Bicycling Magazine Asheville, NC: Jeter Mountain 

Ride this hill-climb challenge--one of the area's toughest--for year-round, quad-burning ascents and 63.4 miles of lonely country roads south of Asheville.

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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 13 Aug 2009 4:25:40 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: North Carolina (NC)
Distance: 63.4 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 5418 ft
Total Loss: 5420 ft
Net Change: -2 ft
Difficulty: 9 / 10
Tags: Asheville, North Carolina, Penrose, Pisgah National Forest
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

The short, but steep hills south of Asheville make this metric century one of western North Carolina's more difficult rides. From the start point in Etowah, you'll warm up with a flat roll along the French Broad River before turning steeply uphill on Jeter Mountain Road at mile 7.6. It's only 2.5 miles, but this narrow, winding climb begins with 8-percent grades and approaches 18 percent toward its top. The downhill is long and mellow—be sure to check your brakes before you begin—but there's still a few thousand feet of ascending up ahead.

This route rolls below South Mountain through the DuPont State Forest, and loops south for another steep climb on East Fork Road before the ride's final push: 1.5 miles to the top of Walnut Gap. The last 20 miles are flat and easy, rolling north past Brevard and closing the 48.5-mile loop on Crab Creek Road before backtracking to Etowah.

There are long stretches of lonely and narrow country roads without cycling-specific services. Ride cautiously, especially in the curving descents and bring repair equipment and supplies, especially water. Also, watch for traffic on both sections of Crab Creek Road, both sections of Greenville Highway (US 276), and Wilson Road.

Still looking for a challenge, but prefer a mellower ride? Consider the shorter, less hilly Jeter Cheater instead.

-Mapped with help from the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club

TO TRAILHEAD: From Asheville, take I-26 S to exit 44; turn right onto US 25. Drive 1 mile and turn right onto Rugby Dr. and turn left at the T-junction in 0.9 miles. Continue 4.1 miles, and turn right onto Brevard Rd. Park at the Ingles Market, 3 miles ahead on the road's left side.

Position Format: Datum:

Jeter Mountain

Distance: 63.40 mi Points: 1331
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 1.66 mi Turn right at NC-1191/River Rd Then go 3.19 mi
2 4.86 mi Continue on John Talley Rd/NC-1527 Then go 2.41 mi
3 7.26 mi Turn left at Crab Creek Rd/NC-1528 Then go 0.17 mi
4 7.43 mi Turn left at Jeter Mountain Rd/NC-1133/NC-1529 Then go 1.52 mi
5 8.95 mi Turn right to stay on Jeter Mountain Rd/NC-1133/NC-1529 Then go 0.07 mi
6 9.02 mi Turn right to stay on Jeter Mountain Rd/NC-1133/NC-1529 Then go 0.79 mi
7 9.81 mi Turn left to stay on Jeter Mountain Rd/NC-1133/NC-1529 Then go 0.10 mi
8 9.91 mi Turn left to stay on Jeter Mountain Rd/NC-1133/NC-1529 Then go 4.55 mi
9 14.45 mi Turn right at Jeter Mountain Terrace/NC-1244 Then go 0.12 mi
10 14.58 mi Sharp right at Crab Creek Rd Then go 0.72 mi
11 15.30 mi Turn left at NC-1128/Old CCC Rd Then go 2.31 mi
12 17.61 mi Turn right at Mountain Top Demonstration Trail Then go 0.02 mi
13 17.63 mi Turn right at NC-1128/Old CCC Rd Then go 1.02 mi
14 18.65 mi Sharp right at NC-1260/Sky Valley Rd Then go 0.86 mi
15 19.52 mi Turn left at Dupont Rd/NC-1259 Then go 0.46 mi
16 19.97 mi Continue on Duponte Rd/NC-1593 Then go 4.25 mi
17 24.23 mi Turn left at Cascade Lake Rd/NC-1536 Then go 0.17 mi
18 24.39 mi Turn left to stay on Cascade Lake Rd/NC-1536 Then go 2.27 mi
19 26.67 mi Slight left at Green River Rd Then go 0.07 mi
20 26.74 mi Turn right at Greenville Hwy/US-276 Then go 3.51 mi
21 30.25 mi Turn left at E Fork Rd/NC-1107 Then go 0.38 mi
22 30.64 mi Turn left at E Fork Rd Then go 1.03 mi
23 31.66 mi Turn right at E Fork Rd/NC-1107 Continue to follow E Fork R Then go 1.63 mi
24 33.30 mi Turn left to stay on E Fork Rd/NC-1107 Then go 2.05 mi
25 35.35 mi Turn left to stay on E Fork Rd/NC-1107 Then go 0.37 mi
26 35.72 mi Turn right to stay on E Fork Rd/NC-1107 Then go 1.59 mi
27 37.31 mi Turn right to stay on E Fork Rd/NC-1107 Then go 1.43 mi
28 38.74 mi Slight right at NC-1103/Walnut Hollow Rd Then go 1.63 mi
29 40.36 mi Slight right at Whipperwill Ln Then go 0.03 mi
30 40.39 mi Sharp left at NC-1103/Walnut Hollow Rd Then go 1.18 mi
31 41.57 mi Turn right to stay on NC-1103/Walnut Hollow Rd Then go 0.48 mi
32 42.05 mi Turn left at Island Ford Rd/NC-1110 Then go 0.88 mi
33 42.93 mi Turn right at Country Club Rd/NC-1113 Then go 1.61 mi
34 44.54 mi Turn right at Barclay Rd/NC-1114/NC-1207 Continue to follow Barclay Rd/NC-111 Then go 1.80 mi
35 46.34 mi Turn left at Greenville Hwy/US-276 Then go 1.04 mi
36 47.39 mi Turn right at NC-1540/Wilson Rd Then go 3.67 mi
37 51.05 mi Turn right at NC-1145/Old Hendersonville Hwy Continue to follow Old Hendersonville Hw Then go 1.07 mi
38 52.13 mi Continue on NC-1504/Old 64 Then go 2.01 mi
39 54.13 mi Slight right to stay on NC-1504/Old 64 Then go 1.13 mi
40 55.26 mi Turn right at Crab Creek Rd/NC-1528 Then go 0.89 mi
41 56.15 mi Turn left at John Talley Rd/NC-1527 Then go 2.41 mi
42 58.56 mi Continue on NC-1191/Pleasant Grove Rd Then go 3.19 mi
43 61.75 mi Turn left at Etowah School Rd/NC-1205

Points of Interest


Location: 35.317191, -82.589368
This ride begins south of Asheville at the Ingles Market in Etowah. There is a large parking lot here, and you can use the restrooms and fuel up before and after your ride.


Location: 35.296914, -82.580967
Near mile 1.6, the road crosses the French Broad River. For the next 5.5 miles, you'll wind west and south through the flatland floodplain.


Location: 35.259322, -82.630577
The ride's toughest climb begins at mile 7.6. There's no shoulder on the small, winding road ahead, and you'll likely need the whole lane to climb grades of up to 18 percent over the next 2.5 miles. The road mellows after the initial uphill, but the descent alongside Crab Creek is also shoulder-less.


Location: 35.202077, -82.618990
After rolling through the valley, this climb adds another 600 feet of uphill. Expect 2 miles of quad burning between this crossing of the Little River and the left-hand turn onto Cascade Lake Road. Also, a network of trails crisscrosses this road for the next several miles through DuPont State Forest. Be alert for hikers, mountain bikers, and horses.


Location: 35.148688, -82.648087
Though it's a major thoroughfare in this area, the Greenville Highway is a narrow, two-lane road with soft, gravel shoulders. Watch for traffic on this relatively busy (and flat) 3.5-mile stretch.


Location: 35.147977, -82.683095
At mile 28.7, this Citgo offers a Lycra-friendly Quick Stop, and there's a Mexican restaurant next door. Before binging on a burrito, remember there is a steep climb just after mile 30.


Location: 35.140055, -82.706022
A steep, 1-mile climb up East Fork Road leads to this ride's high point just above 3,100 feet. The relatively low elevations on this route mean that it's rideable most of the year and can be a good hill-challenge in cold weather.


Location: 35.119663, -82.761598
If you'd like to add on to this ride, consider the 11-mile out-and-back from this junction with Glady's Fork Road (turn left here, and ride 4.2 miles to Sassafras Mountian Road). A left turn on Sassafras climbs for 1.5 miles at grades that exceed 20 percent.


Location: 35.137107, -82.772541
The final climb begins at this junction past Sunset Lake. Continue heading north on Walnut Hollow Road for a 1.7-mile, 400-foot uphill push.


Location: 35.212159, -82.713597
You could stay straight on the Greenville Highway to head into Brevard for lunch or a rest stop. There are several shops and small restaurants, and it's easy to reconnect with this route by following the Old Hendersonville Highway heading northeast out of town.


Location: 35.261740, -82.634568
After passing through fields in Penrose, you'll close this route's 48.5-mile loop and cool down on a familiar 7.3-mile roll headed back to Etowah.


Location: 35.260058, -82.614098
After a steep climb from the valley, Jeter Mountain Road winds more gently uphill. © Ralph Draves

DuPont Road

Location: 35.211861, -82.615213
© Ralph Draves


Location: 35.188681, -82.624397
Look left near the top of the climb on DuPont Road for a quick view of this small lake. © Ralph Draves


Location: 35.147977, -82.682955
This Mexican restaurant on US 276 is a great spot for lunch, but it's right next to a Citgo if you'd rather have a snack to go. © Ralph Draves


Location: 35.143073, -82.707481
© Ralph Draves


Location: 35.138862, -82.706451
The winding, narrow descent of East Fork Road. © Ralph Draves

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