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South Mountain State Park

Average Rating:    (3.71 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 14

Double track ATV roads inside the state park. Well graded, no motorized vehicles (except for state park vehicles), very fast, extremely steep and sustained climbs. Excellent views in the winter. Be sure to stop by High Shoals falls and Shinny Creek. The area is remote, so come prepared (no stores close-by). For the overnighter, there are car campsites at the park entrance. There are also several backcountry campsites accessible by bike, allowing for some backcountry touring possibilites. The main loop is arguably as physically tough a ride (18 miles) as you will find anywhere in the southeast. Oh yea, the NC State Park system is still supporting Prohibition, so don't get caught with any alcohol in the park (i.e. leave it at home)
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Latitude
35.60022937686696
Longitude
-81.63562774658203
Trail Directions
From Exit 103 on I - 40 go S on NC 18 and watch for signs. About 22-23 miles from exit ramp.
Trail Length
18+
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Morganton
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
January 21, 2009

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: zod ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
First off South Mountain is all fire roads and no singletrack so if that's a deal breaker then you might not like it. This ride starts out with about a 1/2 mile or so of relatively flat trail and a few bridges over some real nice creeks. After that you start a big climb seems to go on forever but I'd say it's about 2.5 miles. Some of the climb gets steep enough that you have to hike-a-bike which is a common theme there. Single-speeders choose your cogs wisely. Gears and a front derailleur certainly would help but that being said, a lot of what you run into at South Mountain is too steep for even granny gears. At the top of the first climb you hit the main loop, I'd go to the right. Be prepared for 12-14 miles of steep climbs and hike-a-bikes with some DH and a little bit of flat. It's all fire-road and oddly enough a little section of pavement. Then once you get back to the beginning of the loop it's back down for 2.5 miles of DH on what you climbed at the start of the day and then back to the parking lot. Watch the DH, it can get too fast and the plethora of waterbars can throw you for a loop. Oh yeah be prepared for a stream crossing that you will have to walk...and you will get wet. In the winter the water is freezing so bring your courage and a towel!

Since it's a State Park you have bathrooms and all that good stuff on site however South Mountain is very rural so bring good supplies with you b/c there aren't many stores around. Also sign-in at the mountain bike kiosk and grab a map.

A good time with plenty of challenges and great views...too bad it isn't singletrack which is my main complaint. Other than that it is a great state park and a hidden gem in the middle of nowhere. Be sure to carry plenty of h2o, especially in the hot months. If you are not a strong rider I advise against attempting South Mountain. If you get to the top of the 2.5 mile climb to the start of the loop and you're not feeling too hot turn around b/c that's just the warm-up to what's in front of you. Leave a good +4 hours in front of your start time for this bike(and hike).

Recommended Route:
Counter-Clockwise at the loop. Either way is not easy but to me this seems like the route that's less painful. Then again I must admit I've never gone Clockwise so who knows.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Not much in this same area....you can be to Wilson Creek in an hour or so or to PeeWee's down in Lincolnton.



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Review Date
November 26, 2005

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: threeheadedduck ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This trail is physically challenging and shouldnt be underestimated, but if you think you are in good shape then give it a try

Recommended Route:
just follow the park service directions



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Review Date
November 26, 2005

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Rate this review?

Reviewed by: threeheadedduck ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This trail is physically challenging and shouldnt be underestimated, but if you think you are in good shape then give it a try

Recommended Route:
just follow the park service directions



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Review Date
October 10, 2002

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: Kathy , from ConnellySprings

Summary:
It's a fun trail and I like it My carrer class is going on the trip sometime this year at ebms. It's a good excerisise. I would take a bottle of water on hott days and wear t-shirt and shorts.



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Review Date
July 18, 2001

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Dan , from Cary, NC

Summary:
Great climbing workout. You can ride this trail anytime of year (snow or dead of summer). It's always a good time(make sure to have some good socks on in the winter, my toes were freezing!). The first few miles are the really steep stuff. After this it levels out a bit with lengthy ups and downs. With a few miles left you'll cross a rocky bottom creek about 20 yrds. wide. Ride up through the camp site and the real climbing test will tower ahead. I find this climb the hardest because you've already burned up alot of your legs. Push to the top and it's downhill to the parking lot.

Recommended Route:
I like counter clockwise, but either way you're going to get some really good climbing.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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