Interview: Red Wolf MTB Tours

Red Wold MTB Tours

If you haven’t heard, Brevard North Carolina is an incredible place to ride your mountain bike that is NOT in the western part of North America.  The small town located in western NC boasts hundreds of miles of trail for all ability levels from scenic waterfall tours in DuPont State Forest to gnarly singletrack in Pisgah National Forest.  The problem is figuring out the best routes for your ability without getting lost or spending half your ride staring at a map.  Luckily we made friends with Barrett Hoover, owner of an amazing new Pisgah and DuPont Mountain Bike tour company while on a ride in Durango, Colorado a few years ago.  We suggest you make friends with Barrett and Red Wolf Mountain Bike Tours too. Here is an introduction, so it won’t be awkward.


Tell me about Red Wolf Mountain Bike Tours and why you are unique.

Red Wolf Mountain Bike Tours is our guide service offering rides in Dupont State Recreational Forest and Pisgah National Forest outside of Brevard, NC.  The company is made up of myself, Barrett, and my wife Jenna.  We do our best to create the best ride possible based upon our client’s desired riding and skill level.  Essentially maximizing the fun ratio of smiles per mile!  The goal of mountain biking (for most of us at least) is to get outdoors and have a great time on the trail.  And that is exactly what we try to do with each trip.  If you want to stop at every waterfall, awesome!  If you want to session a jump and get some pictures, great!  If you want to hammer each and every climb…. Well that’s awesome too.  

Describe what makes Brevard such a rad mountain bike destination.
Like many great mountain bike destinations, it all starts with the trails.  And we have a lot of them!  I have yet to hear anyone put a precise number on the miles of singletrack we have in this area, but I assure you that it is plenty!  Brevard has two main riding areas: Dupont State Recreational Forest and Pisgah National Forest.  Dupont offers up a ton of fast flowy riding with options to ride loops of 4 miles up to 40+ miles.  Pisgah offers the more rugged side of mountain biking:  Roots, rocks, and plenty of rowdy downhills.  Long gravel climbs to long downhills and the occasional hike a bike are standard Pisgah rides.  

But trails are only part of what makes Brevard such a cool town!  You need places to hang out once your legs are wrecked from the endless singletrack.  Brevard is a town of only about 7,000 people, but we currently have 3 breweries, including Oskar Blues.  We also have a variety of restaurants and food trucks all around town.  We have a couple of music venues that stay busy.  There are TONS of festivals.  Did I mention there are 3 unique bike shops??  Two that serve beer and one that has a killer coffee shop?  

Lastly, the people here are great.  Brevard has really seemed to embrace its identity as an outdoor recreation hub.  Anywhere you go you’ll find someone who mountain bikes, kayaks, fly fishes, or trail runs.  So if you are an outdoor enthusiast, you fit right in anywhere you go!  That’s what really makes Brevard awesome.

How did you end up in Brevard?
Jenna and I were looking to move from Alabama after she finished grad school.  Our honeymoon took us from Bend, Oregon through Alberta and down into Utah.  We were checking out towns along the way to see what we thought suited us.  Bend was definitely a contender.  Then we made a weekend trip up to Brevard and it immediately blew us away!  The riding, the people, the breweries.  We didn’t have to go west to find an awesome town!  Our families are spread out across Alabama and North Carolina, so Brevard is perfect.  Not to mention Brevard is really affordable compared to a lot of places out West!

Pisgah and DuPont Mountain Bike Tours
Describe a day on tour with Red Wolf Mountain Bike Tours.
A day with us typically starts at a bike shop.  Many of our customers rent bikes from one of the local shops (which all have a great selection of high end bikes).  We will meet up, make sure you get properly set up on a bike, grab any last minute items from the shop, and then head out to whichever trailhead we have decided on for that day.  If it’s a full day tour we will have sandwiches that everyone can pack, along with some trail snacks.  

Out on the trail is where the fun starts!  We try to warm up for a bit and make sure everyone is comfortable on their bikes, making any adjustments as needed.  Once we get rolling in earnest, any significant trail features will be called out ahead of time to keep anyone from being surprised.  We make time for plenty of water and snack breaks, snap plenty of pictures, and don’t even mind jumping in the creek if that’s your kind of a good time!

After a couple of hours we will stop for a lunch break, usually either at a cool waterfall or scenic overlook.  And then we keep riding until everyone is sufficiently whooped!!  Our goal is to help each rider to really make the most of their time in Brevard by riding the best trails.  Once we are done riding for the day, we can help you plan out a solid evening of food, beer, or whatever suits you best!  

What is your favorite trail?

Oh man, that’s a tough call for sure…. But if I had to pick one I would say Black Mountain in Pisgah.  It really seems to encompass a lot of what makes Pisgah so great.   Long grind to the top, technical max heart rate climbing, and then the ever changing rutted out descent.  Definitely tough to beat.  

What is your favorite mountain bike destination other than Brevard?

Right now I would have to say Bend, Oregon.  I have only visited once, but I feel like I barely scratched the surface.  They have a ton of trails.  I want to do some of the hut to hut rides out there.  Riding to a different place each day with a warm hut that’s fully stocked with food just sounds like a great time!

What is your current mountain bike?  

Oooo man, I’m pretty excited about this one.  I just got the new Ibis Ripley LS v3.  I have only had it for a couple of weeks now, but so far I am super impressed.  The 2.6 tires are pretty rad so far.  I can’t wait to really get some miles on it.

 Pisgah and DuPont Mountain Bike Tours
What is your favorite thing to do off the bike in Brevard?  

Getting the dogs out for a hike is always a good time for sure.  We have some incredible wilderness areas nearby that are only accessible by foot, so exploring some of those amazing areas is definitely fun.  Also, did I mention Brevard has 3 breweries??

Where should visitors look to stay when visiting?

It really depends on what you are looking for.  Do you want to be close to downtown?  Check out the Red House Inn.  Camping in Pisgah?  Davidson River Campground.  Hotel on the cheap?  Sunset Motel is pretty rad.  How about an awesome cabin?  Pilot Cove is your place.  
There are also countless AirBnb’s if that’s your thing as well!  Just pay attention to location depending on if you want to be way out by yourself or close enough to walk into town.  Also, cell service can be hit or miss, so if you rely on cell signal, best to check ahead of time.  

What is your favorite climb to access the goods?

Favorite climb?? Do people have favorite climbs?  ….  I do love the challenge of the climb up Cedar Rock in Dupont.  Brutally steep climbing up giant exposed slabs of rock with an amazing view at the top… Ok so maybe I do have a favorite…

Flow trail of natural gnar?

I always enjoy catching some air and ripping berms down a well-built flow trail such as Ridgeline in Dupont.  But I definitely get more satisfaction out of a rowdy natural trail.  The challenge of riding roots and rocks that weren’t sculpted by a machine is tough to beat.  You are at the mercy of the terrain.  It’s humbling and challenging, but also rewarding.  

Describe your perfect day.

What is this, an online dating profile??  Waking up in a tent on a cool morning.  Drinking good coffee and eating pancakes.  Riding a new trail somewhere awesome with good people.  Washing up in a clear creek.  Cold beers in a cooler.  Dinner by a campfire.  Repeat.  

 

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