Summary: I live in Savannah and this trail is just a few miles from my house. When I am not away from Savannah working, I ride this trail 1-3 times a week, and usually once during the weekend. The trail is really convenient for me since it only takes me roughly 30-35 minutes to ride one lap. I first moved to Savannah in early 2010 and, no, the trail was not marked well then. Since that time, the trail has improved a lot. It is decently marked, the routes that lead to nowhere seem to be blocked off, and it is periodically maintained and it has usually been in good condition. There is an additional section that was added about October 2012 that starts on the beginning of the small hill that goes along the canal section. This section adds about a mile and you can’t miss the entrance, as it is marked with a big white sign. The additional section dumps out where it begins, so you don’t miss anything.
From about mid-spring to fall the trail can be muddy in the low spots from the almost daily rain that Savannah gets. This makes the rest of the trail tacky giving good grip in the corners. The trail is really only single track. A few sections get wide, but the trail is tight and twisty with vegetation growing on either side. When you get your speed up, it gets really technical with the sharp turns, roots, and trees. The trail is dead flat. There are virtually no hills whatsoever. But, there are no hills in Savannah anyway.
There are usually tons of spiders on this trail during the warm months. It seems that on the weekends there are fewer spiders since there are more people taking them out. I, personally, HATE spiders and spider webs getting wrapped on my face, and I think I am going to devise some poles to put on my handlebars that stick up and catch the webs.
Mid-fall to spring the trail usually has a lot of pine needles on it, making the turns much more challenging since they are so slick. The vegetation is down and the trail is dryer. A huge plus is that there are very few spiders during this time of year!
I haven’t encountered any gay guys roaming the woods in the three year span I have ridden there, thankfully. I think since they closed off the secluded areas, that crap doesn’t happen there like it used to. If I am being honest, if you do a nightride, the parking lot can have the typical folks hanging out. But, those folks usually stay in the parking lot and blast rap music, and do whatever they do. With all that said, in the daytime it is fine for you and your family. I have never had any problems there. But like anywhere I go in Savannah at night, I always have a way to defend myself. Just don’t leave nice stuff lying out in your car so idiots don’t find a reason to be themselves. You could park your car at one of the businesses down HWY 80 and ride in at night, to prevent the whole thing.
Bottom line: I think this trail is pretty good. I have ridden a decent amount of places: downhill and XC at WhiteFace in Lake Placid, NY; trails in Sedona, AZ; Denver and Loveland, Colorado; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Augusta, GA. Of course this trail can’t compare to the epic one out west, and the Augusta area blows it out of the water for trail construction, and just the volume of trail miles. However, for a local trail I think it’s great. The trail has really grown on me, and it has its own personality. If you are in the area, and have the opportunity to bring your bike I would try it out.
Recommended Route: Clockwise
In the parking lot, ride back towards the HWY 80 entrance (heading north). Before you cross the tracks, turn right (east) at the sign. Follow the trail and the plastic laminated signs. Ride for 10-15 minutes. Follow the signs until you see the canal (disregard signs for "Locks"). Stay on the right side of the canal and follow the trail. Ride about another 10 mins. There is a trail split near a sign for the Google Group. Go straight (slightly longer) or right, they should end up on the same trail. After a small bridge, there will probably be some water in summer, and there is a left turn that has a sign. If you go straight, you will miss a big loop. If you find yourself looking at the lake and walking path, you probably missed a turn. The final stretch the tracks are on your left, and the park road on your right and you finish facing the start point.
So you know how long you can expect on the trail
35 minutes with all the loops if you are pretty fast
40 minutes average
45 minutes just chillin'
Other recommended trails in the same area: Skidaway. I rode this once and like it. But it was not marked. Get on the Google Group SAVMTB and see if you can get someone to send you a GPS track, or ride with you.
Summary: This is my getaway when I am at the in-laws house. I live in marietta so I think this trail is supper flat. I think I had 13' of climbing today. I guess there was a race or something out there because there was directions at all of the intersections. I usually run the trail because I can't bring my bike with me, but I have ridden it a couple times. I noticed that there was a few new sections open, I guess they had been closed because of the construction. Going clockwise it was very well marked and the trail looked like it had been getting a good bit of traffic. For the people that say it is to easy, try doing it at full speed, with the sharp turns and leaf covered roots it can be a lot of fun at speed. It is nothing like any of the trails I am used to ridding, but if all of the trails were the same it would suck. If you are going to be in the area check it out, the guys down here did a good job with the land they had.
Recommended Route: The trail is marked in the clockwise direction. Go out of the parking lot and turn right before you cross the RR tracks.
Other recommended trails in the same area: I have not found anything yet.
Summary: ok, so when i got my first mtb 3 weeks ago, this is the closest trail to where i live,and the majority of the reviews on here said its "too easy" and "good for begginers". thats crap. granted, ive only had my mtb for a few weeks, thats a really fun trail. and best of all, ITS FREE! anyways, great trail, biggest downfall, its so poorly marked its crazy. everytime i ride it, i find a new part. but long story short, this trail is fun, and even if your into really technical stuff, ride this one for a cardio workout. have fun!
Recommended Route: another poorly written portion on the reviews, if your coming from savvanah, get on I-516, exit 16 towards macon, exit Dean Forest Road, turn west on hwy 80, youll see the signs for Tom Trippler Community Park. look to your left when going through the gate, almost right at the railroad tracks, youll see a trailhead, start there and just see where it takes you.
Summary: Update/info from a local: The parking lot and road that used to be open to the western edge of the trail is now closed due to the people using the traffic circle back there as the place for hookups. The gay guys wandering the woods are gone, the only people you will encounter there now are the local disc golf guys. Watch for flying discs, if you're moving at speed there's no way they can see you when they throw because of all the blind spots.
This closure doesn't affect the trail at all other than getting rid of a source of litter and you can no longer drive your vehicle to the parking lot on the western edge. Have a safe ride!
Summary: I ride these trails when I'm visiting my parents in Hilton Head over Christmas. It's only about 1/2 hour from the HH/Bluffton area. The trails are flat, twisty, quite rooty in places, and quite wet in other places. They are not technically challenging for a New Englaner like me, but they are fun. They'll give you a good aerobic workout, and they'll let you practice linking turns together, an important skill to master, and a difficult one to practice on the rock-and-root infested trails up north. You can get going pretty fast, and swoop the turns. I didn't see any of the big spiders but I did see a lot of guys wandering around in the woods. Hiney-lancers, I think, looking for a hookup. They didn't bother us, and we didn't catch any in the act. If you're visiting the Savannah/Hilton Head area bring your bike and try this place.
Recommended Route: Who the hell knows? There are so many trails, unmarked, and pretty much all the same. Just explore, and stay out of the mud (the trail by the parking lot when I was there). Some of the bridges are in tough shape, so ride them at your own risk.