Let’s Ride!

The trails at Rocky Knob park are now OPEN. Heavy equipment is still in use in the parking area. The playground and shelter remain closed. Trail users please park in the FRONT of the parking lot either near the Gateway closer to the Hwy, or on the front side of the BAC trailer. There will be ongoing trailwork to fix some washed-out areas. Use caution around the landscapers doing work in the parking area and also the volunteers you encounter on the trail. Enjoy!

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For Your Inner Cartographer

In case you missed it, Rocky Knob has an updated, interactive map complete with notes and photos. We’ve given it a home on the right hand side of this page. If this map doesn’t satisfy your inner map-geek, then try this elevation profile tool. You can click on any trail at Rocky Knob and below a profile of the trail will appear. Pretty cool.

Elevation Profile of the soon-to-be-opened Ol Hoss Trail.

Have fun out there and look before you leap.

Midsummer Trail Report: Beginning to End

Midsummer Trail Report: Beginning to End

Jared Harris in the rocks.

Summer is stoke season at Rocky Knob: the trails climb sweet and rip hard; the lush forest provides a solitude of pleasant temps; new faces, out of towners, and first-time locals all share the same smile and enthusiasm; and volunteers continue to march toward the completion of these trails. There’s much to report, so here it is:

The Big Picture

You may have noticed the trail head structure, the pavilion, and a pile of giant hemlocks destined to be the kids’ adventure playground. The parking lot area will be transformed into a public gathering space befitting some of the best trails around, complete with an artistic landscaping and pavement.  A pump track is underway for the parking lot area too. We will need much more rain before we can shape it. Stay tuned.

The Trails

Rough-in of the hanging bog bridge.

The skinny exit to the hanging bog bridge.

The lower mountain (Rocky Branch, Middle Earth, the Skills Areas, and the PBJ) are near peak conditions. We have opened a new trail (really the complete Boat Rock Loop). With major efforts from a few Dirty Thursdays, the Boat Rock Loop gained over another mile. If you’ve ridden Boat Rock, you will notice the Trail Closed Signs are missing near the connector trail (now dubbed The Boat Rock Bail Out). This extra mileage adds another major climb to Boat Rock and provides additional downhill through incredible terrain. Consider riding the new DH a little defensively your first time down. The trail is a little more aggressive in places.

Feature Teaser: Paul Stahlschmidt tests the new roller. Caution — this feature is not open yet.

Elevation Profile of the Boat Rock Loop

Benchmark Trails returned this early summer to fine tune some of their trails and  wrap up their work on their wood structures. The crew added two more structures: a bridge over a hanging slab bog and a wooden roller feature through a boulderfield.

Beginning to End

A few of the 22 All-Star volunteers from last week’s Dirty Thursday ready to rip the first ever summit to parking lot train.

Last week’s Dirty Thursday marked an important occasion: Twenty-two volunteers began finishing the final trail originally planned for Rocky Knob. This trail, called “Ol’ Hoss” (named for Doc Watson’s guitar), will provide the most formidable climb on the mountain. It departs the Boat Rock Loop on the east side of the mountain a climbs to the summit of Rocky Knob at 4000 feet. From the summit, riders drop a rock chute, ride a wooden roller feature into a berm, and rail several giant berms before regaining the Boat Rock Loop.

Road Gap: Dawson airs his table on the newest PBJ feature.

Dirt dogs: Moto, Dawson, and Mike Cole shaping the new pump track.

Even though we are nearing completion of what we set out to accomplish three years ago, we will continue to add to and improve our trails. For example, we have added new features to the PBJ trail to provide  a short loop to session. After the first step-down is a new left hand optional step-up to hip jump/wallride that sends you back up to the top. We highly recommend checking this out before attempting. More new features will be appearing soon.

Look before you leap and enjoy the stoke season.

Chad O. at home on the PBJ.

Trail Survey

A study about Rocky Knob is being conducted by faculty and students in the Department of Economics at Appalachian State University in cooperation with the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority and Boone Area Cyclists. The survey should take only about 10-15 minutes to complete. Please take a few minutes of your time to answer the questions at the link below. The purpose of the survey is to give Rocky Knob users an opportunity to share ideas that may help develop strategies in key areas.

We would like to assure you that your participation in this survey is completely voluntary. If there are any questions you don’t wish to answer, please go to the next question. You, of course, have the right to end this survey at any time. The information we are requesting will be used only for research purposes. No one will be identified in any reports coming out of the survey. Your email address will never be associated with your answers. All responses are confidential.

Here is a link to the survey.

If you have any questions about this study, you may contact one of us using the contact information below.

Sincerely,

Melissa Weddell
Department of Health, Leisure
and Exercise Science
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608
Phone: 828-262-6303
email: weddellmj@appstate.edu
 

and

Dr. John Whitehead
Department of Economics
Appalachian State University
email: whiteheadjc@appstate.edu
Phone: 828-262-6121