the wind whistling softly through the trees. Then enjoy a well-deserved reward as you coast back to the bottom. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can link up to the Kitsuma Bike Trail from here and try your hand at mountain biking.
Kitsuma Bike Trail
Pisgah mountain bikers love the rugged 9.7-mile long Kitsuma Bike Trail that’s packed with twists, turns, and a leg-burning switchback climb. The reward is worth it, though, with jaw-dropping views of Mount Mitchell and a 3-mile descent with the kind of gravity-defying water bars, double backs, and drops that every mountain biker dreams of!
Find more things to do in Maggie Valley on our blog. And if you need a place to rest up after your bike ride, the Meadowlark Motel offers rooms and cabins with a relaxing Appalachian chic style and amenities like fun games and live musical performances on our BackPorch Pavilion.