The Best Places for Road Biking in Asheville, NC
The Great Outdoors

The 10 Best Places for Road Biking in Asheville, NC

While mountain biking often steals the spotlight in the Asheville area, road biking enthusiasts will find themselves equally enchanted by the plethora of scenic routes available in Blue Ridge biking paradise! 

Asheville and its surrounding areas boast a diverse array of road biking opportunities, from challenging climbs to leisurely rides. Regardless of whether you’re seeking a rigorous workout or a scenic escape, these 10 road biking spots near Asheville offer a little something for everyone. 

So grab your bike, hit the road, and get outside for a cycling adventure you won’t forget!

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The 10 Best Places for Road Biking in Asheville

1. Blue Ridge Parkway

Best Places for Road Biking in Asheville: Blue Ridge Parkway

With miles upon miles of smoothly-paved Blue Ridge Parkway scenery to explore, you can’t go wrong road biking along this iconic route. Breathtaking views of rolling mountains, lush forests, and sweeping valleys will make you wish you never had to leave. 

Still, you’ll eventually run out of steam (or time) from the challenging climbs, thrilling descents, and moderate to difficult terrain. With numerous overlooks and picnic spots to check out, you’ll be blown away by scenic beauty and exhilarating rides that road cyclists can’t seem to get enough of!

2. Town Mountain Road

Another popular road biking spot located within Asheville city limits is Town Mountain Road. It spans almost 5 miles one way and is considered one of the more difficult riding roads in town. Still, Town Mountain is a favorite among local cyclists who seek a rigorous workout close to home. 

With steep gradients and hairpin turns, this ascent tests riders’ strength and endurance. The effort is well worth it, though, as cyclists are treated to panoramic vistas of downtown Asheville and the surrounding mountains once they reach the top. 

3. Burnsville Metric Loop

Go to Road Biking Spots in Asheville: Burnsville Metric Loop

Approximately 45 minutes from downtown Asheville, Burnsville Metric Loop is a moderate route spanning about 62 miles. Starting in the Burnsville Town Square, Burnsville Metric Loop offers a scenic journey through the rural countryside surrounding Asheville. 

Rolling hills, charming farmland, and peaceful valley views characterize this bike path, providing road cyclists with a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

4. College Street Climb – Tanbark Ridge Overlook Loop

Located within city limits, College Street Climb – Tanbark Ridge Overlook Loop offers a difficult 3.5-hour, 37-mile round-trip ride for the motivated. While certainly challenging, cyclists rave about this trek for its exhilarating ascent and stunning panoramic views. 

Beginning in downtown Asheville, cyclists will begin to tackle the steep climb up College Street, testing their strength and endurance as they reach higher elevations. Once at the top, riders are treated to breathtaking vistas of the city and mountain landscapes. 

Continuing along the Tanbark Ridge Overlook Loop, cyclists traverse scenic mountain roads adorned with lush foliage and tranquil forests. With its combination of challenging climbs and captivating scenery, this route is well-loved by cyclists looking for memorable and rewarding bike rides near Asheville.

5. Greenway West Loop

Asheville Best Places for Road Biking: Greenway West Loop

Greenway West Loop, also known as the French Broad River Greenway, is an easy trail perfect for beginner cyclists. Located within the heart of the city, this 14-mile loop offers a delightful and leisurely ride along Asheville’s scenic greenway system. 

Beginning near downtown Asheville, cyclists follow paved paths that wind alongside the tranquil waters of the French Broad River. With minimal elevation changes and dedicated bike lanes, the Greenway West Loop is perfect for people of all ages and abilities, including families and recreational riders. 

Along the way, cyclists can stop to admire public art installations, enjoy picnics in designated areas, or simply soak in the eclectic vibe of Asheville. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing spin or a casual outing with friends and family, the Greenway West Loop offers a charming and accessible biking experience in the heart of Asheville.

6. French Broad River Cruise

If you’re looking for more road biking along the river close to Asheville, you’ll want to check out the French Broad River Cruise. With over 40 miles of eye-catching terrain zipping through Henderson and Transylvania counties along riverfront property, you’ll be excited to explore this bike route more than once! 

However, you may need to work your way up to completing this cruise, as it’s considered a difficult ride. When you’re ready, rolling hills, pastoral landscapes, and quiet country roads will create a serene setting for cyclists seeking a peaceful and rewarding ride along historic waterways.

7. Sandy Mush Scenic Byway

Sandy Mush is one of the Asheville area’s hidden gems. Nestled behind Leicester among mountains and farmland, the Sandy Mush Scenic Byway is a moderate 40-mile round-trip route that offers road cyclists a glimpse into the region’s agricultural heritage. With minimal traffic and stunning views, this byway provides a tranquil escape to the heart of Appalachia.

8. Reems Creek / Weaverville Greenway

Best Places for Road Biking in Asheville: Reems Creek

Just a short distance from downtown Asheville, the Reems Creek / Weaverville Greenway offers multiple easy-to-moderate trails for road bikers to explore. These well-groomed tracks – inspired by small-town charm – provide cyclists with a scenic and enjoyable ride to come back to time and time again. 

9. Bearwallow Mountain Ride

Go to Road Biking Spots in Asheville: Bearwallow Mountain Ride
 Image courtesy of Leah Swann

If you’re looking for an epic ride less than 30 minutes from downtown Asheville, check out the Bearwallow Mountain Ride. More suitable for expert riders, this route offers nearly 60 miles of cycling terrain with multiple stops available along the way, including Hickory Nut Gap and Highland Brewing, Asheville’s very first craft brewery. 

Bearwallow Mountain offers cyclists a challenging climb rewarded by stunning panoramic views from the summit. The steep ascent tests riders’ strength and endurance, while the worthwhile vistas of the surrounding mountains make it a ride to remember.

10. Elk Mountain Scenic Highway

Just outside of Asheville, the Elk Mountain Scenic Highway provides cyclists with a stimulating and striking ride through the unforgettable vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This challenging route winds its way up Elk Mountain with intense climbs and rewarding descents along the way. 

While the ascent can be demanding, the sense of accomplishment at the summit make it well worth the effort! With minimal traffic and well-maintained roads, the Elk Mountain Scenic Highway is a favorite among road bikers looking to test their skills while soaking in the beauty of Western North Carolina.

There you have it! Our guide to the best places for road biking in Asheville, NC. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!

hough born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, Samantha has come to call Asheville home. First introduced to Asheville as a child (back when Bele Chere was a thing), Samantha has been coming here on and off since 2004, when her grandparents first retired in Black Mountain, NC. As an adult, Samantha graduated from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC. An official Asheville local since 2013, Samantha has lived as far east as Black Mountain, as far north as Woodfin, as far west as Candler, and now resides just south of Asheville in Hendersonville, NC. Samantha loves Asheville for its natural beauty, vibrant culture, and people that match its mountains. Owner of Organic Copy and Content, Samantha writes and does marketing for a variety of brands, ranging from nonprofits and local businesses to larger industry-disrupting corporations. Passionate about mental wellness, Samantha is also self-publishing her own memoir in 2024 on the topic of overcoming childhood trauma and navigating mental health challenges and grief as an adult parent. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys hiking with her husband, dog, and son. She also regularly horseback rides, and will talk your ear off about art, music, alternative wellness, and books. A foodie at heart, Samantha may be spotted in many of Asheville's delicious eateries (when not eating a fantastic home-cooked meal from her husband and former Starstuff bandmate).

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