Forks Area Trail System (FATS)

   
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37
miles

Intermediate

Singletrack
↑ 6,000 ft
↓ 6,300 ft
9.1
avg mph
236
ridden
229
wishlist
1:56
avg time

Loop
AVERAGE RATING
4.92 out of 5
About This Trail
added by jeff World Champ on July 2, 2007
 
This trail system is an epic addition to the Sumter National Forest area trails. Amazing singletrack with great flow, tons of jumps, and fast terrain. Minimal climbing makes this a good trail for beginners while experts can test their cornering and jumping skills. Four loops at this time range in length from 5-8 miles each. Worth the drive from just about anywhere, you'll want to ride every inch of trail before you leave! Thanks SORBA!
Rider Questions
 
System Trails (6)
Tower Loop
Big Rock Loop
Deep Step Loop
Great Wall Loop
Skinny Loop
Brown Wave
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fatbik#$ on July 12, 2014
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Review: Ive been meaning to ride this area for years. I'm glad i finally did because this place is epic. As other reviewers have mentioned this place is super flowy with tons of pumpable bumps and plenty of launching pads for jumps. Not too much technical stuff but hard enough to push intermediate riders like myself. Ride this place! You wont't regret it.

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duddetts11 on July 4, 2014
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Review: Awesome, as always. Great flow, great scenery, great trail maintenance, great signage, great kickoff to 4th of July weekend. One of top trails in southeast!

Similar Trail: Santos

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gshaw40 on June 27, 2014
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Review: Great trail. Got my first flat on this one.

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Rodwas on June 12, 2014
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Review: This was my first time riding FATS. There was nothing extremely difficult but it was a lot of fun riding the 37 miles of trails. At the end of the day you will feel it in your legs for sure. The park flows great with lots of areas to get speed and catch good air. It is definitely friendly to riders of all levels. If you are an advance or expert rider, ride against the clock, enjoy fast tracks, ondulating ground and jump as high as you can. I hope to come back to this area and ride it again.

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rawrpancakes on June 9, 2014
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Review: great trails

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Guest on May 24, 2014
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Review: Very nice trail. Had a few mud puddles, but I got through them quickly. Would recommend it for a hard workout.

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TheFunkyMonkey on May 12, 2014
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Wow, wow and wow. I finally checked this place out this weekend after all of the positive reviews and it lives up to the hype. Flow and more flow are what these trails are all about.

I rode Great Wall, Skinny and Brown Wave this weekend counter clockwise and had an absolute blast. All trails are very well marked. I got a late start (I like to ride early) and got on the trails at 10:30 on Saturday. Passed a couple of solo riders and then a couple of small groups. Very manageable for a nice weekend day. The "South" parking lot offered plenty of parking was a festive spot post-ride...

1.5 hours from my house but I will definitely be back on a regular basis. I'll post individual trail reviews under each respective trail.

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Fit4Life28 on May 5, 2014
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Review: WOW!!! I had a lot of fun here. The trails were in amazing shape and very fun. The flow was constant and the climbs were very mild. I almost felt like I was always on a downhill. Can't wait to come back and do it again.

Similar Trail: Chicopee

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GTechRacer on April 29, 2014
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Review: This place needs a ski lift I'm tired of all the hike a bike sections! But on a serious note this place hits the fun factor straight on...easy pedaling and massive speed. Everytime I come here I tell myself I'm gonna ride it twice but I have so much fun riding fast that by the time I do the loop once I'm too tired for another 36 mile lap. It's two hours from where I live but it's totally worth the drive. While I wouldn't rank this trail as the best in the east coast due to the AMAZING trails in Western NC I can see why singletracks ranks it really high: these trails are fun no matter what your skill level, they're easy to access, its a large stacked loop trail system, and they are absolutely manicured with the exception of a few downed trees. Definitely in my top 5 trails I've ridden so far and a must do for anyone who considers themselves a mountain biker.

Similar Trail: Fort Yargo

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JBX on March 11, 2014
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Review: An EPIC ride! lots of flow and some nice climbing. Plenty of jumps, not very techincal, all abilities can ride, but not all in one day. 30 miles in hot weather can be taxing. Don't miss this one!

Similar Trail: Tsali

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dgaddis on March 20, 2014
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Review: Moderately fit riders can definitely ride it all in one day. The fast guys can ride all 37 miles in less than 3 hours! 2:45ish is the fastest I know of someone doing all six loops...my best time is 3:30ish.
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afullsodacan on March 2, 2014
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: I finally got a chance to ride here, but I did not know that many of the trails are totally unridable now due to a tremendous amount of trees that have broken off and are laying across the trails. I guess it is due to one of the storms that recently came through. Skinny has already been cleared and was the only trail I was able to ride on 2/28/14. Brown Wave and Great Wall had a TON of trees and debris blocking the trail.

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Guest on March 3, 2014
2 out of 2 readers found this useful
 
Review: The trails were blocked due to a severe ice storm. Majority, if not all, of the trails have been cleared.
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fretter34 on January 25, 2014
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Review: So, I just finished skinny and great wall. This is my second time here. I will say, it was definitely easier than the first time around. That being said, great wall is brutal in some of those climbs. Which if of course is part of the appeal. Skinny was very fun. I did bust my face and knee open on a small patch of large rocks. It was my fault though...I was going to fast for my own good. I only did 14 miles of trail today. My stamina stinks in colder weather. Great place. Highly recommend for anyone looking for flow.

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fretter34 on January 16, 2014
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Review: Nice place! I only got a chance to ride "great wall". It was just a giant roller coaster ride. I rode it last year about this time. I was still a bit of a noob back then. I am actually going back next week. New bike, stronger legs and a stronger skill set. I plan on tearing up several trails. Been looking forward to this all year!

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Theejuicer on December 17, 2013
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Review: Miles,flow, and Air. This place is great. Did eat my bike though.

Similar Trail: 5 points.

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SCSR_Ratchet on October 19, 2013
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Review: This trail system is incredible! They closed during the govt shutdown but are back open. A few friends and i are starting a Facebook group for riding all the local trails. We aren't like most groups with scheduled rides, we try to ride everyday, we also like to practice survival tactics and ultralight camping along our trips. We will start posting where we will be riding everyday. Anyone who wants to come out is more than welcome. Check us out https://www.facebook.com/pages/SC-Survival-Riders/247329555422428

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facebookmtbriding on July 9, 2013
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Review: This is in my top 5 places to ride in the whole U.S. The place flows and you can go very fast even if you are not in shape.

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KleinGuy on June 13, 2013
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Review: Crazy fun. I finally got to spend a day here. I only rode skinny and brown wave bc I was with family but what a blast! Both trails were super fast and fun. Gotta watch your speed in some areas! Can't wait to go back!

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bhair3 on April 21, 2013
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Review: It dosnt have the views you get in the mountains, but the riding is A !

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HiFi1981 on December 30, 2012
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Review: Totally smooth. Totally fast, totally fun. Lots of hooting if you go fast. 36 miles total trail with amazing signage. Totally worth the drive

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tyonkers on December 2, 2012
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Review: Like everyone says fast and fun. The Great wall trail is like a giant pump track. If you are there in the summer carry as much water as you can if you plan on hitting two or more trails. you will need it.

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RazorRay on November 20, 2012
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Review: came up from Florida, fast and fun is everything I've been told about. The only down side is the store before you get there. My wife's protein bar expired in 2010 and my beef jerky expired 6 months ago. wish we knew before on the trail, yuck. The trail was awesome, keep your speed to your skill level and it will not be forgotten!

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itsme4549 on November 19, 2012
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Review: Not necessarily the most technical set of trails, but very fun. Lots of fast flowing rollers. Good mix of trails that will keep entry level, as well as experienced, riders entertained.

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inbody06 on September 22, 2012
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Review: awesome trails here , super fun rollers ,one of the funnest trails i have been on yet

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jfigel76 on September 18, 2012
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Review: Traveled from Maryland for the week to ride these trails. Well maintained and thought out trail system. Wear glasses as the saved my eyes many times in the pine forest areas. Not very technical and no dabs for me except at intersections. No water crossings and when I was there dry conditions with pine needles comforting my ride.

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boblintaywhistle on July 13, 2012
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Review: Amazing, amazing, amazing. Not much needs to be said that hasn't been covered already, although I will reinforce the fact that difficulty level varies tremendously with speed. The most giddy, innocent, sheer fun I've had since kindergarten.

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twbarret on July 6, 2012
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Review: These trails are very fast because of their flow. Tons of berms on the trails allow you keep riding at a good pace. All of the trails are able to be ridden clipped in the whole way, because there are little to no obstructions, and the climbs even out with the downhills to give you a break. I rode all of the trails (34 miles on my GPS) in under 4 hours, which made for a very fun day.

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Slee_Stack on June 11, 2012
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Review: FATS is probably the least technical trail system I've ever ridden. There are no stunning vistas or wildly beautiful sections of trail either. In fact, there's very little memorable about FATS escept for how fun the trails ride! We rode the south grouping of trails..roughly 26 miles. All were a blast! I've never ridden any system so fast. I'm not talking marginally faster, but about 20%. Speed makes this system. All the trails beg to hammer the whole way. Its very easy to get overzealous though and I had a close call on Deep Step that sobered me a bit...but just a little. I'll be back there probably sooner than later.

Similar Trail: I've never been on something so smooth and fast before...

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jseagrove on April 26, 2012
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Review: Love this trail system. Fast Flowing down hill trails. Small jumps that are very fun. Very smooth trail system.

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bboehman on April 23, 2012
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Review: Awesome trail! Nothing more can be said then what the others have said. A buddy and I drove all night from Indiana and rode when we got there and on no sleep and 95 degree heat it was still the best IMBA Epic I have done. Can't wait to repeat the trip.

Similar Trail: Tsali

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GungHo on April 13, 2012
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Review: Awesome trails. Great variety. Lots of flying downhills and some grinding climbs. Well kept and marked.

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Casey_Anderson on April 7, 2012
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Review: Fast, fun, rolling trails with some climbs but not much i the way of technical features. About a half dozen connected loops add up to 35+ miles of trail. The loop system is pretty easy to understand and allows you to decide to take on more distance or cut things short in mid-ride -- you won't wind up stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Similar Trail: Allegrippis trails at Raystown Lake, PA, and Tsali loops near Bryson City, NC

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klowe8828 on April 4, 2012
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Review: It's a must ride if you're in the area. I live in Columbia and make the drive regularly because these are some of the best maintained trails in the area..they also ride a little bit different every time, can handle a rain shower without going under water, and have an option for whatever trail you feel likevridingbthat day

Similar Trail: Killer 3 loop

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jeffrey_j on December 31, 2011
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Review: Absolutely AWESOME trail. Been here 4-5 times from FL and every trip is WELL worth the 5 hour drive (as long as you make a weekend/2 day trip out of it). Had a bad crash on Great Wall going clockwise last visit, so just make sure your first visit you don't let your speed get too out of control on some of the seemingly mellow downhill sections. Once you've ridden a trail in your chosen direction a couple of times you can FLY through here and have the most fun on a bike you've ever had. Be cautious around corners as trails are bi-directional. Have been to Tsali, Santos, Graham Swamp, JackRabbits, etc... and this trail KILLS them all IMHO.

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dcluley on November 27, 2011
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Review: As everyone says, this trail is the most fun, flowy trail I have ever ridden. Nothing too difficult or technical, but if you go too fast and ride over your head, some sections will getcha. I launched the back wheel of my hardtail off one of the doubles into the bottom of the next jump, dove the fork into an endo roll and cracked my helmet. I was too busy smiling to mind however, and finished my ride with 10 more miles of slightly more cautious, but still superfast fun riding. Have fun, and be careful with some of the jumps and riders coming the opposite direction at high speed!

Similar Trail: Chicopee Ga, Balm-boyette FL

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trekmtbrider on September 16, 2011
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Review: WOW! I had an awesome ride last weekend. Fast and flowing, once again my Hayes nine hydraulic disk brakes went out though. Time to upgrade to a new disk brake. I will be traveling back to FATS for more fun.

* Review edited 9/16/2011

Similar Trail: Pinhoti

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joetutt on September 5, 2011
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Review: Gotta give FATS 5 stars cause it so much fun! All perfectly groomed, hard pack, insanely fast, sweeping singletrack. Great use of the topography! Add some black diamond trails here and you won't find a better place to ride.

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traebird@gmail.com on June 23, 2011
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Review: These are the best trails I have ever ridden. If you want to go fast and see what 'flow' is all about then you and your bike need to get in the car right now and find this place!

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aabiking on April 9, 2011
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Review: Fast and Flowy for sure. Great set of trails.

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brianW on March 29, 2011
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Review: Each of the 6 loops offers its own unique flavor. Can easily go and ride one loop for a quick after-work ride and do multiloops and build your own custom epic ride. Trails are smooth, fast, dip filled singletrack. Nothing to push the technical skills, just plan FUN! At the IMBA World Summit I over heard Hans Rey say "the best flowing trail in the U.S."

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magicpantsjones on February 22, 2011
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Review: Great riding! FATS is ridiculously fun. Great climbs and descents filled with dips and whoop de doos. Clean, smooth singletrack. Well marked with signs throughout the trail system. My buddies and I spent two days riding here, and it will definitely be a destination we aim for a few times a year.

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jeff on February 1, 2011
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Review: It's hard to add much to the description and reviews already posted but if you haven't ridden FATS yet, it's definitely worth a visit. My current favorites are the Tower and Big Rock loops - sustained climbs, wicked scenery, and fast, swoopy singletrack (which is why everyone come to FATS in the first place). Flows almost like a 28-mile long pump track.

Similar Trail: Sylaward in Alabama; many parts of Chicopee Woods in Gainesvilel, GA.

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Susanita on December 26, 2010
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Review: We heard good things about FATS before we got there and were not at all disappointed. We were pressed for time so we were only able to do Skinny and the Brown Wave. But that 10 miles was as sweet as any IMBA trail we have ever ridden. While not technically challenging, the trail offered a swoopy, roller coaster, pump track experience with minimal elevation gain. No pain, all gain! I was riding a rigid air9 and never felt the need for suspension. These IMBA designs are great. If you take it easy the trail is easy. If you pick up the speed it can get hairy! We are planning a trip back to finish the whole thing.

Similar Trail: Raystown in PA.

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ckdake on December 6, 2010
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Review: Awesome! It's so smooth, flowy, and fun that it almost gets boring. I took 2 casually paced days at FATS and rode ever mile of trail there and had a blast. Perfect for beginners taking their time, also perfect for pros going as fast as they can taking tight turns at speed and clearing gaps instead of rolling over them. Believe anything good that you read about this trail and definitely fit it into your riding schedule some day!

Similar Trail: Blankets Creek, Chicopee

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sun79rise on September 1, 2010
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Review: These trails were great. Everything was mapped out very well and was easy to follow. Each trail is enough for one ride. We made the mistake of finishing one trail and then starting another. Half way through it was all up hill and way longer than expected. My husband (experienced rider) ran out of a full camel back and almost got heat exhaustion, along with other riders. No fault of the course, just ride prepared and don't underestimate the length of these trails.

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darrinw2001 on August 25, 2010
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Review: Absolutely love this trails system.. Fast Fun and Flowy... Not too hard, but lots of speed and whoops to make you lose your lunch if not too careful! I 1st rode these in May for the IMBA conference, and came back with my 9 year old son this week. We both had a blast! Check out the videos when they post up..

* Review edited 8/25/2010

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sturides on June 23, 2010
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Review: I finally made my first trip to FATS this morning. WOW! I rode Skinny Loop and Great Wall both clockwise and had an absolute blast. FAST pump riding, very moderate climbs, nothing too technical but the FUN factor makes up for it. Had the trail to myself the entire time so I guess nobody could hear me laughing like a kid. 81 miles from my house in Columbia to the trailhead and it was more than worth getting up at 5:30 to beat the heat. Can't wait to visit again!

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flamingotter on June 3, 2010
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Review: This trail was brought down the mountain by Moses himself, given to him by Lord. And he said to Moses, "Give this trail unto the people". I'm at the trailhead nearly every Sunday morning and it never get boring. It's hard sometimes to remember to give love to the other trails in the area.

Similar Trail: MODOC/Steven's Creek

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dplusdude on May 22, 2010
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Review: I couldn't stop smiling as I rode this trail. Tons of fun and flow. This is the worlds biggest, best and baddest pump track. Hats off to the SORBA crew, well done.

Similar Trail: Brown County Mountain Bike Park in Nashville, IN

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jaybird57 on May 9, 2010
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Review: I rode Big Rock & Tower loops while attending the IMBA World Summit Epic Ride on 5-8-10, & I can now say I've had the privilege of riding all six loops! FATS is most definitely a destination trail system & all I can say is if you haven't been what the heck are you waiting for!!! FATS Rocks! \m/

* Review edited 2/16/2011

Similar Trail: Tsali

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GoldenGoose on May 7, 2010
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Review: Rolling pump track in the guise of singletrack for 30+ miles. Rode all 6 loops yesterday and was still eager for more. Even though there are no real climbs out here, the Big Rock and Tower loops will still give you an aerobic challenge and EVERYTHING is fun. Skinny and Brown Wave loops felt like they were completely downhill! Trails are in great shape for the IMBA summit.

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konacoiler on April 5, 2010
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Review: Rode Skinny, Brown Wave and Deep Step loops last week. Had a blast. Nice smooth trails and not too technical but the fast elevation changes and speed amp up the fun factor. The only negatives of this trail is that it is overgroomed and prone to erosion. Don't ride after rain. Because of its design it requires lots of trail maintenance so please volunteer if you can. I thought IMBA trails were supposed to be sustainable?

Similar Trail: Hydrocut, Waterloo, Ontario. Similar fun trail, handbuilt without the puddle/erosion problems.

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jaybird57 on December 1, 2009
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Review: If you like fun, flowing, pump track style riding then come ride FATS! You won't be disappointed!

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Bikerides4u on July 31, 2009
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Review: You will love this trail if you like to go fast for a long time ! and.............You will love this trail if you like to climb for a long time ! What goes up must come down ! This trail was built on the property that houses the regions Fire Tower ( Highest point in the region ) that bourders the Savannah River ( Lowest point in the region ) . If you wear a pacemaker this trail ain't for you !

* Review edited 7/31/2009

Similar Trail: Pigsh and Bear Mt

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mtbgreg1 on July 15, 2009
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Review: Came and rode this trail this past Sun afternoon, and knocked out all 4 loops in one ride. It was a sweet ride! Nothing technical at all to speak of, so that was somewhat disappointing, but was made up for by the incredible flow and swoop of the trail, and the lovely rollers all over the place!! Despite the fact that it was crazy smooth almost everywhere, it was such a pleasure to ride! The trail work itself was beautiful, and it didn't feel like you were riding in a trough like at places like Yargo, which is amazing bc of how much reputation this trail has! And, there's so much of it concentrated all in one area, making it possible to do an epic, all-day ride without riding the same trail over or driving somewhere else. Not too many places like that in the southeast.

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Guest on February 20, 2009
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Review: Have not rode hear since late spring 2008, but FATS is an awesome place to ride. Very flowy trail with some technical terrain and some sweet DH for its area. FATS & Paris Mountain are the bomb for lots of fun and some DH. Plan on making another trip up there this late spring as well.

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besco on August 11, 2008
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Review: FATS is the best trail system that I have ridden. There are enough trail options to keep you coming back again and again, I have met people who travel form columbia SC, and Atlanta GA, just to ride here. Fast down hills (especially Deep step and Great wall), some double jump areas and challenging uphills.

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seenvic on June 13, 2008
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Review: 2 new loops at FATS are now ready to be ridden. The Big Rock and Tower Loops are each about 4 miles long, with Big Rock being just slightly longer than Tower. They each climb about 350 feet. Along with these loops there is a new 1 mile long connector trail coming off the Deep Step Loop near the only bridge on Deep Step. This connector takes you to a paved rd. Turn left on the paved road and ride for 1/2 mile crossing a swamp/bog in the process. Turn right on FS Rd 661 (Philpot Rd) and go up it 8/10 of a mile. Big Rock Loop crosses the gravel road at this point. I'd turn left onto the Big Rock Loop and ride it for about 2 miles and you get to a trail intersection. Turn left, cross the gas line just barely and then swing back to the gas line. Tower Loop starts on this gas line. Go either direction, but I'll say CW because the connector flows into Tower CW with a straight line and CCW with a HUGE right turn. Ride this loop, just be sure to get back to Big Rock Loop when you get back to the Connector Trail or you will just continue to ride loops on Tower and never get off it. When you get back to Big Rock, you will roll straight and be back on the loop going CW. When you get to FS 661 again, cross it the first time and turn left onto it the second time. This is where you entered the Big Rock Loop. These trails have a narrower corridor than the 4 older FATS loops. This is because a smaller machine was used to build the trails. There are some cool rocks to ride on and nearby. There are three bridges on Big Rock, with 2 being just normal and the 3rd being about 24" wide and made out of a split cedar log. There is more climbing on these loops than any of the 4 older FATS loops. There will be a second trailhead near these loops, but the USFS has not yet decided upon it's location. Overall a good place to ride a bike. We laid out 6 loops in 2003 that made up about 35 miles of trail. And now it is 2008 and we have built them all. Go ride them.

Similar Trail: In the area, Modoc, Turkey Creek, Wine Creek, Horn Creek, HKSP, Baker Creek State Park and one hour away the Long Cane Horse Trail.

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weswhittle on December 28, 2007
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Review: A series of loops through a thickly forested area provide a great hiking or mountain bike experience for all levels of hikers and riders. You can get a feel of the mountains where some of the higher elevations provide panoramic views and the thick vegetation provides a home for many birds and animals. Although it is hilly, you aren’t going to find many climbs that require a lot of effort or dismounts. For experienced riders, there are many sections where you have a choice of just rolling through, or going to one side to jump, and sections of ripples where you can also roll through or get air between them. The Great Wall offers a more of a challenge for experienced riders and may be difficult for beginners in places. Do NOT ride or walk around areas where the trail bed has been stabilized by rock. After heavy rain sections may be closed. To check on other closings: http://www.sorbacsra.org/ Length: Great Wall 7.7 miles, Skinny Loop 6.0 miles, Brown Wave 5.8 miles, and Deep Step 5.0 miles The four loops all seem to flow magically downhill with very few climbs. Not as fun as Tsali but similar. More trails are in planning.

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seenvic on July 11, 2007
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Review: Just fun. That's all. Not the biggest, fastest or best anything. But alot of fun. These trails offer rolling downhills with hits to jump or roll over depeding on what flavor you like. The climbs go back up but at a grade that isn't killer steep. Sustainable and fun. Not much more or less to be found here.

Similar Trail: Locally - modoc, turkey creek, wine creek, bartram.

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mudhunny on July 10, 2007
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Review: Move over Tsali, make room for FATS! On par with many well-known mountain biking meccas, the Forks Area Trail system has something for everyone. First off, this much singletrack is hard to come by and not only is there a lot of it, but it's all good, every inch! The trails are not technical at all, so newbs can venture as far as they want. There is very little climbing and the trails are generally rolling making for a fun ride in either direction. The whoop-de-doos were my favorite part (tons of them on Brown Wave trail) and you can't help but ride these trails fast because they are so smooth. At one point I imagined I was in an endurance race, pedaling my brains out and trees whizzing by on seemingly endless trail. I could pedal out there all day. Anyhoo, I'll be back for sure to see what else CSRA SORBA has up their sleeves (supposedly another 12 mile addition?). These folks did an awesome job on the trails and a special thanks to the fella bellas that offered us chilled towels to cool off after our hot humid ride.

Similar Trail: Tsali

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Forks Area Trail System (FATS) MTB Trail 4.92 out of 5 based on 60 ratings. 60 user reviews.
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Trail Features
 
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Trail Conditions
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