Bennett Gap Trail
Summary: A recent favorite Pisgah trail that consists of several steep sections along a ridgeline, technical rocky sections, many roots, and several moderate sized drops.
Difficulty: Pisgah Advanced - Several steep segments that are narrow, with few line choices, and 4 particularly difficult sections consisting of steep, narrow rock rolldowns, large drops, and high consequence segments. Most segments are short and are walked by many, but notable due to their difficulty. Further down, there are several rooty, steep sections with awkward lines, moderate, but rollable, drops, and off camber water bars. Can be ridden by Pisgah Intermediate riders, with the expectation that 4 or so sections will require walking.
Length/Elevation Change: 3 miles, mostly downhill, but with a few hike a bike climbing sections in the middle
Notable features: Near the top, there is an awkward rock garden with a few line choices, all with their own downsides. It is rollable, but the best lines aren't obvious riding blind. Shortly after that section, there is a steep rock rolldown that rolls into a narrow segment and has a challenging run-in. Immediately after, is a climbing section that is challenging, but low consequence. The most notable section is a rocky left hand turn that leads to a steep, narrow rock garden with a right hand turn into a large drop between two trees (Many walk these segment). From there, aside from a few climbing sections, the trail opens up a bit, weaving between some moderate roots, and picks up speed quickly. The exception is one short segment with several awkward waterbars and a small drop.
There are two ways this trail is typically accessed. The shortest route is to climb Avery Creek Rd from the horse stables, which intersects with Bennett and Buckwheat, where you can pick the trail up.
The other is to climb Clawhammer Rd, go left at the intersection with Black, continue on to Buckwheat Knob, which leads directly into Bennett.