4. Fire Mountain

The newer Cherokee Fire Mountain Trail System is located in Native American Cherokee territory and sponsored by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. All of the Fire Mountain trails are clustered on the side of the 4,000-foot mountain. Three main trails converge at the top of the mountain. Once at the top, pick any of the three for a thrilling descent down giant bermed turns and huge jumps. All the jumps are table tops, so rolling across the top is a fun option if you don’t take flight.

Fire Mountain North Carolina
The Fire Mountain Trail System is lap after lap of pure fun with fun trail features and lots of huge berms

Fire Mountain’s “Kessel Run” to “Skilly” is the longest downhill option

If you can only ride one trail on Fire Mountain, it should be the black-diamond Kessel Run. It’s a one-way trail that finishes with an iconic North Carolina downhill from the very top of Fire Mountain. It’s technical in the best possible way. You’ll find berms and bumps that guarantee nothing but fun. You can plummet down as fast as you’d like, knowing you won’t run into anyone. Link Kessel Run to the more advanced Skilly to tackle a series of wooden features with big kickers, drops, and wall-ride berms. 

With bigger berms and jumps than DuPont, Fire Mountain is sure to please everyone. Unlike other downhills, this one is suitable for confident beginners and intermediate riders. Sure, the elevation change is tough, but the trail itself is fairly smooth and manageable. 

About the author
Josh Whitmore bio
Expert Cycling Coach, MTB Skills Instructor, and Rock Climbing Guide

Having grown up in Brevard, the heart of MTB in NC, Josh is an avid lover of all things outdoor adventure related. Coming from a background as a professional mountain bike racer and a previous career in outdoor education and mountain guiding, Josh has worked full time since 2012 as a cycling coach and MTB skills instructor/guide. Josh also stays connected to the rock climbing world and works part time as a climbing guide.

With a Masters degree in outdoor education, Josh has dedicated his life to teaching others outdoor skills and helping them pursue their passions. In addition to working with clients directly, Josh often serves as an instructor-trainer, helping other people become excellent outdoor skills instructors.

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