3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
If you're looking for a gravel ride around Brevard or Pisgah Forest, look no further.
A local favorite, this route begins at [The Hub & Pisgah Tavern](https://www.thehubpisgah.com/), though there are plenty of options for parking along US-276, Avery Creek Road, or even at the Fish Hatchery.
As mapped, this route is one-third pavement and two-thirds gravel.
The gravel roads are typically open year-round to vehicles but may close intermittently during the winter due to poor road conditions.
The paved roads are open all year and treated during the winter. As mapped, ride up US-276 to Avery Creek Road and turn right when you see the sign for the Pisgah Horse Stables.
Though you could ride the route in either direction, counter-clockwise gets most of the climbing out of the way early.
Avery Creek is also loaded with roadside camping opportunities for anyone interested.
Avery Creek Road starts with a gentle climb, but after passing the Horse Stables, it steepens.
If you're running a larger chainring or CX gearing, expect to be out of the saddle and that you may need to catch your breath a couple of times.
The brunt of the climb is over after you reach the junction with Bennett Gap and Buckwheat Knob.
From here, most of the route is downhill.
Avery Creek Road comes to an end at US-276 just after passing Club Gap Trail.
Keep left to continue the loop. After a bend in the paved road, look for a gravel road that spurs right.
This is Headwaters Road (475B) and the start of a long, steady descent around Looking Glass Rock.
At times, you may be able to snag a few views of what many consider to be the centerpiece of Pisgah National Forest.
You will also pass three approach trails utilized by rock climbers: North Face, Sunwall, and Slick Rock Falls.
If you have the time, Slick Rock Falls is well worth the stop - it's less than a few hundred feet from the trailhead. Headwaters Road ends at Fish Hatchery Road (475), where you'll keep left.
The Fish Hatchery has seasonal water and restrooms available if you need.
It's also a great alternative to start this loop since it cuts out a little bit of road at the beginning and end.
To round out the loop, keep right on US-276 and follow it back to The Hub. For an added bonus, consider heading left (up) US-276 to Looking Glass Falls if you've yet to visit.
It adds less than a mile to the ride, but the 60' waterfall is worth the detour.