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Level: Beginner
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +962/ -918 ft
Total: 125 riders

Mountain Biking Bethel Bike Trails

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#6 of 37 mountain bike trails in Mississippi
#1,441 in the world

Bethel Bike Trails are a network of trails (Pine Lizard, South Pine Lizard, Badlands, Couch Trail,
Turtle Back Trail, Briar Patch, and South Bethel) which used to be Motorcycle trails. The trails
are in the Desoto National Forest. They are primarily single track with the occasional fire and
jeep trail. The trails are flat with only slight changes in elevation. The trails range from tight
turns in the trees to scenic rides along the creeks. Be prepared for a variety of soils ranging
from sand to hard packed dirt. I haven't ridden the trails enough to say what is the best route.
The Gulf Coast Bycicle Club has done a great job of fixing (especially since Hurricane Katrina)
and maintaining the trails. If you go to their website, you can get a description of each trail
individually and upcoming events. Being in the south, bring lots of water when you ride because
it will get very hot. It is an enjoyable ride, but also the only ride on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

First added by searsandrewj on Jan 14, 2007. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From I-10, take I-110 exit in Biloxi north. Turn right on highway 15. go approximately 8 miles (Caution turn signs on the right side of the highway are a good indicator that you are close. Turn left at road 426 (trailhead sign on left). Go 1.1 miles down the fire trail to the parking and trailhead entrance on the left.
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Bethel Bike Trails Trail map

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Local Info

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Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

eddyz9 (on Apr 23, 2021)
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Upcoming Events

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Trail conditions

Good (on Jul 20, 2019)
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Camping & Lodging

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Bethel Bike Trails videos

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Rider questions

Q: Since the last hurricane, does this trail still exist and is it still ridable???
A: yes, perfect conditions

Q: Can someone please give me the directions to any point of this map so I can ride the trail?
A: Jeff, have you tried using the "Driving Directions" form on the trail page? It's under the "Directions" heading just below the trail features. From the map it looks like one trailhead is off hwy 15 on an unmarked road. Here's what you get from the directions form using Biloxi as the starting point: https://www.google.com/maps?daddr=30.60151, -88.94523&hl=en&saddr=biloxi, ms

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  • tk7392

    Well cared for mostly hardpacked with rough rooty sections, especially on Couch trail, with some sandy sections throughout. Watch out for the banana spider webs if you hit the trails early in the morning.

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  • luckystarz

    Fun trail, well cared for. Must have full suspension for Couch and Briarwood due to root stairs however South Bethel was super fun and flowed well. We'll be back

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  • Jonathan Clemmer

    My first time here. Google maps put me close to motorbike trailhead but folks there told me to continue on FR426 a bit more (coming from Bethel Road) to get to clearly marked bike trailhead. Can get to the trailhead directly from Hey 15. Couple of other campers here in the big grassy parking area. One poster at the central info board showed the trails but they don't seem to be color coded or named on the trails themselves. There is basic signage at intersections. If you have a good sense of direction and pay attention to the double track connector roads it's pretty easy not to get lost. I'm pretty new at this and could handle the trails fine. It was a cooler afternoon in March so heat and humidity weren't an issue. There seemed to a regular weekday trickle of regular users coming and going who were happy to give directions. Glad I made to stop over! I have, the Gulf Coast Bike Club website seemed to be down so couldn't download the detailed map. Forest Service map not that easy to make out the trail details..

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  • ****

    Good fast beginners trail, great for a quick ride if your down on the gulf coast

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  • Gregory Turner

    Being new to MTB, this is perfect for my wife and I. We have been riding this trail 2-4 times a week for the last 2 weeks and love it!

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  • C-Lo

    Nice trails. There is a lot of activity other than hiking and biking. Make sure you wear bright colors during hunting season. This us one of the few places hunting with dogs is legal. While I was riding a bunch of hunters released their dogs. A mountain biker was shot in the leg a few weeks ago. Some teens have a arrested for attacking bikers by sticking poles and sticks in the front wheel causing the rider to flip over the handle bars. With that being said be it is a nice, well marked trail. I would recommend riding in a group when coming here. The local bike shop does night rides every Wednesday night.

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  • Stephen Laney Tullos

    Great trail for beginners. very little elevation. a few roots and some sandy areas.

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  • Gregory James

    My favorite and only trail system in this state that is worth visiting.

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  • Kazy

    Nice trail for beginners

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  • LStadelmeier   ✓ supporter

    Stopped during a road trip to Baton Rouge for a stretch ride. Rode 12 miles of this system and found it to be very level with limited challange. Ok let me be fair, I ride North Georgia on a regular basis. Overall the use of terrain was nice and I had a good time cranking out some miles on my single speed.

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  • labmom

    Fast, flowy, fun.
    Not much technical riding but definitely constant pedaling and fun for a beginner rider.

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  • Ben McDonald

    I started on the South Bethel, then Pine Lizard. Both of those are very similar, pretty flat (rarely came out of the saddle), some sand on the trails and fairly narrow trail with grass very close on both sides several feet high. There were lots of fast turns and blind corners. Basically I rode the entire trail system clockwise but did not ride Badlands. The Badlands-Couch Connector, Toaster and Couch were very different than the 2 trails at the top of the map. There was more shade, more quick ups and downs, had a "jungle" feel to it. Very cool! The Clay Climb was short but quite a challenge. I was unable to make it all the way up. There are some 2-3 foot "step ups". Coming back to the Parking Connector via Briar Patch was a fun trail...getting some speed in the sandy turns made for some near washouts which was fun! Overall I probably did 15 miles total. I did not see a bottle refill station so take plenty of liquid. The trails are pretty well marked, but do make sure you are familiar with the map before you start. You can get back to the parking area very easily at the end of Pine Lizard (take the right where the trail forks). Mosquitos and horseflys were terrible! That was probably the only negative of the day. You can access these trails from Hwy 15 or Bethel Road.

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  • Hawk101964

    I enjoyed 18.7 miles worth going the loop starting on Briar patch was a intoxicating ride only a couple snakes . Great times

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  • John Prystupa

    Road a 10 mile route today. I am not much for the sand to solid ground transitions that occur but overall it was a fun relaxing ride. There are very few grades and not many roots when compared to other trail I have ridden. It was also a fairly open trail that is well maintained.

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  • bobeurinome

    Nice long ride. A little bit of everything. Very we'll maintained. Very happy I choose to give it a try. Around 20 miles of trail.

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  • Janie W

    The trail, what part we were able to ride, was great. We were unable to complete our planned ride because we found ourselves sharing the woods with about 15 or 20 armed deer hunters with trucks and hunting dogs racing around. At one point, my husband and I ditched our bikes and hit the ground when we found ourselves between the hunters and the dog pack, fearful of being shot. We got to the access road, and got out of there. Speaking with local riders at the parking area, we were informed that riding this trail during deer hunting season can be hazardous. I am pretty sure that walking around on public roads and trails pointing loaded guns is illegal, even in MS. One of the hunters told our group that if we happen to be between him and his prey, he would not be responsible if someone was hurt. I have no desire to share the trail with these guys.

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  • maadhunterfitness

    I have been traveling to this trail system for a couple of weeks. The trail is in good shape. I recommend the 10mi loop of Briar Patch, Couch, then Badlands connector to the Badlands. Briar Patch is piney woods, Couch is rooty and along a creek through Oak Trees. The back through some more open piney woods. My favorite trails, so far.

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  • ****

    I was down visiting my daughter and son in law stationed in Biloxi and wanted to take them on a bike ride because they just purchased new bikes and needed a place to ride. The trails were pretty flat and a lot of roots, easy but fun as well. I did not want anything too tough because they are just getting into the sport and with that being said I thought they were great.
    Being from Wisconsin, where I think we have some of the best trails in the US, I'm kind of spoiled I guess.
    I will go back again when in the area.
    Met some very nice people while there as well.

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  • Jetnjeff29r

    For links check out http://www.mtbepicrides.com/2014/03/bethel-biloxi-mississippi.html

    Always looking for 20-40 miles of riding, I saw Bethel in Singletracks.com, listed 30 miles. Well that was an error or old info. The Directions are for the northern Trailhead, which is now for Motorcycles and ATVs. I put in a correction to Single Tracks, so it may be accurate when you read this. There may have been 30 miles when the north trails were for bicycles and the south was for motorcycles and ATVs. A few years ago, to keep everybody happy, things were switched around. So while there is a Bicycle TH sign of of Bethel rd to the north, after a fair ways on a graded dirt road, you come to an unmarked clearing with only a couple orange arrows and ATV tracks on the trail. The current TH is just a short way up FSR 426, just off of route 15, with a map kiosk, cinder block restroom, picnic table and fire ring (bring your own H2O). Located in the De Soto National Forest, it is easy to feel that you are nowhere near civilisation. Strange how quickly that happens after leaving Biloxi Mississippi.

    There are currently between 19 and 20 miles of mountain biking at Bethel, with only one on the forest service road and another on old double track. I bumped into and rode with Tracy and John from Bethel Mountain Bike Trail Group. Tracy said there were plans to replace the fireroad between the Couch and the Badlands, trail with single track. While there are no bluff on the Badlands trail, the tall grass was reminiscent of the Maah Daah Hey, though it was named for the oppressive heat in summer due to the lack of shade, also much like the MDH of North Dakota. The sandy soil handles rain much better than the slough of the MDH, Tracy pointed out several places that used to be big drainage problems, that they had successfully ameliorated. Some bridges were replaced with spaced pavers on the bottom of the washes. Different sections of the country have different views on paver is the water crossing, I am not sure why, yet. There are a just a few places that still hold water. Pavers have also been used make berms, in certain fast corners to firm up the sand. There is still sand inside the turns so those die hard old school riders can still play in the sandbox and get their sand on! They are also working on new sand management methods.

    To me the trails have an old school, natural feel, not overly manicured, yet well maintained. Some sections flow and some corners test your skills more than others, a nice mix. Pine needles made themselves known as well, they have good traction up to a point and then just slide out!

    No big elevation here, about 1k for the Full Monty. But it is not as flat as the non-pit sections of Santos, more like Paisley in north central Florida. It is more akin to the Games loop in Pensacola FL(but longer), which is not surprising as they are so geographically close to each other, even down to the touch of clay. But not the elevation change of UWF, just across the street from the Games loop.

    You won't find pump or jump tracks or pits, just good old fashioned singletrack, with enough personality change from trail to trail to keep it interesting. There is a nice section of Couch that follows the Tuxachanie river. The system can be done as one big loop or shortened at several places that cross the main fire road or FSR 426 or a trail aptly called Bail Out. All the major intersections are well marked, most with a map with a "YOU ARE HERE" star. The only tough spot is the Clay climb, which is basically a stair case for giants. It suffers from erosion, so a much more gradual switchback was made around it. There are may water drainage, mainly dips between humps and usually small, though a few bigger ones sneak up on you.

    They have a really cool Google Earth map for your smartphone. You need the Google earth App on your phone to open it, but once you load it, it uses your phones GPS signal to show you where you are on the map, regardless of cell reception! Pretty darn cool.

    There are a few other trails that are available like these from SAMBA

    For Links check out http://www.mtbepicrides.com/2014/03/bethel-biloxi-mississippi.html

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  • Willy7467

    This was a pretty easy and fun ride. It's not marked very well though and my short 3 mile ride turned into a almost7 mile ride. I don't think there's much in the area so it's a nice place to get out and ride.

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