Brevard beckons with miles and miles of roads and trails for cyclists of every level. Here are some tips for getting the most out of pedaling through a leaf-peeping getaway
Beginner: Grab a DuPont State Forest trail map at the Visitor Center/parking area off Staton Road and then explore any of the “easy” trails, including Lake View Loop and the Airstrip Trail for stunning scenery. www.dupontforest.com
Intermediate: Look for the “moderate” trails in DuPont, and don’t miss the Ridgeline Trail (labeled “difficult” but don’t be scared away, just go slowly if you’re a more cautious rider). www.dupontforest.com
Advanced: The Pisgah National Forest offers numerous challenging trails, including the Sycamore Cove Trail (3.7 miles, 646-foot elevation gained) and the Pink Beds Loop (8.4 miles, 550-foot elevation). www.mtbikewnc.com
Beginner: The roads right on Brevard’s outskirts are gently rolling, scenic, and not too heavily trafficked. Download the Heart of Brevard 15-mile loop (and others listed below) at www.brevardnc.com/play/road-biking.
Intermediate: Park at an overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway and ride out and back as long as you like. There will be climbing (generally gradual) and plenty of overlooks for resting and feeling rewarded. The 28-mile Rosman Loop offers more varied terrain.
Advanced: Highway 276 up to the Parkway is challenging; more advanced riders might want to tackle Caesar’s Head or Cedar Mountain loops.
Bracken Mountain Bakery: A downtown icon for replenishing calories and carbs and satisfying any sweet tooth (hint: cinnamon buns); 42 S. Broad St., Brevard; (828) 883-4034
Cedar Mountain Café: Located just outside DuPont Forest, this breakfast and lunch spot, popular among hungry bikers and hikers, features fresh local ingredients. 10667 Greenville Hwy., Cedar Mountain; (828) 884-5272; www.cedarmountaincafe.com
Magpie Meat & Three: Fried catfish, local veggies, killer mac-n-cheese, and other Southern classics with a fresh flair, plus a great craft-beer selection; At the Lumberyard, 170-C King St., Brevard; (828) 877-3773; www.magpiemeatandthree.com
Marco Trattoria: Traditional Italian pastas and wood-fired pizza with a nice outdoor patio; 204 W. Main St., Brevard; (828) 883-4841; www.marcotrattoria.com
Oskar Blues Brewery: Terrific craft beer is a cyclist’s must-have, and this laid-back brewery serves it up along with great burgers, tacos, and other nibbles, as well as live music five nights a week and free tours. 342 Mountain Industrial Dr., Brevard; (828) 883-2337; www.oskarblues.com/breweries/brevard
The Square Root: Innovative sandwiches; big salads; and a wide-ranging dinner menu, from gumbo to curry, in the heart of downtown; 33 Times Arcade Alley, Brevard; (828) 884 6171; www.squarerootrestaurant.com
REEB Ranch: Bordering DuPont Forest and 20 minutes from Brevard, this bike-centric former dairy farm now owned by Oskar Blues offers a romantic, rustic cabin for seasonal private rental and a barn apartment loft (from $300 per night), plus on-site tent camping ($45 per night). 315 Shoals Falls Rd., Hendersonville; (303) 845-0394; www.reebranch.com
The Bike Farm: Platform tents with beds (bring your own sleeping bag/bedding), including two with electricity/lights, make for comfy “glamping” on the border of Pisgah National Forest. The staff offers guided mountain bike rides and rentals as well; rates from $80/night. 160 Sutton Creek Rd., Pisgah Forest; (828) 577-3673; www.thebikefarm.com
The Sunset Motel: Fun and kitschy, convenient and super bike-friendly, this classic motor court offers motel rooms as well as an apartment and a cottage; rates start at $99 per night. 523 S. Broad St., Brevard; (828) 884-9106; www.thesunsetmotel.com
Don’t worry if your ’80s-era 10-speed is languishing in your garage. These Brevard bike shops can gear you up with rentals (or tune up your own ride), plus maps and suggestions for a safe, fun adventure:
The Hub & Pisgah Tavern: Mountain bike rentals for kids and adults; rates from $35/day; 11 Mama’s Place, Pisgah Forest; (828) 884-8670; www.thehubpisgah.com
Squatch Bikes & Brews: Full range of mountain bike rentals; rates from $35/day; 170 King St. #1, Brevard; (828) 877-2453; www.squatchbikes.com
Sycamore Cycles: Road bikes (Specialized, $65/day) and a full-range of mountain bikes; rates from $35/day; 112 New Hendersonville Hwy., Pisgah Forest; (828) 877-5790 & 146 3rd Ave. East, Hendersonville; (828) 693-1776; www.sycamorecycles.com