5 Best Cycling Routes in Madison County, North Carolina

Published June 10, 2021

Scenic mountain views, fresh air and smooth roads. Just north of Asheville, cyclists have long acknowledged Madison County as a “hidden gem” for great cycling. With hundreds of miles of country and mountain roads to ride on, take a look at our list of our favorite cycling routes in Madison County, North Carolina.

Little Ivy Loop

12 Miles

The Little Ivy Loop is a great route for a shorter ride with less hills. Cyclists from Mars Hill University call this the “recovery ride” because it’s not too physically demanding. The route starts and finishes in downtown Mars Hill and takes riders through quiet and low-trafficked country roads south east of Mars Hill.

Find out more about the Little Ivy Loop here.

Collegiate Loop

24 Miles

A great loop that starts and finishes in Downtown Marshall is known as the Collegiate Loop and is a great workout for the experienced rider. This ride has it all! Riders will cruise alongside the French Broad River as well as pedal up challenging mountain roads and countryside.

The Collegiate Loop is a great ride any time of the year but is particularly enjoyable in the Summer and Fall.

Find out more about the Collegiate Loop here.

Meadow Fork Loop

29 Miles

Enjoy the sounds of a burbling stream as you ride along the scenic Meadow Fork Loop. This route is a favorite among cyclists as it starts and finishes in Downtown Hot Springs and takes riders to quiet, country roads. The elevation gains on this route are more gradual but also have longer stretches of downhill.

The Meadow Fork Loop is a great ride for cyclists looking for a challenge.

Find out more about the Meadow Fork Loop here.

Big Laurel Grind

38 Miles

The Big Laurel Grind is an awesome ride that showcases everything Madison County has to offer! This is a great ride to do with friends or solo. You’ll spend 10 miles of this ride along the beautiful Laurel River, a favorite spot for fly-fishing.

This ride is not without some challenging hills, be sure to prepare accordingly.

Find out more about the Big Laurel Grind.

Hot Doggett

100 miles

The big boy. The Hot Doggett is a BRUTAL 100 mile route that hundreds of riders tackle every year at the Hot Doggett 100 ride starting in Mars Hill, NC every July. The course traverses all of Madison County and boasts incredible views and tough climbs. This ride is not for beginners.

Are you up for the challenge?

Find out more about fishing in the Hot Doggett 100.