Ride across Cascade Lake Road and onto the signed, gravel Corn Mill Shoals Road; ride down and around the yellow gate. Turn left shortly onto the signed Big Rock trail (singletrack/slickrock). The first part of this climb is steep, rocky, and moderately technical. Later, the trail will emerge from the forest, going onto solid granite slickrock. The slickrock sections are somewhat technical, with pits, dips, and drop-offs, and steep sections are common. Your tires will have great traction when it gets steep; an incredible view will open up to the left at one point. Follow the cairns and blazes, and stay off the fragile moss! The trail will continue in this manner all the way to the top of the ridge, passing through sections of woods and then out onto rock again. After topping out and curving right, downhill, through the woods, you will come out onto slickrock again. Pay attention here, because there is an intersection with the Cedar Rock trail on the rock, marked with faint painted arrows. Turn right, heading downhill on the slickrock, and pay close attention to the cairns! The downhill is moderately steep, bumpy, technical, and fast, and it's on solid rock. The trail will reenter the woods, leaving the slickrock behind, and become very rocky and bumpy. This will bottom out at the signed intersection with the Little River trail (doubletrack).
Turn right here. This trail is mostly level or slightly uphill. A few rocky sections, sections with deep sand, scenic woods, and a good creek crossing spice up this part of the ride. At the signed intersection with Corn Mill Shoals Road (doubletrack at this point), turn left. The surface of this trail is much the same. Turn right at the intersection with the Burnt Mountain trail (wide singletrack). This trail follows the Little River at first, and the first part of the trail is fast, rolling, and fun. Further on, there are some rocky and very short slickrock sections that are a little more demanding. Beyond that, the trail takes a turn uphill and climbs significantly, becoming more technical overall but not extremely so.
The trail will turn sharply right and there is a sign. Continue on the Burnt Mountain trail. The singletrack continues climbing steadily. A faint, dead-end trail heads left, stay right on the climb. As this climb tops out, another faint trail leaves to the left; bear right, downhill, and prepare to have some fun! Be very careful of horses on their way up, however; they prefer to climb this section of trail while mountain bikers prefer to drop it. The descent starts out as very fast and twisty singletrack. It gradually becomes more and more technical, developing some excellent jumps at first where you can catch some air and then later becoming quite steep and rocky. At the bottom of this is the Corn Mill Shoals road again (doubletrack/gravel road); look right and you will see the intersection with the Little River Trail just a few feet away. Turn left so as not to backtrack, ride up a moderate climb, down a short descent, and back to your vehicle at the parking lot.
Alternate route: to lengthen the ride and travel a technical section of the Cedar Rock trail, turn left at the Big Rock/Cedar Rock trail intersection, and then right at the intersection with the Little River trail to pick back up on the ride.
Trail description provided by: WNCOutdoors.info network
From Asheville, take I-240 west to I-26 east to the exit for the Asheville Airport (exit 9). Turn right onto NC 280; follow this 4-lane highway for 16 miles toward Brevard. Stay straight on the 4-lane, NC 280 ends and the highway becomes US 276/US 64. Stay on this until downtown Brevard; turn left to follow US 276. Stay on 276 until Cascade Lake Road; just past Grammy's restaurant. Turn left here. Go about two miles and park in the large parking area on the left, rimmed with huge boulders and with an information board in the back of the lot. The Corn Mill Shoals Road trail starts across the road from the parking lot. Locate DSF on the WNC Area Map.
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