5 Best Places to Ride Bikes Around Greenville
All trails within 3 hours
Photo credit to Zach Suggs. Zach is a local photographer, videographer, and riding friend who specializes in action sports and lifestyle photos for big companies. He helped build the iconic Clemson Freeride trails and was part of the reason the trails still exist today.
To contact Zach: http://www.zachsuggs.com/contact
1. Pisgah national forest
Considered one of the top riding destinations in the world, Pisgah is home to plenty of local riders and professionals alike. Open from October 15 - April 15, the trails are approximately 1.5 hours from downtown Greenville.
With over 229 trails to choose from in Pisgah's 500,000+ North Carolina acres, you can get lost in the wilderness (in a good way). The trails can get very technically challenging, so it's probably not the best place to try out mountain biking for the first time. The terrain is rocky, rooty, and can get very steep.
For more resources, you can check out the Pinkbike Trailforks app here- http://www.trailforks.com/region/pisgah/
2. Dupont state forest
If you want an experience similar to Pisgah but can only travel 60 minutes from Greenville, DuPont is the place to go.
DuPont offers radical climbs, raging descents, and a wide variety of trails. The terrain is rocky, rooty, and the trails are well-maintained. This is no bike park–DuPont is rugged.
While smaller in area than Pisgah, DuPont packs a punch. You can learn more about DuPont here: http://www.dupontforest.com/
Check out the trail network here on Trailforks: http://www.trailforks.com/region/dupont-state-forest/
One thing to note is that you can stop by Brevard after a good, long ride and browse the town or you can check out Oskar Blues Brewery nearby.
3. Paris Mountain
If it's a good enough reason for Rich Hincapie, it's good enough for you. The elevation is there and so are the thrills! Paris Mountain makes the list because it is located to the north of Greenville by about 15 minutes and can give you a lung-busting workout with some flowy descents.
The terrain has a mix of rocky, rooty, and dusty trails, more similar to the red clay of the foothills in North Georgia or Clemson. Don't expect anything harrowingly steep, but you can certainly get some high speeds.
***Paris is a great place to ride road bikes too! (I don't ride road).
It can be a very challenging place for beginners and offers something for the expert rider as well.
With all it has to offer, there is one downside to Paris there are no bikes allowed on Saturday on the 15 miles of trails. You can find out more here at Paris Mountain's website: http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/parismountain/pm-trails.aspx
And for more details on the Trailforks site: http://www.trailforks.com/region/paris-mountain-state-park-14294/
4. Clemson Freeride dh trails
I am very biased since I spent 8,000+ hours with my friends building these trails tucked away in Clemson's Experimental Forest.
Clemson Freeride was started in 2006 by then-students Jonathan Howlette and Matt Hoffherr. When I was part of the team, we hosted Red Bull Night Shift races, Collegiate regional championship races, and had too much fun.
The trails here are truly one-of-a-kind. 20, 30, 35 foot jumps, drops, wallrides...some secret gnar...
A very young rider on a very small bike can ride and have a blast, and a pro can sharpen their skills on the same trail. Yes. It's all about how fast you want to go!
There are plenty of people I've run into that said they either got their start at Clemson Freeride or participated in the annual races. Luca and Walker Shaw (top world cup racers) came out with their dad a few times, the creators of Bailey Mountain Bike Park came by and raced too. I'm very attached to this place, and if you ever want a "guided tour" I'd be happy to oblige.
More info here on Trailforks: http://www.trailforks.com/trails/clemson-freeride-dh/
5. beech mountain resort
Beech is a pay-to-play experience that is absolutely worth it. Each year there is either a Pro-GRT race or a Nationals competition plus lift-accessed trails that make it a superb destination.
Beech has a lift and has added new trail networks in 2016, making it an absolutely must-visit if you can handle a downhill bike.
This one is a weekend trip with a drive time of 3 hours, so bring a tent or find some lodging.
More information on the Trailforks site: http://www.trailforks.com/region/beech-mountain-bike-park/
6. SNEAK PEEK: BAILEY MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK
Need I say any more? It's a bike park. I don't have any official photos, but I have volunteered my time out there building and it's pretty sweet. Blue and black trails only as of today, so not an ideal place to take your Wal-Mart bike.
Oh yeah! I almost forgot... they are selling land on the top of the trailhead for all you mountain bike fanatics that want to live on a bike park.
More information here: http://baileymountainwnc.com/
Now, young grasshopper, go ride.
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