Monday, July 16, 2012

Point Lookout Greenway Bike Trail near Asheville, NC

A section of Old Hwy 70 is now a 3.6 mile paved trail near Asheville, NC, connecting Ridgecrest (near Black Mountain) with Old Fort.  It is wonderful little section for walking on, road biking and/or mountain biking and can easily be made into a 10 mile round trip ride.

Getting there: From Asheville, NC via I-40 take the Old Fort exit #72, go 1 mile, turn left onto Old Highway 70, go 2.4 miles to the Mill Creek Road intersection and pull into the Old Fort Picnic Area on your left.  From May to October the Old Fort Picnic Area is open and the closest place to park.  It will add another 1/2 mile to your walk or ride each way.  There are picnic tables and bathrooms available at the picnic area.  If closed, Andrew's Geyser or the Depot in Old Fort is another good place to park, especially for cyclists.



Old Hwy 70 was closed many years ago when I-40 was completed and re-opened in 2008 as The Point Lookout Greenway.  Prior to the completion of I-40, US 70 was the primary east-west link across the country.  My mother recalls many drives up this section of 70.  Automobiles would stop at Point Lookout to add water to the overheated radiators after the steep uphill climb.  The old asphalt remains underneath the new blacktop.  The trail still climbs 900 feet in elevation and the views all along the way are wonderful, particularly at Point Lookout, now with benches, flagpole and information kiosk.  Many organized runs and rides now use this section.


If you are visiting Asheville, NC, lodging alternatives include Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Cabins and Vacation Rentals through Vacation-In-Asheville.  Reservation offices are open 9am - 7pm daily.