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|Flint Ridge Trail
|The Nantahala Outdoor Center, in conjunction with IMBA, has built a tremendous, (although fairly short) trail on the mountain behind the NOC, called Flint Ridge.
And who doesn’t visit the NOC on a Tsali trip?
Take the bridge at the NOC across the Nanny, and turn left across the RR Tracks. Head up the hill, passing Relia’s Garden Restaurant and Basecamp to your right. We parked in the asphalt lot above Basecamp.
Mount your bikes and head up the hill and around the switchback to the vacant bus parking lot. The singletrack begins behind the small water station, just up the small gravel path.
The climb is a steep, switchback laden grind. The switchbacks are sharp and treacherous; dabs abound. The climb is approximately 1 mile, before you come to the actual trail loop.
Follow the signs to your left (riding the trail clockwise). The trail is a fast, fun rollercoaster ride. Buried culverts and armored water crossings abound and the beautiful 40 foot long bridge is a masterpiece by anybody’s standards.
Once you get back to the starting point, you can turn it around and ride it backwards (counter clockwise). This direction offers more climbing.
Upper loop length is approximately 3 miles and can be ridden in about 15 minutes.
Use caution on the descent back to the lot, as the switchbacks crop up very quickly and are not (in my opinion) adequately marked.
The ride is a trail builder’s dream - A perfectly designed, self-sustaining trail (with the exception of some Ivan debris).
All trail builders should take the time to examine this gem. It has IMBA (and bOb Karriker), written all over it!
Apparently, additions to Flint Ridge have been marked, now if we can just get an energetic group to help build it, hmmmm...
For details, contact the NOC Bikeshop: firstname.lastname@example.org
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