Because we live and work in rural Southern Appalachia, we don't often get to do…
It’s a little bit sad to see a favorite old guidebook go out of print. After nearly 25 years, it can be hard to let go of piece of outdoor literature that has led the way to so many epic adventures, so many introductions to the best of the backcountry in our region, to so many amazing days outside.
That’s the way we feel about Off the Beaten Track, Volume I: Western North Carolina–Smokies. It was the very first mountain bike guide to be written for the Southeast, and its most salient features were the concise text and simple maps drawn by the author. It predated the digital revolution, appearing before the internet went mainstream, before cell phones were commonly used, before e-readers and before GPS coordinates were available for just about everywhere on earth. It was a reliable old friend that seems to be almost from another era. Just knowing about its origins dates us.
We’re sorry to see it go. As a matter of fact, we’re sorry to see Volume II: Western North Carolina–Pisgah, go, too–that guidebook came close on the heels of Volume I; they were published the same year, 1992. But here’s the good news. The reason it’s going out of print is that its author, Jim Parham, has just released a new guidebook that replaces and supersedes these two together. The new guide has color maps and photos, and includes trails not only in western North Carolina, but across the state line in South Carolina as well.
Mountain Bike Trails: North Carolina Mountains & South Carolina Upstate is now available. It provides current trail information in a new format. It covers over 500 miles of single track and 150 miles of forest roads, with 28 trail networks and GPS coordinates for all 68 trailheads listed. And all 118 maps are drawn by Jim Parham. Some things never change.