With its mild climate, stunning vistas and a slower pace that extends even to many area streets and roads, Western North Carolina is perfect for exploring via bicycle year-round. The area’s miles upon miles of mountain bike trails, paved paths and wide thoroughfares provide the perfect setting for getting your heart rate up, taking in the scenery or traveling from one destination to the next … or a combination of the three. 

Several area businesses cater to those who want to see and do it all on two wheels, whether your goal is to tour the city for a few hours or spend anywhere from half a day to one or more nights exploring the verdant forests. By offering guided tours, these companies provide an unmatched experience for both new and seasoned riders.

If you’re a casual cyclist, you’ll appreciate being led by experts who can provide tips on safely navigating the streets and trails, and who can be on hand for any mechanical problems that may arise. If you’re an avid biker, you’ll appreciate “talking shop” with a fellow fanatic who can also take you to lesser-known trails that you might not discover on your own. This allows you to find one that perfectly suits your skill level – and your desired thrill level, too. 

No matter your cycling prowess, you’ll appreciate all of the logistics handled for you so you can focus on enjoying the ride, and the particular insight that a local guide can give you into the area’s unique culture, geography and ecology. (We should also mention that most of these outfits will even rent you a top-grade bicycle if you didn’t bring your own along.)

When you’re ready to head out, check out Asheville Trails & Taps, The Bike Farm, Outfitter Bicycle Tours and Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventures for a variety of off-road tours in Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Recreational Forest. All offer private tours for groups both small and large, with extensive customization options available. Outfitter Bicycle Tours also offers road-bike adventures on the Blue Ridge Parkway and other legendary thoroughfares.

Even the most avid cyclists will admit that Southern Appalachia’s hilly terrain presents a challenge if you want to tour the city while conserving energy for exploring the boutiques and galleries or enjoying an evening out at one of the award-winning restaurants and breweries. Thankfully, several businesses offer rentals of and guided tours on electric bikes, or e-bikes. These powered bikes provide assistance as you pedal, allowing you to ride farther and faster – not to mention up bigger hills – with less effort than a traditional bike.

Asheville Adventure Co., The Flying Bike, Pisgah Day Ventures and Asheville Trails & Taps offer urban e-bike tours, including themed outings (such as brewery tours and pizza tours). French Broad Adventures has off-road e-bike tours that take you away from the hustle and bustle while still helping you preserve some energy for other endeavors.

With so many options for guided tours both on- and off-road and ranging from leisurely to pulse-pounding, it’s no wonder Western North Carolina is a favorite destination for cyclists the world over. So saddle up, embrace the open road – or trail – and get to know this enchanting area on a tour guaranteed to inspire you like no other.