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The Assault on Mount Mitchell 2025

May 19, 2025

cyclists at assault on mount mitchell
Last Updated May 31, 2024

The Assault on Mount Mitchell 2025, organized by The Freewheelers Club, is a 102.7-mile self-paced ride from downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the summit at Mount Mitchell State Park in North Carolina—a total vertical ascent of more than 10,000 feet.  The "Beast of the East," as it's known, began in 1976 and is one of the most intense, premier cycling experiences in the country - it was picked by Strambecco as one of the Best Road Cycling Race Events in the Southeast, one Best Cycling Race Events in South Carolina, and Best Cycling Race Events in North Carolina. The event draws a full field of nearly 850 cyclists worldwide each year. The scenic mountainous course crosses two states and is as challenging as it is breathtaking, but experienced cyclists return yearly to best previous personal records. 

Below, you will find information on course details, lodging, dining, and other outdoor activities to do while in town for The Assault on Mount Mitchell.

Event & Course Info

The Assault on Mount Mitchell is a challenging point-to-point course on a stunning route with over 10,000 feet of elevation gain. You can refill, refuel, and make mechanical adjustments at any of the ten rest stops along the way, and there will be SAG and tech support as well. Friends and family can support you along the course by finding the best cheering spots recommended by the Spectator Guide.

After completing the ride, riders will have access to food, beverages, and changing stations. Buses will be available to transport riders from the mountain to the Tom Johnson Campground, where you can enjoy post-ride festivities and explore additional transportation options to reach their final destination. Due to the race being from point A to point B and ending on a mountaintop, an added layer of logistical planning is required.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

Where to Stay in Spartanburg

Spartanburg, SC, offers a range of lodging options that cater to various budgets and preferences, including comfortable hotels, quaint bed and breakfasts, and economical motels. The city provides a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, making it easy for visitors to find a suitable place to stay while exploring the region. The Marriott Spartanburg is the official lodging sponsor of the Assaults, however if you're looking for a more unique experience, there are a plethora of vacation rentals both in Spartanburg and Marion. For those who appreciate the simplicity of sleeping under the stars, check out some of the unique camping experiences available in the area.

Dining in Spartanburg

Spartanburg, SC, boasts a growing culinary scene that blends traditional Southern cooking with modern and international influences. The city offers a variety of dining options, from classic barbecue joints and charming cafes to upscale restaurants and ethnic eateries, providing a taste of local flavours and global cuisine. Check out Eater's list of recommended restaurants while you're in town.

Outdoor Activities around Spartanburg

Nestled in the heart of South Carolina, Spartanburg offers a delightful mix of Southern charm and outdoor adventure, making it a perfect destination for athletes looking to explore new terrains. May, with its warm and inviting weather, is an ideal time to take advantage of the diverse outdoor activities that Spartanburg has to offer. For runners seeking a mix of scenic beauty and physical challenge, Croft State Park is a must-visit. With over 20 miles of trails winding through rolling hills and lush woodlands, the park offers routes for all levels of trail runners. In May, the park is particularly stunning as it blooms with spring flowers and vibrant greenery, providing a picturesque backdrop for a heart-pumping run.

The Palmetto Trail presents an excellent opportunity for mountain bikers to experience Spartanburg’s natural beauty. This cross-state trail features segments that pass through Spartanburg, offering diverse terrain from smooth dirt paths to more rugged and technical sections. The cooler May weather is perfect for tackling these trails, allowing riders to enjoy long rides without the harsh heat of summer.

Water sports enthusiasts will find Lake Bowen an ideal spot for kayaking. This large lake, located just a short drive from downtown Spartanburg, provides clear waters and plenty of space for paddling. With kayak rentals available nearby, it's easy for visitors to spend a day on the water, enjoying the serene lake views and spotting local wildlife.

Related Events

A sister event, The Assault on Mount Marion, offers a shorter version and separates the event altogether from the massive Mount Mitchell event. Also picked as one of the Best Road Cycling Events in the Southeast, it is still a large ride at 74 miles but has nowhere near the vertical gain of the Assault on Mount Mitchell. If completed in the proper time, this smaller version will give you a slot for The Assault on Mount Mitchell. Both events are organized by The Freewheelers Club, and part of the proceeds support other local community service organizations.

Other top cycling events taking place in-state include Gran Fondo Asheville and BWR Asheville.

The Gran Fondo Asheville is a jewel in North Carolina’s cycling crown and part of the prestigious Gran Fondo National Seriesa series of 10+ Road Events taking place across the US, all qualifier events for the USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship held in the Fall at Gran Fondo Maryland.  Combining the thrill of competition with the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this event attracts cyclists from across the nation. Participants can choose from varying route lengths, each offering a different level of challenge and breathtaking scenery.

Also in Asheville, the Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) has made its mark on the cycling world, and the Asheville edition is no exception. Known for its challenging course and unique blend of road and gravel sections, the BWR Asheville promises an unforgettable experience for cyclists seeking a taste of adventure and a dash of the extraordinary.  BWR Asheville is part of the prestigious Belgian Waffle Ride Series, a North American series offering some of the world’s most highly respected and well-organized gravel events/races.  The idea of the Series was conceived initially with the advent of “the most unique cycling event in the country,” the Belgian Waffle Ride California (San Diego). BWR California is well known among cycling enthusiasts and pros as one of the most difficult bicycle races in the US at 146 miles, 40 of which are off-road sectors.  BWR events are unique because they are classic, long bicycle races that feature various off-road sectors emulating the pave or cobblestones of Europe, making the varied terrain a challenge for riders’ technical skills, equipment, endurance, luck, and versatility.

Multi-sport athletes looking for other premier races and events in North Carolina, South Carolina and the broader Southeast region can take a peek at all of our related Strambecco Best rated event guides:

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