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Level: Intermediate
Length: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +189/ -279 ft
Total: 71 riders

Mountain Biking Killer Three Loop

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#27 of 114 mountain bike trails in South Carolina
#1,891 in the world

Located on Manchester State Forest in Sumter county, in an outlying area of the sandhills, this trail is characterized as rolling with a sandy bottom and many creeks. This single track ride can also be technical in some areas and offers a series of whoop-de-doos. A local bicycling club uses this loop for races in the beginning of each year. The forest has a mixture of pine and hardwoods, along with draping Spanish moss. In the spring, you will find an abundance of dogwood, Magnolia and azalea dotting the forest, as well as red fox, deer, and wild turkey. This trail is mostly flat with a few short climbs and descents. The sand, leaves, and pine straw makes these climbs fairly tough. A very fun track to ride.

First added by searsandrewj on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated May 1, 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
"From the junction of Hwy 378 and Hwy 261 S, 28 miles from Columbia, 16 miles from Sumter, travel ten miles south on Hwy 261 to County Road 63 (Poinsett Road), turn right (west), travel one mile to parking area on the left. The parking area has a sometimes blank sign and little else. The trail starts near the paved road heading left when facing the road. The trail is marked with blue bike signs. If you follow the road to the end you'll be at Poinsett State Park, you've gone too far! But there is some great camping there. Information: Manchester State Forest, 6740 Headquarters Rd. Wedgefield, SC 29168, (803) 494-8196.
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Killer Three Loop Trail map

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Brettsummer (on Jun 21, 2016)
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Trail conditions

Overgrown (on Dec 30, 2016)
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  • RedBeardRunner

    The trail head no longer exists. The land was harvested and there is a sign that states they will fix the trail when they are done. I hope they take care of this soon because I was really looking forward to riding it.

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  • C-Lo

    I would love to give this trail a higher rating but more than half of the trail was blocked off with no explanation. The part that was open was pretty fun and well marked.

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  • ***

    This trail is fun once the spring season starts because the winter storms can cause trees to fall on the trail. Pine needles will be slippery when wet, but it is a fun trail once you ride it a couple of times

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  • jaybird57

    ***Per the Sumter Chain Gang... "K-III trail will be closed until further notice. Eighty eight acres are to be timbered with clear-cut and selective thinning of certain areas. Trail areas under the saw on K-III will be at the Bicycle Man, Duke's Turn, White Church and Indian Mound.

    Hardcore, Campbell's Pond and The Knot are all open."

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  • bhair3

    Awesome trail for the area! Some nice features and slightly longer than the rest of the rides in the area. If you ride weekends make sure you get your pass online as there office is closed and no drop box at the trail head.

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  • Coastie2005

    So being new to South Carolina, I finally had the chance to get away from the rooty trails of Charleston and back to some nice singletrack. Well, maybe. First off, this trail was not as well maintained as I hoped for. Lots of branches and a few downed trees made for a few walks and scratched legs. Then there was the trail markings themselves. I thought I had gotten lost a few times but then the orange tape would show back up and I would make my way over to it and back on the trail. I know this trail gets used a lot but I honestly couldn't tell. That being said, this trail today kicked my tires! It was very challenging and the sand is something new compared to the dirt from GA! I definitely want to try this trail again when they get ready for the races!

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  • skiporgo.com

    You need to get a day ($5) or a season pass in the office couple miles away from the trail. That office is closed on Sat/Sun, so I rode without paying it. A trail is well maintained and technical. It was 88 degrees outside so it wasn't an easy ride, couple good climbs at the end.

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  • klowe8828

    Amazing Maintenance to this trail. The most interesting trail around with cheesy signs to keep you looking forward to the next junction. Embraces what makes mtb fun. several transitions from downhill, to sand, to technical, with the option of picking up a "Hardcore" portion for the thrill seekers

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  • trekmtbrider

    Just rode this trail Saturday 26 May 2012. Loved this trail. Similar flow to the FATS in Augusta, GA. I also loved the indiscriminate and irrelevant signs that dotted the trail, it kept the ride interesting.

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  • jaybird57

    ***Updated Review***
    It's been a while since I've ridden K3 but it won't be long before I ride it again! If you like tight & twisty singletrack then K3 will surely delight! As mentioned in my previous post there are some super sweet big ring, hammer down sections to compliment the twisties & the few short climbs you'll find on the K3. I guess the best endorsement I've personally heard of the K3 was given by two MTBers from Brevard, NC who I spoke to at the TH. They were pretty stoked after just completing a loop on K3 & said they really enjoyed all the twisty & fun singletrack. That says a lot to me personally since these dudes get to ride Pisgah & Dupont whenever they'd like! What are you waiting for, go ride the K3... & don't forget to hit Campbell's Pond while you're there!

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  • Chris35rt

    This is my home town trail system when its covered with leaves it just as fun as if the leaves were gone. Get ready for two nice climbs and some technical areas with great flow to test out your bike handling skills. As of 1-14-2012 trail crew and performing maintenance weekly to the trail so come on out and ride. * Review edited 1/14/2012* Review edited 1/14/2012

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  • radams89

    Not very fast or exciting. I wasn't itching to get back on the trail after one loop. The two side loops were in miserable shape.

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  • [email protected]

    yesterday, 27 Feb 2011, was my first time here and it was a really fun ride...really nice locals here and theyve done a great job putting this trail together...mostly fast when not twisting thru the turns and the setting is really cool...go before it gets hot and plan on about an hour and half 10.5 mile ride (unless you are really fast)...cant wait to go back!

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  • jaybird57

    (This review written by a former K3/Manchester local)
    Fun trail to ride esp. when Harbison (Columbia, SC) is underwater. Nice mix of tight, twisty singletrack & some nice ups & downs along w/ some BIG ring sections where you can simply drop the hammer! The folks who maintain K3, Campbells, et al. have down a wonderful job creating interesting lines & very entertaining & informative trail markers/signs (see photo album!). Some sections do get a bit sandy in the summer & drier months, thus I prefer to ride K3 in late fall/winter/early spring when other local trails are too wet to ride, but that is just my preference so don't let me deter you from riding this fun trail anytime you'd like! And don't get me wrong, we're not talking Sesqui S.P. type sand here! That place is a sandbox in the hotter, drier months but that's another story ;-) The trail drains water very quickly so it can be riden quite literally the very next day after a hard rain. You can combine K3/Red Loop/Campbells Pond w/ the Wateree Passage of the Palmetto Trail for a veritable "Epic" right here in the Midlands of S.C. Enjoy!* Review edited 1/21/2011

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  • nittanyjja

    Sand, Sand and more Sand!! The trail has become very slow and difficult due to a lot of areas with heavy sand. The trail has the potential to be very fast in its design but unfortunately is not. There are some great sections, namely the Double Helix, Watermelon Patch and Collarbone.

    In addition, make sure you get a pass from the Gun/Rifle Range for $5 before you get on the trail. A State Forest Police officer attempted to give us $450 fines for riding without a permit.

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  • sturides

    Rode this trail for the first time today. What a great surprise! I had no idea of the quality of this trail. I combined it with Red Loop. Should have been around 14 miles but my Blackberry gps said 12. Great variety, fast sections, pump sections, short climbs, tigth singletrack and double. Some sandy areas. Guessing that this is the place to ride after rain have trashed other trails. I'll be back fo sho. Thanks to the local riders who have made this a great trail. Here is the link to my ride.
    http://www.sportypal.com/Workouts/Details/229814* Review edited 4/7/2010* Review edited 4/7/2010

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  • mountaingen

    The trail is sweet! Rode it today, and enjoyed the changes, curves and terrain. Recent work was done on that trail and the red loop and its in great riding condition.

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  • hulio2

    This trail is a blast!!! It changes elevation all the time. It also has several off chutes and other trails there. You could ride in this park all day and not see the same tree twice.

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  • Calvin

    This is a fun trail. Decent climbs for the terrain with some nice single track. Can get real sandy in the turns and take your momentum away, but still a good trail overall. This is just one trail out of I think three in the park. HELMETS are required to ride this trail, guess the guys in the photo's cannot read the signs at the trail head. Please wear your helmets so we don't lose this trail.

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  • naygoo

    K-3 has suffered some disruption due to logging recently, but the trail is looking great thanks to the volunteers who maintain it. The information on this page is wrong, the K-3 is now about 10.5 miles.

    Regarding frelup's review of the Hardcore trail below - the Hardcore has been re-worked and re-signed since his review and is in great shape now. It was renamed "Red Loop", I believe because the name "Hardcore" was scaring people away. :-) It's a great 5-mile trail with some fun climbs and technical sections.

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