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  1. #1
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    Trails near Columbia SC

    My daughter will be going to school at USC starting this summer so I'm looking for trails near the campus. I've looked online but haven't really come up with anything. Downhill and freeride aren't my thing, some tasty single track is what I crave!
    I live on Long Island (NY) so to get some local input would be great. I was also wondering if there's a local MTB club so I could possibly meet some riders, get pointed in the right direction and possibly join some rides.
    Also if anyone knows of a bike shop in the area that rents bikes (29ers) that would be very helpful too. Not sure if I'll be able to bring my own ride with me, plus I like checking out new bike shops.
    I know I'm asking for alot of info, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.....thanks in advance!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  2. #2
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    Harbison State Forest is just outside of Columbia and has about 15 miles of mostly fairly easy trails. There is a $5 parking fee. They have maps at the parking lot and the trails are well marked, so you can't get too lost. You can also go an hour south and get to FATS, which is 36 miles of very sweet trail near Aiken, SC. I don't live there, so I can't tell you about rentals.

    SCFC Harbison


    FATS

    I believe there is a SORBA chapter in Columbia now.
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
    http://www.facebook.com/mikebmiller

  3. #3
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    Trails near Columbia SC

    The Knot at Poinsette State Park isn't too far from Cola, but Harbison is right there in town. Great trails. Check out the Midlands SORBA page on Facebook.

  4. #4
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    I am a member of a Mountain Biking group that is very active in and around the midlands of South Carolina. This group has only been organized for 8 months or so, and is still growing and developing. I don't think you would be disappointed.

    Palmetto Fat Tire Society (Columbia, SC) - Meetup
    2011 Trek Rumblefish 1

  5. #5
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    If you are driving down to get her situated and then heading back, I would take an extra day or two on your vacation and hit the Western NC.
    You will only be 2.5 hours from DuPont State Forest, Bent Creek or other parts of Pisgah National Forest. Plenty of places here to rent good quality bikes including 29ers. Best suggestions on rentals will depend on where you ride.

    Research it up but I doubt anyone will tell you that is isn't worth the couple hours of extra driving.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies/info. I'll be heading down in June for her orientation and will stop in at some local shops to pick their brains some.
    I've heard great things about Pisgah, so I'll definitely try to persuade the wife we NEED to spend some time there!
    We'll also be stopping in NC near Charlotte to see some friends, hoping to get back to the WWC or some of the other trails near there too.
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  7. #7
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    Average temps in Columbia in Jun is mid 90's in June.
    Asheville averages 10 degrees cooler with a lot less humidity.

    I think your wife will like that.

    Hope that helps.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  8. #8
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    A few bike shops in town are:

    Cycle Center:
    Cycle Center Columbia SC Bicycles Specialized Cannondale Pinarello Haro Fuji

    Bike to Nature:
    Bike To Nature

    Outspokin:
    Outspokin Columbia SC Best Bike Shop Featuring Trek Bikes, children's/kid's bikes repairs rentals accessories and car racks, also Professional Bicycle Fitting

    You could probably find what you're looking for at one of those places. If you go to Harbison, make sure you hit the Spider Woman trail. It's the most technical / single track and has the most elevation change. Also check out the new Harbison bluffs trail which is really tight and follows high on a bluff overlooking the broad river.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Average temps in Columbia in Jun is mid 90's in June.
    Asheville averages 10 degrees cooler with a lot less humidity.

    I think your wife will like that.

    Hope that helps.
    The wife is always cold so mid 90's is no issue. She doesn't ride, but we both like to hike. I'll bet I can talk her into a little side trip....thanks!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrkmind View Post
    A few bike shops in town are:

    Cycle Center:
    Cycle Center Columbia SC Bicycles Specialized Cannondale Pinarello Haro Fuji

    Bike to Nature:
    Bike To Nature

    Outspokin:
    Outspokin Columbia SC Best Bike Shop Featuring Trek Bikes, children's/kid's bikes repairs rentals accessories and car racks, also Professional Bicycle Fitting

    You could probably find what you're looking for at one of those places. If you go to Harbison, make sure you hit the Spider Woman trail. It's the most technical / single track and has the most elevation change. Also check out the new Harbison bluffs trail which is really tight and follows high on a bluff overlooking the broad river.
    I googled bike shops in Columbia and came up with these as well as some others. I plan to stop in at as many as I can while I'm there.
    Harbison is definitely on the list, and at 15 miles for the whole thing you can bet I'll ride every section!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blocker View Post
    The wife is always cold so mid 90's is no issue. She doesn't ride, but we both like to hike. I'll bet I can talk her into a little side trip....thanks!
    DuPont is the better hiking trails IMO. Lots more to see and easier to navigate. Also plenty of good riding there too. I won't say it is the prettiest place in WNC, but it is very pretty and has the most "bang for the buck".
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blocker View Post
    I googled bike shops in Columbia and came up with these as well as some others. I plan to stop in at as many as I can while I'm there.
    Harbison is definitely on the list, and at 15 miles for the whole thing you can bet I'll ride every section!
    Harbison is more like 19 miles when you ride the "outer loop" + Lost Creek loop + Spider Woman II + the new bluff trail.

    Like SlowMTBer said, check out Palmetto Fat Tire Society (Columbia, SC) - Meetup whenever you're down this way, we'd love to ride with you!

    As for Charlotte, can't go wrong with USNWC, but I'd also recommend Sherman Branch (east side of CLT), Lake Norman State Park (north of CLT off of I-77) & Anne Springs Close Greenway (south of CLT, Fort Mill, SC).

    Here's a great website for the Charlotte area trails: Tarheel TrailBlazers Charlotte's Premier Mountain Bike Club

  13. #13
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    I have a little bias because it is my quick, after work ride spot but FATS is pretty fun and an hour south of Columbia. Something to keep in mind when visiting your daughter. In my opinion, it is a beginner trail that with speed can make it challenging to advance riders. Six loops, 35 miles plus of fine singletrack.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartin57 View Post
    Harbison is more like 19 miles when you ride the "outer loop" + Lost Creek loop + Spider Woman II + the new bluff trail.

    Like SlowMTBer said, check out Palmetto Fat Tire Society (Columbia, SC) - Meetup whenever you're down this way, we'd love to ride with you!

    As for Charlotte, can't go wrong with USNWC, but I'd also recommend Sherman Branch (east side of CLT), Lake Norman State Park (north of CLT off of I-77) & Anne Springs Close Greenway (south of CLT, Fort Mill, SC).

    Here's a great website for the Charlotte area trails: Tarheel TrailBlazers Charlotte's Premier Mountain Bike Club
    I will definitely check out PFTS, is there a way to get in touch without signing up on Meetup?

    Love the WWC, Shermans Branch is a blast also. Very similar to a trail I ride a lot near home. I've also ridden Renni and Poston, even hit the Harrison Half Mile. Never got to Lake Norman or Anne Springs.
    I registered on the Tarheel Trailblazers forum a few years ago when my older daughter was at UNC Charlotte. GREAT bunch of people, I had the good fortune to meet and ride with a bunch of them!

    I will also attempt to hit up FATS, maybe not right away, but I should have 4 years to ride every trail in the area!!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blocker View Post
    I will definitely check out PFTS, is there a way to get in touch without signing up on Meetup?
    If you're on facebook, you could shoot us a message whenever you're in town: https://www.facebook.com/PalmettoFatTireSociety

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartin57 View Post
    If you're on facebook, you could shoot us a message whenever you're in town: https://www.facebook.com/PalmettoFatTireSociety
    Sounds great. I'm not on facebook but the wife is, I'll be sure to hit you guys up....many thanks!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  17. #17
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    My plans have been firmed up and I've secured a bike rental. I'll be in Columbia at the end of this month and looking to ride on the 27th.
    Hope some of you nice folks will be around....and it doesn't rain!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  18. #18
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    I did get a ride in on the 27th at Harbison....sort of! I rented a bike and had my wife drop me at the trail head. As per the advice on this forum, the bike shop and a couple locals I met I made sure to hit the Lost Creek Trail. From there I continued on the Connector Trail to the Stewardship Trail, I was about halfway through it, I guess, when the sky opened up on me! I never saw so much rain come down soo fast. The trail turned into a raging torrent and I wished I had a kayak instead of a bicycle.
    The map I had on me almost instantly turned to mush, and the maps located on posts at intersections weren't very helpful.
    I finally met up with another rider who wasn't that familiar with the trails, so we rode together to figure out how to get back to the lot.
    We finally did make it to the Connector again, the rain slowing but the trail was still like a river. When we were just about back to the lot I realized I had dropped my glasses....CRAP!
    They weren't the most expensive, but the only ones I have, so I decided to go back and look for them.
    I was sure I would never find them, but I kept riding. At the beginning of the Connector I decided to hang a right and head back up the rooty descent we had come down. I figured If anywhere this would have been the trail I lost them on.
    There was still a huge amount of water flowing down this section and I had all I could do to ride the slippery roots and mud. I thought to myself this was dumb, I'll never find them, I couldn't even focus on looking.
    Just when I was about to give up, I stopped, looked up the trail a little ways, and there they were...right in the middle of the trail!
    I scooped them up and headed back to the lot feeling good I'd found them, but disappointed my ride had been cut very short.

    I went back the following day with my wife and we walked the Firebreak Trail in it's entirety. She, or anyone at the shop I rented the bike from, didn't believe it had rained on me since it didn't seem to have rained ANYWHERE else. As we walked though, I pointed out the many drains filled with water, HA, I didn't imagine it!
    Amazing trail system, had it not been for the water filled drains there was little evidence of the down pour. Not like my local trails here on Long Island, after a rain like that it would have been days before most would be rideable again.

    Anyway, I'll be moving my daughter into her dorm this week and I really hope I get a chance to ride there again before we head home, I'm determined to ride every inch of trail there. With any luck I should be there this Thurs., so if anyone else is around at 11am-ish and you see a very determined NYer, say hi and we can ride together. A guide would be great, so much easier than following a map!
    Too soon old-Too late smart!

  19. #19
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    Sounds like a standard day of riding here in the Carolinas (at least this summer).
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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