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FATMAP difficulty grade
When mountain bikers try to explain the style of riding found in the Pisgah National Forest, Black Mountain is the first trail they'll point to as a marquee ride that showcases everything that is good and challenging about riding in the Pisgah.
The loop shown here is classic Pisgah: grind up a long dirt road/doubletrack for a long time (possibly hours).
Pick up a gnarly singletrack trail in the middle of nowhere that, of course, doesn't go straight down, but goes up and down along its length, with some brutal hike-a-bikes mixed in. But then comes the reward: an epic, brutally-gnarly descent filled with root drops that can easily surpass 3 feet, trenched-out singletrack eroded into the ancient mountains, and more rocks and roots of all kinds than you can possibly process while bombing downhill at 30mph.
Parts of lower Black Mountain have been maintained in recent years to combat the ongoing erosion, making the trail more sustainable and simultaneously, less technical.
Reducing the technicality only increases the flow, so while some diehard locals decry the recent maintenance, newcomers to the trail will only realize just how freaking fun this descent is.