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Level: Advanced
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +257/ -248 ft
Total: 66 riders

Mountain Biking Briar Chapel

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#98 of 546 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#1,840 in the world

This is a relatively new trail (even the website states that it is not finished yet) which is not consistently well-marked. There are rooty and rocky patches along the path, and it intersects a mulched walking trail in certain places. All-in-all, this is a reasonably enjoyable track for both beginners and early intermediate-level riders.

First added by LS29 on Aug 4, 2010. Last updated May 3, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • 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
Located off of 15-501 in Chapel Hill. You may use the link below for Yahoo directions:
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Briar Chapel Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

Jim Herrick (on Jun 30, 2023)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Apr 7, 2019)
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Briar Chapel videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Rider questions

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  • betterbikinborey

    I cannot say enough good things about this trail system. The jumping area is great! The last drop gap on the double black diamond jump trail is so awesome! It sends you just right. The tech trails are a real challenge. I kept asking out loud where all those rocks came from! The trails appear to be very well maintained.

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  • Canonballs

    This is my favorite trail in the triangle, do far. This one has the best mix of features. There are progressive obstacles in the skills are with wood features, tabletops, and drops up to 5-6ft. There's smooth and flowy sections, rocky and technical sections, and just enough elevation to give the legs a good workout. The biggest knock on this trail is mapping and signage; it's pretty non-existent. Without trail mapping app, you're at the mercy of following tire tracks and a few small arrows. This would be my go-to trail in the triangle if I lived closer to it.

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  • GC_Killa

    This trail is not very difficult

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  • Starfall240

    Great skills area but the trails are pretty rocky and rooty.

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  • 09tarheel

    Appreciate TORC maintaining - the love shows in areas for sure...however...

    Flow is really choppy. For example, get going with nice flow and several banked turns, then it runs abruptly into a rock garden - I guess that works for some.

    Signage is either missing or downright confusing. Easy to lose the trail with crossroads, walking trails, even other MTB trail intersections. I guess if you ride every day or built the trail, you have an inside edge understanding it.

    Also, several sections closed because the developer is apparently taking down a ton of trees by certain sections that run near the houses - not cool!

    So...to get max enjoyment, spend a lot of time researching your ride, or be prepared to pull out your phone a LOT mid ride to know where to go!

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  • eddyz9   ✓ supporter

    I wasn't expecting much after crawling through the bland, cookie-cutter, suburban horror of Briar Chapel, but I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find the loop trail well-maintained and appropriately challenging for blue square rating. Got a bit lost in places where the trail came up to or crossed streets, so there could be better signage here and there. The residents were surprisingly gracious and friendly considering the ambiance of the neighborhood, but hiking trails are separate and marked as such, so that may help. Kudos to TORC for their efforts. Nice job! Think I'll go back to check out the advanced trail next time....

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  • Lizwarlick

    Fun trail, very rocky in places. The main loop is a great beginnermediate ride, Bennett mountain is not for beginners and is tough for an intermediate rider. If you aren't comfortable with rocks go up the mulch double track to get to the other loop. It's a good time if you go clockwise with some flow on the downhill side. Looking forward to the skillz park opening soon. It would be nice to have a day to work on the main trail though. Leafs on the rocks are a little sketch and some of the erosion has gotten pretty deep in places. Still one
    Of my favorite trails in the area

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  • PartsPProf

    I rode this alone for the first time, and chose my route based on Singletracks reviews, notes from mtbproject, and other trail reviews. This trail is well maintained by TORC (Triangle Off Road Cyclists) with good signage. There could be more maps placed around the route, especially at points where the trail ends in the suburban development that it circles. Seems like signs may have been posted in a few places, but they were totally faded and unreadable. A few times, I had to consult my gps maps to figure out how to reconnect to the singletrack, as the main trail will lead you to several points in the development. But generally, it's fairly easy to figure out if you have that tech with you and do your homework. The main loop has some more woodsy parts throughout and is generally pretty flowy, with minor roots/rocks. Compared to the connected Bennett Mtn trails (on the other side of Briar Chapel Parkway), this main loop is beginner-intermediate. The Bennett trails offer a great technical challenge that is 90% rocks, inclining and descending in a short section. Right next to that on the same side of the parkway is a lollipop out-and-back (Herndon Loop). This trail goes along the power lines and offers a good flow with a few jumps. It's a pretty quick add-on ride after the main loop. I met some riders that said there's an illegal trail near Bennett that is almost all vertical rocks, but didn't check it out. Park at the Catulo lot for easy access to all the trails.

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  • Joe Rayno

    Trail has some fun fast sections, mixed with some slower more difficult terrain. There are a few different portions to ride, each offering different obstacles and fun flowing areas. If you're in the triangle area, this is a great group of trails to ride.

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  • bikerjo

    outer loop fast that rock knobb is technical if u can ride thru that without getting off the padals u can ride

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  • N8XC

    Once you ride here, you can tell that this trail has seen a lot of TLC in its development. The outer loop is fast-paced with good flow. Bennett Mountain was my favorite section with some gnarly boulders and large rocks that require good bike handling skills. Not a lot of difficult climbs or big descents but plenty of flow and skills training to be had.

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  • Colton Lock

    Awesome trail! A few great downhills with some good rocks.

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  • Kent Burris

    I'm not sure which direction on the trail is best, but there are some serious baby heads throughout the trail's entirety and the flow is important here. Due to the newness of the trials, I think it will take some time to get a good route down for maximum fun. I was gased by the end of this relatively short distance ride. There are some challenging rock problems that take some strength to get through as well. Not my favorite ride in the triangle area thus far, but that might change over time as they continue to improve the trails...Grade: C-

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  • jodigold

    Good mix of single track with plenty of rock gardens and roots. Trails circle around housing development, entrances vary but not well marked. Loop roughly 9 miles.

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  • bperdue588

    Home trail, excellent ride and continues to be developed. All around good time

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  • IntelligentDesigner

    Nice mix of terrain. Good fast sections. Challenging, but not lung busting climbs. Technically challenging rock gardens. Overall good ride.

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  • johnc

    5 mile main loop with a few optional lollipops - probably 9 miles total with more coming soon! Good mix of flow, piedmont climbing, and very technical rocky sections. New trail will have more of a bike park feel with berms and whoops.

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  • pacedc

    Had a blast!

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  • LS29

    The trail retains a definite unfinished quality; however, I still found it to be an enjoyable ride. It traverses at least a couple of different types of terrain, and it is being built as a feature of a nice housing development in Chapel Hill (but is still open to the public according to the Briar Chapel Information Center). A trail map may be found at the following address: http://www.briarchapelnc.com/media/1336054/FEB%202009%20Updated%20Phase%201%20Trail%20Map.pdf

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