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MST/Powhatan Loop

Intermediate
 4.5 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful loop taking in views of the Bent Creek area.


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Map Key

9.9

Miles

16.0

KM

92%

Runnable

3,073' 937 m

High

2,128' 649 m

Low

1,274' 388 m

Up

1,302' 397 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views

Overview

This is a great loop as much of the singletrack on it doesn't allow mountain bikers, and the road sections are beautiful yet wide enough for mountain bikers to pass easily.

Need to Know

There is a good amount of parking at the starting point. However, I can imagine it being a challenge to find a spot during busy times. If that is the case, you can drive down (southwest) further to the developed parking lot and hope for more parking there.

Runner Notes

There are a lot of very gentle sections on this run. There are also some steep/root-y/rocky sections, particularly in the beginning.

Description

This loop starts at the where Hard Times Road and MST connection. I went clockwise. This requires a steep climb right away. If you prefer to get your climbing in after a warm up, take this loop counter-clockwise.

Follow the MST for about 2 miles until you get to a proper paved parking area on the BRP. At that point, take a right onto Sleepy Gap Trail, which will end at the Explorer Loop #337. Hang a left onto this loop and follow around clockwise to the Pine Tree Loop #336, which you'll take to the right.

Follow until you can take a right onto the Deerfield Loop #335. Use the Deerfield Connector to get to Small Creek Trail, where you'll finally take a left. This will follow a (yes) "small creek" to Lake Powahatan, where you'll take a right to follow Homestead Trail #333 to Hard Times Road. Take a right (how is it possible to take so many rights without going in circles?) and follow this gravel road up a gentle incline back to the MST.

If you want to add some mileage, you can stay on Hard Times Road past the starting point until it connects back with the MST/Shut-in Trail near the parking for the arboretum.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jason Doedderlein

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#2572

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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#2,572

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497 Since Mar 11, 2020
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Photos

Pine Tree Loop
Mar 11, 2020 near Bent Creek, NC
Bent Creek Experimental Forest Hard Times Road
Jan 22, 2020 near Bent Creek, NC
Trees
Mar 11, 2020 near Avery C…, NC

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Aug 5, 2020
Kelly Boone
9.1mi — 2h 04m