Daniel Ridge Loop.
I did this loop both clock and counter, but would recommend doing it clockwise, unless you really like mean rocky and bumpy descents, if this is the case then do it counter clock.
Trail Stats & Information
Nearby City: Brevard
Length: 4.8 total miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Aerobic level: Moderate. Technical difficulty: Very easy to difficult.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Trailhead Elev: 2,900 feet
Top Elev: 3,300 feet
The cove of Daniel Ridge Creek may just be the most peaceful, beautiful place you have ever seen. Words cannot do justice to the wonder of this place, where the air, the stream, the rocks, and the trees all sparkle as if freshly made by the Creator’s hands. It touched me that strongly. Be sure to bring your camera, as the 60-foot waterfall at the beginning is only a prelude to the beauty of this place. But be forewarned that this sylvan paradise is guarded by one of the meanest descents around. After leaving Farlow Gap, the next mile is nothing but rocks, more rocks, and gaping holes where the rocks used to be. In spots the trail narrows to 6 inches wide, running along an almost sheer fall line. This trail would scare most people to simply walk it in some places. Riding it seemed like insanity. I loved it. Tread: 3.8 miles of singletrack; 1 miles of Forest Service road.
The trail is well marked and starts from a parking, just go around the closed gate and follow the gravel road over a bridge. At this point the decission is yours for a clock or a counter. i did both, and prefered the clock.
The first 10 min. is an easy breeze along a graveled path that will take you to what once was an old bridge. from here you will probably be in Granny Gear for the next 30 – 40 min, depending on how long and how often you take a break. Although this climb is not impossible, it is very demanding, with root carpets, baby heads and most other things we all hate trying to make this ride a misserable one, there is also a short very narrow section of single track with no room for error at all, go off here, and it’s about a 50ft almost vertical drop. When you get to the intersection with Farlow Gap, you have still got about another 0.5 miles to go, before things start getting a hell of a lot easier.
Once at the top, when you start feeling the urge to get your gears clicking to higher mode, you can start relaxing. Although after such a hell climb all one wants to do is “Bomb it” you really have to stay alert on this trail, it goes without saying, that you need to be very careful for walkers and their dogs, but you also need to be on high alert for some very sudden creek crossings, most with bridges, but definitely not approachable at high speeds.There are some really nice gradual switch backs, plenty of rhodo tunnels, and as a grand finale, the Daniel Waterfall. From the waterfall just follow the gravel back to the car