This trail has quite alot to offer: Short steep decents, tight single track, creek crossings, mud, sand, roots, rocks, bunny hop-able logs, you name it's there. most of the trail is easily rideable by beginers, but beware: the powerline section can be dangerous (I've got a knarly collar bone to prove it!) The trail has two loops the first about 5.5, and the 2nd about 3.5.
Summary: I rode Southside in late summer 2014. It's been about 4 years since I've been there. Not much has changed, but it seems like it hasn't been maintained very well.
For those who ride there often, no big deal. They know the trails and won't get lost.
For those who haven't been here before, print out a trail map ahead of time and bring it with you.
This trail system used to be well-marked, but most of the large map/kiosks at the major intersections are gone. The maps are torn, faded, or missing, and the wooden posts are rotten.
There are small metal trail signs with the trail names on them, attached to trees every so often, so you can use that, but with there now being so many re-routes around fallen trees and other obstacles, it is easier to get lost (if you're not familiar with it).
Overall, I still love Southside. I don't get a chance to ride it often. I started to like it the first few times I rode it, because, compared to other trails I ride, it was a little more "wild."
It's definitely more wild now! Huge fallen trees in some areas with no re-route. Parts of trails overgrown with tall weeds so you could barely see the trail (Rock Creek Trail, etc.). With all the trees, weeds, unbroken tree limbs on the ground and even plenty of thick spider webs, it seemed like I was the first person to ride some of the inner trails in a few days.
Some of the bridges were broken. It appeared like there were some attempts to fix them, but some were still messed up. I don't normally mind obstacles like that, because it makes things harder (more fun!). But sometimes it messes up the flow. I could see how it would mess up newer riders (who have to get off and walk around deep ruts, broken bridges, etc.)
It actually made me a little sad to see the trail in this state of repair, even though it felt good to put my tires in the dirt there after a few years of not visiting.
She still gets a 4 star review, because there's a lot to offer. I'm just wondering if any of the locals have been maintaining it at all?
Summary: Really nice trail system. Easy enough for someone to start out on, but long enough and with a good variety of obstacles to keep it interesting. Lizard Trail especially is fun (deep drops and some jumps!), but the swooping singletrack through the highgrass on the backside of the trail was fun as well. Some steep climbs and roots, creek crossings (some with bridges, some without...) and a few other gulleys and whatnot. All in all a pretty solid track, you can definitely keep the speed up.
Summary: This trail can take on different personalities depending on the seasons...
In summer, it has some amazingly fast hardpack with medium to short technical climbs, log hops, small rock gardens, creek crossings and some other "more interesting" features that aren't on the trail maps. In winter however, it can be a muddy leafy mess that can be a nightmare for the unprepared or unskilled.
This trail isn't amazing in any category but has something for nearly everyone. There's enough mileage for good training rides, plenty of technical sections to keep your bike handling up, some trails with large chutes and roller coasters and recently some things that require more nerve and good health insurance.
The trail is very well mapped, with a map kiosk at every major intersection. It is VERY difficult to get "lost".
Recommended Route: This really depends on what you'd like to accomplish... for beginners staying on the Southside loop is advisable Preferably Clockwise. You'll find that many of the obstacles are only passable for newbies in this direction.
Intermediate and beyond have many choices... my typical ride is Southside CW - High and Dry - Southside - Rock Creek - Centerline - Lizard - Southside ... it is very easy to blend trails together to make your own route...
Other recommended trails in the same area: Paris Mountain
Summary: At this point, I have ridden this park once, but intend to try and hit it once a month. I like the fact that it is in Spartanburg, close to home for me. The park is very well maintained, thanks to UMBA. We rode a little over 12 miles, at least according to my bike computer, and did Southside Loop, Indian Trail, Rock Creek, and Centerline (twice). Normally we ride Paris Mt, but trying to get out and see other trails. This was very easy, with the exception of the big drops on Indian Trail - those are intense. Had a GREAT time riding the park - highly recommended, beginners can walk through the tough parts.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Paris Mt - but be ready for steeper, more technical (as in more frequently technical than here) trails, a beginner might find themselves walking more than riding here.
Summary: Basically this is some of the best trails in SC you can get in a great ride about 4+ hours depending on what trails you take. These trails are great cause it all loops so no riding the same trail like at other places. There is also lots of creek crossing which are fun and some spots have VERY hard uphill and then very fast downhill. Like its been said b4 this trail has a lot to offer and is well maintained and marked. Since it is so well marked(with trail maps at each intersection) if you get lost there is something wrong with you. these trails are awesome and worth the drive.
Recommended Route: First take the left loop the climb up scots hill(pretty hard) but the downhill is very worth it. Then take the high and dry trail and then the rock creek trail. after riding those trails it brings you the centerline trail ride it the top and ride the right side loop back down to the center line trail again. Oh and be sure to hit up the lizard trail its new and lots of fun!