Enjoy DuPont

DuPont State Recreational Forest is located in North Carolina and sports over 10,000 acres of wilderness. With over 80 miles of trails, it provides visitors with a wide variety of trail types and challenges.

As one of the major tent-pole stops on my 2020 road trip, I had the pleasure of riding DuPont trails with Barrett from Red Wolf Bike Tours in nearby Brevard. You may remember Barrett from my visit to the area for the same “Seth’s Bike Hacks” ride almost a year ago. I was happy and excited to return!

Barrett – the consummate professional

This trip was originally planned for the Spring. The trip was postponed until late Summer because of Covid 19. Among the attendees this year were a number of returning customers and a few faces I had not yet met. Everyone in attendance had ridden a “Seth’s Trip” previously.

Meet the Pros

This year, we had a new guide. You may know Daniel Sapp from his writings on the Pinkbike website. He is a knowledgable guide with a great attitude. Daniel does a wonderful job providing great lines to follow down the most technical trails.

I wasn’t the only “YouTuber” in attendance. Aside from Seth (obviously), I finally got to meet John (AKA American Trail Rider). John and I have kept in touch over the last year trading ideas and techniques for our videos. This trip was a great chance to meet and ride together. We hit it off and rode often during the trip. He is a great guy and a talented rider.

Brevard in the late Summer, like many other east coast towns, can get very hot and humid. This day was no exception. We started the ride in 85º temperatures and about 80% humidity. The soak went deep – I felt as if I had jumped into a swimming pool, drenched from just 20 minutes of riding. The humidity only went up as we proceeded through the park and up the mountain. It reached an apex when the clouds rolled in and we were treated to a torrential thunderstorm.

The Ride
Mike survives the brutal downpours.

The trails down the mountain alternated between tech and flow, and the climbs were more of the same with some gravel roads thrown in for good measure. DuPont Forest has some challenging runs, but (as far as I know) it doesn’t offer anything that is overtly treacherous or dangerous. It serves as the perfect venue for someone who needs to get settled into the local climate.

There were some run-ins with hikers who seemed to be not very happy with our presence. As is the custom, we were friendly and pleasant with them. It’s important to maintain good relations with other trail users.

Our ragged group on a long and humid day of riding.

There is an old airstrip at (near) the top of the mountain. It was once used to ferry people and equipment in and out of the area when the land was under the control of the DuPont Corporation. Today, it is a long stretch of pavement that serves as a great spot to drag race (on bikes) and enjoy the beautiful forest panoramas below. A big thanks to Austin from Cognative MTB Apparel for taking this year’s group photo at the end of the runway.

The ride down the mountain was, as expected, a whole lot of fun with some tech, a lot of switchbacks, and a bit of gravel that we needed to be extra careful descending. We reached the parking lot and immediately dug into the drinks that Barrett had provided to refuel and rehydrate.

This was the “easy” day of riding. Saturday was to be the longest ride of the trip, and we had no idea what was in store for us. Little did we know that this was going to be a trip of legends.

Stay tuned…

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