Bent Creek Experimental Forest Description
Only 15 minutes from Asheville, Bent Creek is a popular destination for this city's mountain bike community.
The trail network at Bent Creek is varied, with trails suitable for beginners, up to more challenging trails for
intermediate riders. A mix of both singletrack and wide doubletrack trails that follow old roads and railroad beds,
the trail system allows for a variety of fun loops. Some of the trails also connect to other Pisgah National Forest
trails, including the hiking-only Shut-In trail.
In the center of the forest lies Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, a wonderful destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Run by
the National Forest Service, this area offers a cozy campground with large, private campsites. Lake Powahtan offers fishing
and a swimming beach.
While riding the trails at Bent Creek, you will see signs posted along the trail designating sections of forest which
are part of research projects. This is the work of scientists from the USDA Forest Service who have been studying forest
ecosystems here for over 80 years. Their research projects include the study of invasive plant species, impacts on wildlife
from forest management practices, hardwood regeneration, and many other important topics related to the health and sustainability
of our forests.
While in the area, also take the opportunity to the drive along the southern-most section of Blue Ridge Parkway,
which borders Bent Creek to the south-east. This section of the Blue Ridge has spectacular scenery and is especially
beautiful in the autumn.