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Level: Beginner
Length: 16 mi (25.7 km)
Surface: Fire Road
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +721/720 ft
Total: 25 riders

Mountain Biking South Mountain Loop

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#295 of 532 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#10879 in the world

Not technical at all, just long steep uphill and downhill sections. Bring plenty of water and food, plan on a day trip. Very exhausting loop. Bring a lock for bike if you feel like a short hike to the waterfall afterwards!

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
"From I-40 take 18 South, Follow the signs to South Mountain State Park. From I-85, take 321N to 27W, to 18N, then follow the signs to South Mountain State Park.
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ABrackney (on Aug 31, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Wet (on Feb 15, 2014)
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  • Card&Bikes

    This trail is great for training. I wouldn't call it fun though. I love it because it's an easy to follow loop with plenty of climbing. A few of the climbs are steep enough that traction can be tricky, but generally it's a very rideable trail if you are fit. And while the trees block much of the scenery, it is in a pretty area, and you get good vistas in a few places. It's not a busy trail, for sure. I was the only mountain biker on the day I went, and it was a nice day. September I think.

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  • coldblu

    Steep, long climbs... and lots of them.... as much as a 10% + grade... This ride falls directly between "More Difficult" and "Very Difficult" based on the trail rating system on this website. Do Not be fooled by the "Beginner" rating.

    Stumbled upon un-rideable singletrack that was straight up... had to carry for half a mile to a mile.. This part of the trail was not clearly marked at all and and should never be attempted to be ridden.

    Pretty much all fire roads some shared with horse trails... not technical... but down right brutal. Loose rocks, sand, roots... all of which make for difficult climbs.

    This trail is listed as "Beginner"... But Id say its safe to call it even "Intermediate" due to the shear brutality of the climbs..... and the single track I encountered?... "Advanced"

    Was nearly bitten by a rattlesnake in November?! So keep an eye out...

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  • pedrotyler

    the beginning is all up hill!!!!!!
    it is an old logging road
    it is worth it once you get to the top to come back down

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  • teeradejk

    You'll enjoy this trail ONLY if you like loooong, never ending climbs. I don't mind them so much, but I know some people who will never go back there after having ridden it once. There's nothing technical since the whole trail is double track; however, the downhill is very fast in some spots and can be dangerous if you're not careful.

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  • petersbike

    Poor guy! Yea the climbs are brutal, but they get you in shape. Your reward if you can survive the uphill slog is a kick a** downhill. Keep it together as you sail over water bars.

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