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National forest bike trails

North Carolina’s national forests offer more than 300 miles of bike trails. Forest roads are also open for mountain biking, unless otherwise signed.

Electric Bicycles

Also known as "e-bikes," electric bicycles have motors. These can include pedal assist and throttle twist varieties. Under the U.S. Forest Service Travel Management Rule, bicycles with motors, such as e-bikes, are considered motor vehicles.  Therefore, e-bikes are only allowed on National Forest System roads and trails designated for motorized use.  These roads and trails (including off-highway vehicle trails) are identified on Motor Vehicle Use Maps available at USFS Ranger District offices and online at

Click here for more on how e-bikes are managed on national forests.

Near Hiwassee Lake: At Hanging Dog Recreation Area on the Tusquitee Ranger District, there are 7.2 miles of intersecting loops. The trails start near the boat launch with great Hiwassee Lake views.

Near Hayesville: Tracing the edges of Lake Chatuge, Jackrabbit Mountain Bike Trails features 14 miles of challenging trail located only a 1/2 mile from Jackrabbit Mountain Campground and day-use area.

Near Hot Springs: Mountain bikers can ride on three trails in Appalachian District’s Hot Springs area. The 3.6-mile Mill Ridge Trail’s (area is unavailable) four miles of old roadbed.

Near Bryson City: Tsali Recreation Area’s challenging single-track trails overlook Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains. Each day, half of the 42 designated trail miles are open to bikes, and the other half are open to horses. Users can pay a daily fee at trailhead. An annual pass is available at Cheoah District and two vendors. Visit the passes and permits page for more information.

Near Brevard and Asheville: The Pisgah District’s trails systems offer many loop opportunities or places for solitude. Some popular biking areas: Bent Creek, near Asheville; Trace Ridge, near town of Mills River; Davidson River, near Brevard; and South Mills River, near town of Pisgah Forest.

Uwharrie National Forest: In the Piedmont area, Wood Run’s mountain bike trails are popular. Twenty-two miles of trails that run over rolling hills and meander through pine and hardwood forests make the Wood Run Trails a perfect mountain biking getaway. These easy to challenging trails are located off NC 24/27 between Albemarle and Troy in the Uwharrie National Forest. Wood Run is two miles east of the bridge over Lake Tillery and the Pee Dee River.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities