FATMAP by Strava

Squirrel Gap -> Turkey Pen


An epic loop featuring some of Pisgah's most remote trails.

Mountain Biking Severe

41 km
1.6 km
1.6 km
4-5 hrs
Low Point
736 m
High Point
1.3 km
Squirrel Gap -> Turkey Pen Map

"This is the Squirrel Gap / Turkey Pen epic that everybody talks about," writes Pisgah-Area SORBA. This route provides "tons of serious backwoods slogging on Pisgah’s most remote trails." You'd better be prepared and fully equipped because there are "no bailouts."


Feel intimidated yet? You probably should be.

In classic Pisgah style this route features steep climbs... and descents that are even steeper. A never-ending array of root webs, rocks, boulders, rock gardens, and washed out singletrack will challenge anyone foolhardy enough to attempt this epic loop. In fact, the singletrack is so narrow in places that some locals affectionately refer to it as "half-track."

Also in classic Pisgah style this trail fords through rushing mountain streams and navigates the dense Appalachian rainforest. Since you'll be miles from nowhere and completely isolated, make sure you take SORBA's advice and prepare for the unexpected.

Sources: http://www.pisgahareasorba.org/2010/04/squirrel-gap-turkey-pen-advanced-epic/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auw5UHSTvI



Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between February and November


  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

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Guidebooks in this area