The paved, 3.62-mile Point Lookout Trail follows the Old NC 10/Highway 70 route through the Royal Gorge, once known at the Central Highway, through the Pisgah National Forest. The trail ascends more than 900 feet between Old Fort and Ridgecrest, with long-range views from the famous Point Lookout (tourist attraction of yesteryear).
From the lookout, the trail crosses over the railroad and offers several nice views of several rail tunnels. The trail is a steady climb, and many bikers choose to ride slowly to the top then coast down.
The Point Lookout Trail is frequently used as the return leg for the rugged Kitsuma Mountain Bike Trail.
Parking and Trail Access
From I-40, take Exit 73/Old Fort and go north on Catawba Ave. to Main St./US 70; turn left and take the next right on Old Highway 70. Continue to the intersection of Mill Creek Road; parking is at the picnic grounds on left, from May to October.
You can get closer by continuing to Piney Grove Baptist church; parking is usually available on the shoulder. Do not park on church property. The gate and beginning of the trail is just ahead.
When you start your bike ride from the church, it's up hill all the way. There is an excellent paved road, some beautiful plants and flowers, and lots of heavy breathing. Take time to enjoy the view from the 2 wooden benches, see picture. Coming down, ...