Town of Banner Elk, North Carolina

Biking and Hiking

Biking in and Around Banner Elk, NC

Mountain biking is fast becoming one of the most popular activities in the High Country. There are several bike races and biking events that are held in the area. If you are visiting us in the spring, summer or fall, check out a biking race or event that is scheduled during your stay.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There are several trails to ride in and around Banner Elk:

Beech Mountain

Beech Mountain has 51 miles of biking routes. Lance Armstrong covered many, if not all, of them during his road to recovery. There are climbs of 1,400 feet in only 3-1/2 miles, offering challenging rides for even the most advanced cyclists as well as scenic routes for those who just want to cruise and enjoy the scenery. In May, Beech Mountain holds the BEEST WEEKEND Cycling Time Trial where you can actually do the ride that inspired Lance Armstrong. Beech Mountain invites you to participate in this inaugural event of fun for the entire family.

Scheduled guided group rides are on the third Saturday of the month, May through October. The rides are led by Beech Mountain's own Gil Adams, Daniel Scagnelli and Rory Ellington. Rides will leave from the Beech Mountain Visitors Center, next to the Town Hall, at 10:30 a.m. and will return to the start at end of the ride. A Bike Beech Mountain Guide is available by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 828-387-9238.  For more information and routes of each ride, call the Beech Mountain Recreation Center at 828-387-3003.

Also, the Beech Mountain Bike Club has developed 11 rugged trails with over 40 miles of adventure for your riding enjoyment. Their club members and sponsors are devoted to developing and keeping their trails maintained for the use of all mountain bikers.

Sugar Mountain

There are biking trails that interweave throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain. Trail access is free from May through October during daylight hours. Trail maps are located in a black marked mailbox at the base of the Flying Mile slope. Trails are constantly being maintained so please be cautious. Also keep in mind that weather and other variables can change the condition of any trail. While riding a bike within the Village limits, helmets are required. Sugar Mountain Resort provides a lift service to mountain bikers. You can bring your bike and ride the lift up and practice your downhill skills. The Showdown at Sugar Mountain is a NORBA National Championship Event that showcases both professionals and also has some amateur events. This event is usually very big with participants coming from all 50 states, and usually takes place sometime in May.

Hiking in and Around Banner Elk

For summer fun, enjoy the mild weather as you hike your way through the North Carolina mountains and explore the numerous hiking trails around Banner ELk, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Grandfather Mountain. Experience the incredible autumn views, spring wildflowers, and the peaceful retreats typical of the mountains of North Carolina. Day trips abound, from guided fly fishing tours, to white water rafting excursions for the more adventuresome.

Banner Elk is at the center of all this and more, with spectacular North Carolina mountain scenery everywhere you look! We will show you in this site our beautiful piece of the earth, traveling to the quaint and unique villages that surround Banner Elk. Blue Ridge mountain rentals and retreats at Valle Crucis, Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and more! Catch a trout in Foscoe, and discover the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountain range – the majestic Grandfather Mountain.

Biking and Hiking Committee

First Thursday Night

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets on the first Thursday of each month at 4pm at the Town Hall.

Here are some important links regarding bicycling in The High Country:

Rail to Trail Conversancy 
League of American Bicyclist
North Carolina DOT Bicycle 
Magic Cycles
Boone Bike and Touring
Weekly Rides