The existence of “mountain” biking in the state of Mississippi is a testament to the tenacity of human beings. Not willing to settle for riding skinny tires on pavement, the residents of one of the flattest states in the nation–and the fattest–have built trail networks all across Mississippi that are worth at least checking out the next time you drive through. And if you live in Mississippi, defy the statistics and hit these five trails to stay in shape!
The folks who constructed the Mt. Zion Trails have succeeded in creating a vastly-interesting trail network in a relatively flat location. To accomplish this, these builders have created creative wooden features, sandy berms, teeter totters, and much more to challenge the local riders’ skills. There’s even a 9-mile main loop if you want to log some mileage as well.
“I’d heard about this trail while riding with some MS friends here in AR. I finally got to see for myself en route to family Christmas is FL. Wow! I Never imagined something like this in Mississippi. Nice trailhead with bike wash, a covered pavilion with chairs, a fire pit, and even a fridge. The locals were super nice. Said we could use the fridge for our drinks and there was a popsicle in the fridge when we finished! Even got a cell# to message anytime for current conditions. The main loop is 9 miles with many well-made wooden features. (I lost count at 35). Some short, a couple over 125ft long. There are several jumps, but they are all well-marked and have bypasses if you don’t want to leave the ground. One cool feature on most of the ‘jumps’ is a landing ramp that you can totally jump over, or if slow rolling, just drop a few inches to the catch-ramp and keep rolling. There are several really nice dirt and wooden berms. This trail really flows well. Not as much climbing as back home in Little Rock but there are a few hills, definitely not flat! All the climbs are rewarded with some fun stuff after. You can tell a lot of time went into building this trail. It is very well marked with directional arrows and mile markers. It was well maintained. I was there during December after a rain, but the trail was in remarkable shape. I suggest one lap to get a feel for the trail and all the features, and then another lap to let r rip! Absolutely one of the most fun trails I’ve ever ridden. So much fun I left my family Christmas one day early to ride it again on the way back home. Can’t wait to take my AR boys back to this one! Look this one up, they have a Facebook page. Definitely worth the trip from anywhere.” -cleartop
The Ridgeland Trail System, located near its namesake town of Ridgeland, is home to about 10 miles of singletrack and offers separate areas for beginners, intermediate riders, and advanced rippers.
“Excellent trail system; one of the compromises in building a lot of trail in a small area is usually flow. NO compromise here, ridden at a moderate pace you will almost never touch the brakes. Trail is quite smooth, with lots of short climbs and descents, plus a few longer ones. Area appears to have once been ravaged by bulldozers, and erosion providing interesting features for bikes. There is a bike wash at the TH and signage on the roads leading in. Put in a skills park/jump line at the TH and would rate it a 5.” -RoadWarrior
Located on the shores of Sardis lake, Clear Creek’s 13 miles of singletrack is known to be some of the most rolling, physically-demanding trails in Mississippi.
“This trail is so smooth… I love the way it is laid out. Minimal rocks and roots through this hilly area make this trail fun to ride. I have ridden a bunch of trails around, and this is the smoothest, fastest trail I have ridden in a while. Two thumbs up… definitely ride it if you are in the area…” -indamtnsbj
With at least 12 miles of singletrack (much more if you count all the trails in the area), this region–referred to as Homochitto for the national forest that it’s located in–is home to some lengthy singletrack riding options for Mississippi shredders.
“After spending three days camping and riding with fellow singletracker “Nickrm” I would have to say that these trails are awesome. There are miles of singletarck through the national forest with tough climbs (if you are only used to southern riding) and fast, fun descents. The trails cross many bridges over creeks and streams and wind through stands of pines trees. Richardson’s Creek runs about 9.5 miles and provides a great showing of the [available] terrain. Talley’s Trail was marked as being closed due to lack of maintenance post Hurricane Gustav. We were able to ride a 3.5 mile section but were forced to hike-a-bike and scout ahead to find the trail as it disappeared several times. If the trail were cleared it would make for the most challenging route there.” -Devin_p
Bayou Point has earned a black diamond difficulty rating, based on user reviews–impressive for a trail located in Mississippi. If you want to brush up on your tech skills and bike handling, this is the place to go.
“Technical, has great view of the lake, well maintained, not a lot of traffic on the trail, and very close to the Dam Trails.” -Defshark
Your Turn: Know of a great local haunt that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below!