Ride Kanuga Bike Park Opens this Weekend

Jul 23, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  


With races canceled due to Covid19, a lot of racers and riders have had a little more time on their hands than normal. In Western NC, a few of them, including Neko Mulally and Isak Leivsson, have been hard at work building a new bike park along with help from a host of other locals including the Shaw brothers.

The idea for a new bike park stemmed from the demand for a maintained mountain bike-only trail network in Western NC. While the area is known for its rugged and remote terrain, the trails in the surrounding national and state forests are all multi-use, multi-directional, and not designed for mountain bikes, which may come as a surprise for many. While that's part of the regions' allure, the absence of mountain bike trails has left the area a bit behind and led to a lot of controversy surrounding the upkeep and management of current trails in the forests, especially given the large numbers of multiple user groups vying for access.

Camp Kanuga is located a short drive from both Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest, near Hendersonville, NC. The camp and its adjacent conference center typically host thousands of kids throughout the summer and business expos over the year, but with COVID-19 it's been strangely quiet for most of the year, outside of the sound of trail building.

Last year, Kanuga approached local mountain biker Dr. Dave Lamond, who lives next to the camp about what it would take to add trails to the property for its campers. Lamond then reached out to Neko Mulally and formulated a plan to build some trails, eventually opening the riding to the public.

While the bike park was planned to be opened late at the end of 2020, the lack of campers along with Neko, Isaac, and others having no travel on their calendars allowed the timeline to be accelerated. Over the course of a few months, they've managed to build the full first phase of the bike park which opens this weekend. With the camp and conference center being completely on private property, there was no red tape to go through either, once they broke ground.

Kanuga is open to monthly and annual pass holders 24/7/365. The park will currently be open to day pass holders from Thursday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. There will be eMTB rentals available and there is a "Pro Shop" where riders can find essentials for the day.

There are 10 trails, including one climbing trail with 520 vertical feet of drop from the top. There are three progressive jump trails, from green to black, handbuilt singletrack, and something to ride for everything from a hardtail to a downhill bike. The trails have been built with riding in mind and will be maintained by a trail crew on a daily basis. There are plans for Ride Kanuga to expand in the future to include an expanded bike shop and adventure center in 2021 along with more kids' trails, a skills park, more XC trails, and more trails on the mountain with more riding to come each year!

Trails range from jumps and flow to natural and raw.

Callie Horwath was the lead operator on the High Rocks Climb, Evergreen, Rhodo Ruckus and GNCC trails and key in developing the bike park.

Fresh dirt and fresh berms.

Kanuga offers trails for all skill levels with options for everyone, kid to adult.

Isaac Leivsson and his pup, Casper spent a lot of hours on the mountain over the last few months.

Ride Kanuga will be open this Saturday at 10 am, with bike demos and food trucks all weekend.

For more information, visit ridekanuga.com


  • 4 0
 That little tree hop jump looks suspiciously familiar to the one in this video: www.pinkbike.com/news/video-neko-and-logan-mulally-and-the-shaws-build-a-loamer.html
  • 5 0
 i'd love to own a shop that sold ebikes in this area. i foresee lots of business in their future.
  • 1 3
 The only place I rode an ebike was in this area, and a lot of people had them, and I will add the ebike made the riding way more fun(meaning the trails weren't very interesting)
  • 3 2
 Not much different than other places that are machine built downhill runs. Pedal up and blast down. It’s another year round place to ride big jumps and features. I guess the pay to pedal up is what rubs some, but it’s another option to have.
  • 8 0
 If people are complaining about pedaling their bikes they shouldn't be on bikes
  • 2 0
 @honda50r: or having to pay to ride some place that is built out and groomed like I assume this to be
  • 1 0
 I guess I’ll find out this weekend, but I’m curious about the length and grade of the climb back up and how many loops an average non-ebike rider should expect to get in a few hours?
  • 8 0
 I’ve ridden every trail in a session, a little over 13 miles, 3200’ of climbing and moving time was 2:20. The climb back up is about 1.4 miles and I do it in about 16 minutes.
  • 1 0
 Somebody was nice enough to load the trails so you can see elevation profiles onto Trailforks:

  • 2 0
 This place is only 40 mins from my house. Really stoked about this even if it doesn't have a lift!
  • 2 0
 N.C. Is really stepping this up in the bike community this year! Well done.
  • 1 0
 This is awesome!! NC really knows whats up with whats up and doesn't hesitate. Too bad Virginia cant wrap their head around it.
  • 1 0
 Damn I’m ready. I don’t know if I should wait for the initial crowd to die down or not.
  • 1 0
 Jeez, this place is just 3 miles from my Dad's front door. Guess who I'm going to be visiting more in the near future?
  • 4 0
 Your dad probably misses you and wishes you would visit more!
  • 1 0
 Don't they know ebikes are going to ruin trail access? How dare they open new trails which allow ebikes!
  • 1 0
 Not shuttle-able. Correct?
Pedal back up.
  • 4 2
 Correct. Did 4,000 ft in 2 hrs on the eMTB the other day.
  • 4 0
 @danielsapp: so 8 hours on an enduro rig?? ????
  • 1 0
 @Ccouch5859: nah, maybe 3-4-5.
  • 2 2
 @danielsapp: paid that money?
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