Asheville, NC

Bent Creek

Bent Creek is touted as one of best loved running spots in Asheville for its miles of varied trail options around creeks and over scenic knobs. These trails are part of the Pisgah National Forest, just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville. Here, you’ll find everything from gravel Forest Service roads to rolling, bike-free singletrack. While there are numerous access points around the forest, most runners park at the North Carolina Arboretum or the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area. Some 1.3 miles of the trail passes through the Arboretum, which contains the National Native Azalea Repository.

The detailed Forest Service map can help you choose a route of any length and difficulty — all trails are well-marked and easy to follow. Here are some suggestions:

Easy: Bent Creek Gap Road (4.7 mile from Arboretum to Lake Powhatan)

Moderate: Pine Tree Loop and Explorer Loop (4.4 miles) 

Challenging: Shut In Ridge and Hard Times Road (7 miles)

  • Runner's Choice
  • Ranges from flat to hilly
  • North Carolina Arboretum or Lake Powhatan Recreation Area
  • Brevard Road. Best parking near Asheville is North Carolina Arboretum or the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area