When cold temperatures and Frankenstorm Sandy hit the East Coast in late October, many of us were anticipating the winter season to end all winter seasons. “We’ll be shredding in May with all the snow we’re going to get!” we yelled while high fiving strangers in the milk/water/canned food/candle aisle of the local grocery store. Ski slopes opened early, El Nino was in the air, and life was good. Unfortunately, we came back down to planet Earth over the next month, and here we are again in mid-December with mild temps and dirt, not snow, beneath our feet. Before we resign ourselves to a winter like last year, we must remember that this is fairly typical in the Southeast. Winter will make its official arrival soon enough, but in the meantime, take advantage by getting in one more weekend of warm weather activity.
The best way to recreate outside and take in some nature while still scratching that adrenaline itch is to hop on the mountain bike and attack some flowy singletrack. The best place to do that is at DuPont State Forest outside Asheville, N.C. The extensive trail system in DuPont is more buffed out than in nearby Pisgah National Forest, providing buttery smooth downhill sections and manageable climbs. The scenery can’t be beat, with waterfall after waterfall along the trails and Lake Julia on site. Either way you ride it, linking up loops or trying the 35-mile IMBA Epic Ride, you can spend all day in DuPont and not cross your tracks.