What is the best MTB trail system in the southeast?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum What is the best MTB trail system in the southeast?

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    • #76401

      I was thinking about this recently and wondered what everyone else thought. There are certainly some great choices: Tsali in western North Carolina, FATS in South Carolina just outside Augusta, GA, Douthat in Virginia, and Santos in Florida.

      Ultimately I think I have to give the nod to Santos for a few reasons. First, the shear mileage available – there must be at least 50 miles of interconnected singletack at Santos! Next, Santos has a killer freeride area with progressive jumps and obstacles that are great for riders of all skill levels. Finally, Santos has amazing trailhead facilities including a campground that can hold more than 300 camping mountain bikers plus restrooms, parking, etc.

      I understand there are other trail systems down here that are working on improvements so perhaps we’ll see this list change over time. I’m keeping an eye on Blankets Creek in north metro Atlanta, Uwharrie east of Charlotte, NC, Oak Mountain in Alabama, and even Tanasi in southeastern TN. What’s your pick for best MTB trail system in the southeast?

    • #76402

      Hell it’s an honor to just get mentioned.

      For pure XC riding, FATS is tough to beat.

      For anything else, FATS has little to offer.

      Several guys who live near Santos come up here alot to ride and always invite me down. I need to take them up on that and get down to Santos someday. But the freeride stuff would be over my head most likely.

      Again, thanks for putting FATS up in the top echelon of spots in the SE.

      Another I hear alot about but haven’t been to yet is Racoon Mtn.

    • #76403

      Yeah, Raccoon mountain is great but it’s short right now – only about 15 miles last time I rode there. The local bike club has a goal for something like 100 miles of singletrack within 10 miles of Chattanooga by 2010 (may have some of the details wrong) which would be a huge boost…

      Hey seenvic, any chance of getting a freeride area built at FATS one day? ;)

    • #76404
      "trek7k" wrote

      Hey seenvic, any chance of getting a freeride area built at FATS one day? ;)

      If don’t have the skill to ride it, I certainly don’t have the energy to try to gain approval, funding and actually build it.

      A pumptrack is another thing altogether. We have a perfect spot for one.

      But I’d say we’re done building trails at FATS for the most part.

      My thing now is trying to connect Modoc and Turkey Creek with more singletrack and less gravel roads. We need about 8ish miles built and the two trails would be less than a mile apart on a backcountry paved road. Interestingly, the original plan (1965) was to have one long linear trail from hwy 23 to hwy 283. That would be Modoc, Turkey and Wine as one long trail. Well, they (USFS) built the three trails just never connected them via a bridge over Stevens Creek. The reason the bridge wasn’t built is a sound reason…..the creek floods something awful and to bridge it right would cost a ton of $$$. A much better idea is to build trails out to the paved roads and just ride over Stevens Creek on an existing paved bridge. I’d rather have 8 miles of single than a bridge that costs a few $hundred grand. Got shot down last time I pitched it.

      I don’t sweat the getting shot down part. I got shot down about 1000 times pitching FATS. I just kept pitching. I’ll prolly keep pitching this one too.

      Other items of interest around here is a possible connection of the Bartram Trail to FATS via an old RR bed. Longshot, but not unthinkable. Going out the other side of Bartram is a trail already unway going into Wildwood Park. Then more trail in Wildwood, and a connection to Keg Creek. If all this happens, then one could ride mostly off road starting in Mistletoe SP to Keg to Wildwood, to Bartram to FATS.

      Lastly, look for something called the Sumter Centuries here about May 9. Two rides….one route is 100 miles starting at FATS, then ride to Modoc, Turkey, Wine and on to finish at Lick Fork (Horn Creek Trail). The other route is 100K and is a loop starting and finishing at Lick Fork. You also ride Modoc, Turkey and Wine in that loop. The 100 miler is about 58 miles of single and the 100K is about 24 miles of single.

      Sorry to ramble.

    • #76405

      I’ve never stepped foot in Paris Mountain State Park. And that is a shame. I’ve driven past it, but I am rarely in that part of the state.

      I need to get up there and ride. Heard it’s great.

    • #76406

      I have ridden blankets creek, oak mountain, raccoon mountain, tsali and many other Alabama and georgia trails. Of the ones mentioned, I really like raccoon mountain the best. The others are great trails, but raccoon mountain has all of the things that I look for in a great trail system. It has tech features, great views, and lots of fun!!

    • #76407


      The 2 new loops at FATS, Tower and Big Rock, are both a lot of fun. Each are around 4 miles with lots of long down hill (compared to the other trails) and long climbs.

      The other trails in the area are worth exploring also.

    • #76408

      Best trail system in the Southeast. I’ve never ridden at Santos, but it certainly seems to have it all. Most of my riding has been in Virginia, so other than pictures I don’t have a good way to compare our trails to other systems. Guess I’ll throw in my 2 cents anyway.

      Douthat State Park; 40 miles of interconnected cross country trails. Strictly XC, no free ride or pretty much anything else. Good camping facilities. Another 60 miles of Forest Service trails that are being interconnected with Douthat trails via “Horse Peopleâ€

    • #174694

      Don’t leave out Urban Wilderness and Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, Tn. This is a ongoing development of thousands  acres surrounding an abandoned quarry in South Knoxville. There are several very technical trails and more being built. The area just received a $100,000 grant to add and upgrade trails. One upgrade is a monster downhill course about to be launched. This is all surrounding a nature center that sits on the banks of the Tennessee River. You won’t be disappointed.

    • #174697

      Holy thread resurrection! I’d personally pick DuPont state forest. Super diverse riding, incredible scenery, and near endless mileage.

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