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Mountain Biking Unaka

Updated on February 22, 2010

This is a hard ride, no matter how you do it. There were no maps for the trails when I rode this- ever.

Riders should allow four our and more for this is you stop long at the pretty "view".

Overlooking The Nolichucky

This is why a lot of folks mountain-bike. The views can very often look similar to this. The mountains, anywhere, can have spectacular views such as what we see here. Western, North Carolina is "chock full" of them.

My guests on this day wanted a hard mountain-biking adventure. So I immediately thought Unaka Mountain and "The Basin". From Bakersville. NC we took 226 to 197. These roads take you through "Loafers Glory", Red Hill Green Mountain, Relief, Poplar and on to Indian Grave Gap which is also Unaka Mountain. There is a "pull-over" right here. It's good to park right here. "Beauty Spot" is another adventure and is to the right as you approach from NC.

From elsewhere, you could take I-26 to Erwin TN, 107 to 395 (Rock Creek Road) . Once on Rock Creek Road you will have 6.6 miles to Indian Grave Gap. Pull over to the parking on the left.

This point is the North Carolina/Tennessee States line.

From the parking area cross the road and begin there.

If you start going downhill- you've just missed it!

The Climb Before the Decent

There is a hard way to get down toward the "Basin" and I don't recommend it to most novice mountain bikers. You can take gravel roads all the way down. If you take a road to the right, and don't take a trail off of that road to the left- you can miss the Basin completely and go all the way down to Erwin, TN. Today we took the hard way. To go down to the Basin, first you climb up. It's a very hard climb. This way will take you through the "bald" above but then soon you will descend on rocks that can be dangerous.

Do not cycle out here alone.

The old "logging road" is washed out quite a bit and the rocks are big enough to make you crash. I, personally have embedded my glasses into my forehead and broken a hand here. I was showing some guys "how to do it".

It's a very long descent. At times you can hear the train down below.

Once you get "down" you're on top of the world.

Often you will see the train. You will also see small yellow rafts taking tourists on a rafting adventure. One dangerous stretch is right below.

Uh oh! Looks like we've lost one! You lose some and then- you lose some! Not to worry though. He left his lunch up top with us. We, of course, split it up evenly.

Across the Nolichucky River is the "Lost Cove". I've not been over there but I have friends who have. You have to cross the trestle to get there. That's dangerous. The Lost Cove was a nice little community at one time and is a "ghost community" now.

Very often, more than hikers or bikers, there will be horse riders out here at this very spot.

It certainly is a great spot for having a break and snack.

The pictures don't "do it justice".

This club was from the Coast of North Carolina and though "flat-landers", they did very well.

You can be with the Eagles and Hawks up here.

The Brunswick Pedalers did very well.

Al and Margaret!

My buddy Rike!

After leaving this trail/logging road, a couple roads were freshly graveled and one was completely new. This threw me off. As long as you're going up you get out -right? Actually I did a little "re-con" and came back to the group because after you went up on this road, it took you back down. So, there was no mutiny. No one was tossed over the mountain.

This mountain bike ride looks like this -before you're done!


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    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you Prasetio. I do appreciate your coming by and commenting. Thanks very much.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This is great experience. You are great BIKERS. You always have a beautiful pictures which make me jealous. Because those picture are wonderful, until I can't say anything. You are rock! man. Wow..... nice experience. I liked it and I rate this up!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you for coming by and reading 2uesday. Happy trails!

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 7 years ago

      Wow fantastic photos; I am not brilliant with heights and they made me feel as if I was really looking down from the top of a climb. It must be a great sense of achievement to do this route. Well done for the hub photos and write up and the journey. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you very much Tatjana-Mihaela. I'm so glad you like the pics. I'll check out those photos now. Thank you!

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      So beautiful and challenging.

      It reminds me on my hiking experiences (I very probably would not go too far by bike in the mountains, maybe few meters up only, LOL). Cannot wait that rains stop here and warmer days arrive - the same as you I like to be on the top of the world sometimes !

      Thank you for sharing your photos, it is privillege to be part of your group for few moments, this is certainly great inspiration for me.

      BTW, as you are lover of mountains, you might like to see photos that I took while hiking? If so,pls visit (it is not propaganda, photos are really great)

      Thank you so much for inspring Hub.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you Ten Blogger. I'm very glad I took the pictures. Memories are too hard to remember! Thank you dear.

    • Ten Blogger profile image

      Ten Blogger 7 years ago

      wow... I loved the thick forest pics.. The hard work is truely worth the views you get from the top.. Thx for sharing. !

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you Winsome. You're really catching up on Micky Deeworld! Thank you.

      Oh Creativeone, I so appreciate you. Thanks for stopping by.

      Nell Rose- if you get wheezy step back now! Thank you very much! I wish I could see England. If I could only speak the language!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Oh my God!! the picture of the man standing right on the edge!! I can feel vertigo coming on!! ha ha brilliant pictures. I wish we had that sort of panarama over here in England. It is only when I look at these pictures that I realise how small my country is. Great hub again. cheers nell

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for a great hub Micky, I just think it's to much hard work. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      You're right Micky, this looks like a great ride. Way more green than our California rock summits, but beautiful. I think you should have let that guy have a last meal though. The bears below would more readily tolerate him "dropping in" for lunch if he were well fed first. =;)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed the pictures. Don't stand too close to the computer screen when you're looking down at the Nolichucky! You might even wear a helmet while you're watching. Thank you Maita for coming by and commenting. Be safe.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      This is breathtaking wonderful ride and adventure Mick. Tnank you for the views, really breathtaking, I see that it is quite a difficult ride-- for the expert bikers like you, I am scared of high places, I have phobia So when I was looking at this one, I was smiling LOL, Thank you for the trip, Maita,

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you very much LaVieja. This is a pretty place. There are so many. Happy, happy trails.

    • LaVieja profile image

      LaVieja 7 years ago from London

      What a spectacular experience! And the photos are something else! Another thing to put on my "to do" list!!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by Teresa. You are so kind. Enjoy these picks and just feel being on top of the world.

      Dim Flaxenwick- thank you for checking out some mountain-biking. You know we sure did share his lunch. It wasn't too sad.He was over the hill anyway. He was almost as old as I was. It was hard getting his bike out of there though.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

      That was so well done, Micky. The pictures look absolutely beautiful.

      I do admire the way you spend your time, and showing others how to enjoy cycling at its best.

      Most of all I love your humour. I hope you really did share equally the lunch of the poor guy who went over the top........ Take care. x

    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      These are beautiful views and experience with nature. I wish I could enjoy more with nature the way you do. More power Micky Dee.