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Level: Intermediate
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +392/371 ft
Total: 122 riders

Mountain Biking Carolina North Forest

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#208 of 535 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#7,977 in the world

These trails are usually pretty crowded and a bit overridden. Nevertheless, you probably won't find this much single track anywhere else in the Triangle. To get to my favorite section, enter from the school parking lot, go straight on the wide trails and after about a third of a mile there will be a trail on the right. Get ready for some fast and narrow single track. Most of this section is only about four inches wider than your handlebars. A little lean to the left or right and it will seem like you're a downhill ski slalomer hugging the turns and knocking over those stiff poles (except in this case the stiff poles are young skinny pine trees). There are countless miles of trails out here so take a buddy and don't get lost!

First added by Jeff Barber on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • 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
"From I-40 East get on Highway 86 (Airport Road). Turn right on Homestead Rd. Turn left on Seawell School Rd. Enter the school parking lot on right.
System trails (7)
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Dry (on Oct 1, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Beginner | 4 mi
Beginner | 2 mi
Advanced | 5 mi

Rider questions

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  • John Fisch

    This trail system really has little going for it. The green trails are really roads and the blue trails are really very green singletrack. The singletrack isn't particularly interesting, although it is nice that this bit of forest sits within town. That said, I almost gave this a mere one star as there's not much to recommend it other than accessibility and a few trees in town.

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  • [email protected]

    I've ridden these trails many time over the last few years. Yesterday I noticed that the roots, that are everywhere on the trail, have gotten much more pronounced. This may be due to some recent sever weather. It's was a bit painful in a few areas.

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  • eddyz9   ✓ supporter

    I only rode the Crow Branch Overlook Loop, about 3 & 1/3 miles, but I will be back to explore more of this system. After reviewing the map at the trailhead, I found the waypoints/blazes pretty easy to follow. I was surprised (pleasantly) at the amount of climbing for the area; I though it would be flatter. As has been mentioned before, there's a lot of winding through the pines. A good bit of this loop is pretty easy, but with some rocky, somewhat technical sections. A good balance for a good ride!

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  • mattlax20

    Eh...I love that it says 10 miles...10 miles based on what?? You could get 3 miles or you could get 20 miles out of this thing depending on what routes you take and whether or not you end up backtracking several times. Nothing is really marked besides these random little arrows, which make no sense since the entire system is multi-directional. It's basically a make your own ride kind of deal. I always find it a bit frustrating because making up my own routes results in pauses in my workout where I'm stopping and looking around to pick a direction. I'd say it's nice for a random ride to try something new, but overall not a great trail system until they get better signage out there. I tend to prefer the airport side (which is a great trail run btw) a little more than the high school side.

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  • JRDinATL

    Not a bad place to ride, especially for an in-town trail. I rode the airport side, and enjoyed it.

    Trails tend to be very twisty and rooty. There's very little climbing, and not many flowy places where you can push speed or ride berms. This makes for technical riding in many spots, and because there are so many turns/trees/roots, there are many opportunities for low-speed falls.

    As has been noted, signage is bad...very easy to get lost in here if you don't be careful. The good news is that there is a fire road that most trails cross or lead back to, and it serves as a connector if you need to bail out and head back.

    All that said, it's worth riding and there are miles and miles to cover if you want to make a day of it.

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  • IntelligentDesigner

    Haven't really ridden enough of the high school side to say too much about it, but what I did ride was alright. Lots of pedestrian traffic. Skills area was pretty good. Airport side (across the street) was entertaining enough, but nothing that's made me make the drive back out there. I will eventually though. It's worth a second shot. Needs more jumps and stuff though.

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  • john_doe000

    Gradeated from Chapel Hill HS - class of 99. Nice trail, easy access - lots of interesting scenery and vantage points. Recommend.

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  • drewandnotu

    A lot of fun and very convenient to get to. Somewhat primitive in terms of marking and trail construction, but there is a big variety of trail style. I'm definitely an amateur but I didn't have any problem with any of the sections I rode. All in all the trails are all a blast to ride, the scenery is nice, and there is enough trail to keep you occupied all day.

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  • seakey

    The trails in this area are large not well marked but trails can be found in any skill level. The trails are broken North East to South West by train tracks and are broken by service roads in many places. This area is large and very tight and twisty, the lower levels can get quite muddy. The trails work their way around Bolin Creek. The trails are often confusing so take a map. Have fun, Take caution on some older wood bridges and jumps they are in bad shape.

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  • jhckelman

    I usually hit this trail system every time I'm in Chapel Hill. There is certainly fun to be had, with some decently flowy sections and technical challenges. Many of the trails are not built very well, unfortunately, and thus lack good flow and erode badly with rain. Most of the northshore style stunts have now rotted as well. Pity, as this place has the potential to be better.

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  • chainring

    Trail has it all, beginner to technical, with some North Shore stuff to push your limits if you are so inclined. Go early morning on the weekends to avoid family and dog walkers.

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  • tedderbo

    i know ive added stuff on this one before. i just wanted to get it out there that after my ride today i noticed a lot more pedestrian traffic on the trails. a bunch of different dog walkers that made me stop. not too big of a problem becausethe place is so big, but just be alert.

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  • craigm3ofnc

    Sweet singletrack indeed does describe these trails. Many little jumps for beginners or experts. Awesome ladders and so many ways to get around the trails. You can stay out all day or make a quick run because all the trails connect in some way.

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  • craigm3ofnc

    Sweet singletrack basically describes it. Many little jumps for beginners or experts. Awesome ladders and so many ways to get around the trails.

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  • tedderbo

    wow, there are so many tfrails. you can make runs that last all day. and the jumps and ladders.... crazy. they are ridicculous. good work whoever put them up... i'm sorry thati won't be riding them anytime soon. a bit too extreme foe me.

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