The Bible of Bike Tests Gallery: Cross Country

An extended photographic look at our cross-country testing grounds.

Photos: Dan Barham

Lake Imaging Road-Jim Branch-Buck Forest Road-White Pine-Hooker Creek-Ridgeline Loop – Dupont State Forest

DuPont State Forrest has some massively diverse terrain–from granite slick rock (where we tested our trail bikes) to buff swoopy singletrack. This buff single track was the perfect proving grounds for our cross-country bikes. We started from the Lake Imaging parking lot off of Staton Road and linked a 4-mile (or so) loop together. We started out on Lake Imaging Road which is basically a buff gravel fire road. From there we turned left up the Jim Branch trail, which started off with a technical rock-armored semi-steep singletrack climb that eventually mellowed and wound its way uphill, ending at Buck Forest Road where we took another left. Some more mellow climbing on Buck Forrest Road brought us to yet another left turn and a steeper climb up White Pine trail to (you guessed it) another left onto Hooker Creek. Our climbing was then rewarded here with a fast, sandy, wide-open descent with lots of little whoops to grab some air off of down the first half of Hooker Creek trail. The descent ended with an abrupt and loose hairpin right and immediately we began climbing again. Hooker Creek trail eventually ends at the Ridgeline trail intersection. A left on Ridgeline trail means just a little bit more climbing before it turns into one of the most flow-filled cross-country descents that any of us had ever ridden, which ends at Buck Forest Road near the parking lot.

Click here for a trail map to help you visualize. The trail numbers on the map are: 45, 41, 8, 89, 37 and 65. –Ryan LaBar

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  • Dick Childs

    man, when you guys were in dupont you should have checked out Burnt Mtn. , Cedar Rock and Big Rock–all very technical–Slick Rock of the East!! Ridgeline is my favorite and I’m an old guy but help do trail maintenance, etc. in Dupont. Have hiked or biked every trail in there. If anybody needs any info on trails or conditions please let me know, I’m happy to pass on. Also have done majority of trails in Pisgah and along the Parkway. We try to keep it a secret but appreciate the bikers and hikers that come thru, ya’ll respect it as we do. If you need any camping or places to stay, email me as to your destination, WNC rocks!!. If you cant’ get me for a couple days, I’ll be on a trail! Will get back to you. Also work as trail hosts in Dupont on some w/e from spring to fall. Thanks, Dick Childs

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