Brown Mountain

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Brown Mountain
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Off-Road Information
Other Names:
Terrain: Woods
Off-Road Use: OHV
Difficulty: Easy to difficult
Camping: Primitive camping
Geography
County:
Nearest Cities: Morganton, NC
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Area Size: 34 Miles
Elevation:
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Brown Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area, on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, offers 34 miles of rugged, mountainous trails with lots of challenges.

The trails range in difficulty from “easy” to “difficult.” Note that the trails are color coded on the map to show their difficulty. The map also has vehicle symbols to show which trails are open to trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s), 4-wheel drive vehicles, or all three. Mountain bikers may use trails at their own risk; the same fee is required.

Brown Mountain OHV Area is open this year from April 1 through January 1.

All 34 miles of trails are open to trail bikes, while over 14 miles are open to ATV’s. Jeeps and other 4-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles may use trail 8 and part of trail 1. Trails 1a and 1b are only open to trail bikes and ATV’s. OHV’s may not be ridden on the access road, 299, from the highway. Most trails are not wide enough for two-way traffic, so a one-way system is provided. The trail numbers can only be seen when traveling in the correct direction. Please observe the one-way signs, but be alert for people who may accidentally travel the wrong way. Brown Mountain OHV Area is the only place in Pisgah National Forest where ATV’s and unlicensed trail bikes may be ridden. On forest roads outside this area, only licensed, street-legal vehicles may be ridden. State vehicle laws are enforced on forest roads.

Brown Mountain Lights[edit]

This off-highway vehicle area is at the base of Brown Mountain, a place cloaked in mystery. Some say that on dark, moonless midsummer nights lights appear to dance and whirl along the crest of Brown Mountain. The mysterious “Brown Mountain lights” have long been the subject of folklore, song, and study. The lights’origin is still the center of much controversy. The best places to try to catch a glimpse of the Brown Mountain lights are at Brown Mountain Overlook on NC 181 and Wisemans View on Kistler Memorial Highway.