Last Spring, The Town of Beech Mountain unveiled the first phase of the Beech Mountain Adventure Trail Park — the Emerald Outback Trail, eight miles of newly groomed trails criss-crossing the mountaintop. Two more phases over the next three years will bring the trail system up to 25 miles, making it one of the premier trail biking locations in the Southeast.
The Emerald Outback Trail is a combination of single track, grassy areas and dirt/gravel roads, ranging from 4,700 to 5,500 feet in elevation, which makes the Outback one of the highest mountain biking trail systems on the East Coast. About six miles are single track, described by Recreation Director Scagnelli as “your typical rocky, rooty, East Coast mountain biking single track.”
The trailhead is located right as you enter Beech Mountain, across from the Visitor Center/Town Hall. Riders (or hikers) follow paved roads for the first few minutes, cutting uphill across Beech Mountain Resort's quiet, green slopes before plunging into pristine woods.
The trail is well-marked, with green designating beginner routes and blue designating intermediate routes. The trail often emerges into open spaces with gorgeous views. While there’s plenty of isolation in the trees, the path doesn’t stray too far from some kind of connecting road or bailout point.
The majority of the trail is rated as intermediate to advanced, although there’s also terrain that beginners can easily handle. If you looking to get started, bike rentals and guidance are available.
Trails are free and open to the public seven days a week. Riders and Hikers must register at Visitor Center before proceeding to trails.
This summer, take advantage of Beech Mountain's Mountain Biking Packages, including two nights lodging, an Emerald Outback Trail Map, a Beech Mountain Trail Map, two free day passes to the Buckeye Recreation Center, two rounds of Putt-Putt Golf at the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria, and a wine tasting for two at the Banner Elk Winery. Packages start at $159.
For more information, including trail maps, visit www.emeraldoutback.com.