Kerr Scott Trails, only 37 minutes from Boone, NC, are mountain biking jewels tucked in three different locations on the shores of the W. Kerr Scott Reservoir.
Length: 40+ Miles in Combined Trail System
Trailhead(s): Various – See Map Below
Elevation Gain: Varies Depending on Route Selection
Trail Type: Trail System
Dogs: Allowed, Must be Leashed
Difficulty: Beginner (2), Intermediate (10), Expert (1)
Permit Required? No
Season: Year Round, but Spring, Summer, and Fall Preferred
The Kerr Scott mountain bike trails are jewels tucked in three different locations on the shores of the W. Kerr Scott Reservoir. In a state with such iconic riding as Pisgah and DuPont State Forest, one might overlook these trails that sit only 37 minutes from Boone in Wilksboro, North Carolina. But if you’re like me, you like to spread your mountain biking wings and explore as much area riding as possible. I can assure you, W. Kerr Scott’s trails are definitely worth exploring.
The Kerr Scott mountain bike trails are broken into three sections. When taken together, they form an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Epic ride of over 30 miles. Most people, however, target one or more of the sections in any given day. The three sections are the Overmountain Victory Trail, Dark Mountain, and Warrior Creek. Each has its own personality and each is a blast to ride.
Overmountain Victory Trail Area
The Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT) area is comprised of 5 trails. The OVT, itself, starts at the visitor center and runs for 5.1 miles with about 925′ of elevation gain. You can add mileage to this by picking up the Shiner’s Run Trail (2.3 miles), Lower Horton’s Hollar (1.6 miles), and Upper Horton’s Hollar (1.9 miles), which all interconnect with the OVT. The trails are all intermediate and relatively easy, with excellent flow and great berms to allow you to keep your speed. The riding is fast and fun. There is also the OVT Beginner Trail (1 mile) for those want a little warm-up or are new to mountain biking.
The Dark Mountain area is set-up with a number of trails intersecting the Core Trail, allowing the selection of a number of routes. This area sports five intermediate trails with beginner trail connectors and the Core Trail which is double track. The riding is relatively easy and flowy, with a number of light climbs. A bonus is the Green Meanie Downhill Trail which offers some great berms, jumps, and a small rock garden. If these features aren’t your bag, you can always ride around any feature that makes you feel uncomfortable.
The Warrior Creek area is comprised of three trails. For me, this is the most fun area of the Kerr Scott mountain bike trails. It is the most advanced of the three sections, which is probably why I like it, but the vast majority of the riding here is manageable for any intermediate rider.
The Warrior Creek Trail is a 10.2 mile intermediate trail that can be combined with a short section of the Warrior Creek OVT Section Trail to form a loop. The trail is, frankly, awesome. It is expertly built to manage flow and maximize the number of berms on the trail. I am a huge fan of berms and think they are a blast to ride. If you are too or have never ridden berms and want to try it, make sure to ride this trail.
The Warrior Creek OVT Section Trail is a 2.4 mile intermediate out and back, which most riders use only to access the area and for the short segment that enables looping the Warrior Creek Trail. There’s really not much more to say about this trail.
The final trail is the Warrior Creek Headwaters Loop Trail. This trail is the only one in the system rated as expert. The trail is one way and has boulders, chutes, and rock slabs, combined with berms, jumps, and drops. At only 1.7 miles, the trail is short in length but big on fun. For those who crave tech, this is the one for you at W. Kerr Scott Reservoir.
The Kerr Scott mountain bike trails are a ton of fun to ride. You are not going to find much technical here, but if you are an intermediate rider or an expert who loves flow and berms, berms, berms, put this on your list. Obviously, it is not a destination system, but being only 37 minutes from Boone it is a must ride if you are in that neck of the woods. Enjoy!
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