Everything You Need to Know About Riding the Berm Park MTB Trails in Canton, NC

December 30, 2022 5 min read

Calling all mountain bikers: Berm Park in Canton is one of the newest and raddest places to shred in Western North Carolina. Whether you want to brush up on riding rollers or simply enjoy some loamy flow, this is the place to do it. 

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about sending it at Berm Park.    

    What Is Berm Park?

    Berm Park is a free and public bike park located inside Chestnut Mountain Nature Park in Canton, NC. 

    Complete with tricky rock gardens, pucker-worthy jumps, and screamingly-fast descents, this mountain biking mecca officially opened to the public in the spring of 2022. 

    A Brief History of Berm Park

    Today, MTB enthusiasts travel from near and far to shred at Berm Park. But it wasn’t always like this. 

    In 2020, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) purchased 450 acres in Canton, North Carolina. Once slated for a motorsports speedway, the tract had since been deserted.  

    Working with the Town of Canton and partners like YouTuber Seth Alvo (of Seth’s Bike Hacks fame—check out his Berm Peak merch collection), the nonprofit reimagined the land into a recreation area called Chestnut Mountain Nature Park. 

    A “park within a park,” Berm Park is a 10-acre bike-only area with a repair station, skills course, and more than a mile of trails.    

    Berm Park Mountain Biking Trails & Trail System

    Berm Park dishes up five mountain biking trails for all skill levels that range from easy peasy to uber technical. 

    Chain Whip: Beginner 

    Smooth and pleasant, Chain Whip is perfect if you’re new to the sport or want to warm up the quads. Rated for beginners, this trail features optional skinnies, a few gentle jumps, and a pint-sized rock garden.   

    Prop tip: Chain Whip is great for kids. Just be sure to grab a MTB youth jersey so they can ride in style. 

    High Roller: Beginner/Intermediate   

    Feeling spunky? If so, step on up to the High Roller.

    A beginner to intermediate trail, this stretch of singletrack offers gentle berms, progressive rock and wood features, and some impressive high rollers that’ll leave you begging for more. 

    Pro tip: Slap on some MTB gloves to avoid angry blisters.

    On the Fly: Intermediate 

    If you’re craving some really friggin’ fast descents, On the Fly delivers.

    Rated intermediate, this trail offers top-notch berms (we’re talking Whistler quality here) and a series of progessive rollers that’ll prepare you for your next course: Click Bait.  

    Pro tip: We recommend a MTB mudguard to keep your bike (and your butt) clean when riding On the Fly.

    Click Bait: Advanced 

    Unlike real clickbait, this black diamond won’t leave you disappointed. 

    As Berm Park’s longest and arguably most impressive offering, Click Bait begins with a massive wooden down ramp that sets the stage for the rest of the trail. Other fun features include an “upbox” (an upward-facing ramp), tabletops, mandatory gaps, and an on-off bridge. 

    Roll the Dice: Expert

    A double black diamond, Roll the Dice is designed for MTB veterans who want a shock of adrenaline. 

    Though a relatively short run, this trail packs a big punch. From the get-go, you’re greeted with a leftward-leaning wall ride that quickly transitions into two satisfying berms and finishes with a rightward-leaning wall ride. 

    From there, you encounter the cannon: a wooden feature that sends you shooting through the trees like, well, a cannon.

    Chestnut Mountain Nature Park Mountain Bike Trails 

    Berm Park is fun, fast, and technical. But if you want to rack up some distance, we suggest trying out the backcountry trails at Chestnut Mountain Park. 

    Papertown Express 

    The only trail leading from the parking lot to Berm Park, this multi-use stretch of singletrack starts with a 0.8-mile, 300-foot climb. After catching your breath at the Flight Deck—a trailhead area with benches and a bike repair area—continue to the middle section of Papertown Express.   

    This next leg stretches for 0.8 miles, snaking its way to an intersection with Turnpike Trail. You can either branch off here for a mellower ride or keep at it, digging in and preparing for the last push of Papertown Express.

    A steep, 1.3-mile climb, the upper segment of Papertown Express summits Chestnut Mountain (elevation: 3,400 feet). Once on the ridgeline, you’ll ride through a mature hardwood forest with laurel and rhododendrons. For all your huffing and puffing, you’ll also be rewarded with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Ladybird

    What goes up, must come down. Fortunately, Ladybird is a fun way to descend to the entrance of Berm Park. 

    For 1.79 miles, you’ll enjoy loamy singletrack, swoon-worthy berms, and mellow jumps. To keep things spicy for more advanced riders, there are plenty of optional features like rock gardens and rockrolls. 

    To get back to your car, continue from Ladybird to Bear Country. Though the main purpose of Bear Country is to funnel riders to the parking lot, this 0.6-mile stretch also gives bikers the opportunity to savor a few more moments of flow.    

    Turnpike  

    A 1.1-mile lollipop trail, Turnpike is a mellow lollipop ride that can be repeated over and over again to amp up your mileage. 

    Starting from the middle section of Papertown Express, take a left and continue pedaling for a scenic ride through a mature hardwood forest. Though you can expect a bit of gnar, this trail is otherwise easy-peasy.  

    Pro tip: To keep your tush comfy as you gobble up mileage on Turnpike, be sure to wear your favorite MTB bib shorts.   

    Gear We Recommend for Your Ride 

    At Cognative MTB, we have one goal: to help you have the raddest ride. With that in mind, we have selected three pieces of sweet gear for your next trip to Berm Park in Canton, NC.

    1. Berm Park Collection

    Berm park collection

    Take a piece of Berm Park merch with you after your rip down Click Bait! MTB Jerseys available in Men's, Women's and youth.

    1. MTB Flannels

     

    Made with 98% poly performance and 2% spandex, this Cognative Technical Flannels are perfect for a chilly ride. (Oh, and we added a stash pocket on the lower right seam for toothsome trail snacks.)

    1. Cool Weather MTB Gloves

     

    Though riding in the winter has its perks (e.g. no rattlesnakes and fewer ticks), frozen fingers can be a huge mood-zapper. Luckily, these cool weather mountain bike gloves will keep you toasty no matter the wind chill.

    Looking for more mountain bike gear suggestions?! Head to our website, where you can shop by specific collection.

     

    Berm Park FAQs

    What is Berm Park?

    Berm Park is a 10-acre mountain biking oasis tucked inside Chestnut Mountain Nature Park. With plenty of jumps, berms, rollers, and high-speed descents, this place is a mecca for MTB newbies and veterans alike.  

    When is Berm Park opening? 

    Spoiler alert: Berm Park has already opened! After many long months of fundraising and construction, this MTB mecca opened to the public in the spring of 2022. 

    Where is Berm Park located?

    Berm Park is located inside Chestnut Mountain Nature Park in Canton, North Carolina. The GPS address is G6J3+W7, Canton, North Carolina.

    Is the park open to the public?

    Yes, Berm Park is free and open to the public.  

    When does Berm Park open?

    Berm Park is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to dusk. In the event of inclement weather, the park may close. For closure updates, follow Chestnut Mountain Facebook and Instagram pages.

    Is there a picnic area?

    Yes. There are picnic tables in Bridge Park, a pedestrian-only area located inside Chestnut Mountain Nature Park. 

    Is there cell phone service at Berm Park in Canton, NC?

    Since Berm Park is tucked into the mountains of Western North Carolina, cell service can be sketchy. Because of this, we suggest downloading your route ahead of time on Trailforks

    What is Berm Peak?

    Not to be confused with Berm Park, Berm Peak is YouTuber Seth Alvo’s merch collection. Stylish and well-designed, Seth’s gear is a must-buy!