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Level: Beginner
Length: 8 mi (12.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +358/359 ft
Total: 23 riders

Mountain Biking Palmetto Trail (Gate 5)

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#42 of 114 mountain bike trails in South Carolina
#2,888 in the world

The Fort Jackson passage of South Carolina's Palmetto Trail is a winding trail that has some sections of shoulder width tree passages and some relatively easy ascents and descents. The trail follows parallel to Leesburg Road almost the entire duration of the passage, but lies off of the road enough to enjoy the scenery. The first part of the trail from the kiosk is well traveled with foot traffic, but tapers to almost no use at all for the latter part of the trail. This is a fresh trail as of 1999 and is still a true singletrack with some very good maintenance. The eastern part of Columbia's soil consists almost entirely of sand, but this trail defies the stereotypical drags of riding on sand. The trail is well marked with trail signs and yellow flashes on the trees.

First added by searsandrewj on Apr 23, 2014. Last updated May 4, 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
Fort Jackson Gate 5
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Palmetto Trail (Gate 5) Trail map

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caissus1860 (on Jul 5, 2020)
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Dry (on Aug 12, 2020)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Columbia, South Carolina

Beginner | 5 mi

Rider questions

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  • KMO

    Wet sand is not fun!! Awesome trail to just have some fun on. The old cleared out area is greening up, so pay attention to the blue markings to guide you through this area.

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  • KMO

    Very nice ride to get the blood flowing. Gate 5 to Westin Lake gate. Not to technical, just a few sandy spots.

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  • caissus1860

    beginner trail although the farther east you go the better the trail gets. This trail is much longer than the 8 miles advertised on here. I rode 12.5 miles on this trail and the Palmetto trail website states it is 16 miles in length. I also ran past what the topo map shows on the mobile app. Rode this in February and despite a solid covering of leaves and pine needles I encountered very little sand. I did do plenty of leaf surfing around corners though. I started at the Semmes Rd. Trailhead and rode 12.5 miles to the eastern corner of Ft. Jackson. Not a whole lot of elevation or steep climbing; easy to power up and nice fast gentle slopes down. There has been a lot of logging recently but someone has gone through and ensured that there are markers or at least flagging tape (blue tape) to guide through the areas that have been clear cut. I encountered only 4 or 5 spots where I had to dismount to avoid obstacles. This trail is a good choice for those of us that don't live close to Harbison Forest and are looking for some off-pavement mileage during the week in the evenings. Another aspect that I appreciate about this trail is that it is an out and back instead of a loop so it actually feels like you are going some where instead of just going around in circles.

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  • Brettsummer

    Leaving this rating as beginner singletrack. Start by saying I've dodged this place lack of pics and reviews but its a singletrack that really shows the landscape of the Midlands. Lots of pinestraw! It starts with loose sand but after alittle while its not so bad. Eventually leads to a paved trail thru a gate which has some awesome vies of a golf course and ponds. Had a great time there's a couple technical climbs at the roadways and a cement drain for a pond you have to navigate over

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  • C-Lo   ✓ supporter

    This is a nice singletrack. Be ready to work on your balancing skills. This trail has a lot of deep beach sand. Some of the sand is in 45 and 90 degree corners. There is a lot of pine straw and pine cones on the far end of the trail. The trail flows very well and is marked with a yellow "i" on the trees around the trail.

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