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  1. #1
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    Best trails near Columbia, SC

    I'll be visiting here soon and was wondering if there are any good XC trails near Columbia, SC. Thanks for any feedback!

  2. #2
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    Harbison State Forest is the best in Columbia.

    Poinsette State Park is not far away.

    McCormick, SC and the trails down there are about 90 minutes away.

  3. #3
    SALLGUD
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    Drive?

    How far are you willing to drive from Cola? We have some awesome trails in the North Augusta, SC area. Depending on where in Cola you end up, you could be as little as an hour away from Horn Creek (Lick Fork), Turkey Creek, Wine Creek, Modoc and the Bartram Trail.

    If you want to stay close to the metro Cola area, hang tight and someone else will chime in about Harbison or Lynches Woods.

    Michael

  4. #4
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by seenvic
    Harbison State Forest is the best in Columbia.

    Poinsette State Park is not far away.

    McCormick, SC and the trails down there are about 90 minutes away.
    That, and Lynches Wood, about sum it up. All are reviewed in the trails section. I live in Columbia so PM me your travel dates and maybe I can show you around. At the very least I can give you some detailed directions.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by retox
    I'll be visiting here soon and was wondering if there are any good XC trails near Columbia, SC. Thanks for any feedback!
    Harbison is pretty cool since it's smack dab off the interstate (only four miles from my house). You can do the outerloop for some miles, Spiderwoman for a little technical stuff and Lost Creek (if it's open) for a little mix of everything. I rode on a really funky trail on the Columbia BMX track's land in Northeast Columbia. Does anybody know if that trail is still "legal"? I remember they had to tear down a bunch of their northshore stunts but the singletrack was still VERY twisty.

  6. #6
    Boom Yow!
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    Too bad the Corley Mill trails aren't still functional. That was some fun technical riding. Does anyone still ride at Sesqui? That another option is you're on the NE side of town.
    CC

  7. #7
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannon Ball
    Too bad the Corley Mill trails aren't still functional. That was some fun technical riding. Does anyone still ride at Sesqui? That another option is you're on the NE side of town.
    Where's Corely Mill? Across from the zoo?

    Sesqui is still open, but its pretty short. Harbison has improved a great deal over the past 5 years or so and sees most of the action these days.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  8. #8
    Boom Yow!
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin
    Where's Corely Mill? Across from the zoo?

    Sesqui is still open, but its pretty short. Harbison has improved a great deal over the past 5 years or so and sees most of the action these days.

    Corley Mill was right off of Corley Mill Rd. in between Lexington and West Cola. I used to ride out there with Todd Branham, Shrimper, and Kip Smith before we all moved up here. The trails were very similar to the ones where the botanical gardens at the zoo now. I think we used to call that Mohawk.
    CC

  9. #9
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannon Ball
    Corley Mill was right off of Corley Mill Rd. in between Lexington and West Cola. I used to ride out there with Todd Branham, Shrimper, and Kip Smith before we all moved up here. The trails were very similar to the ones where the botanical gardens at the zoo now. I think we used to call that Mohawk.
    Gotcha. Never ridden either there or at Mohawk, but I bet both are somewhat similar to the new Spider Woman trail at Haribison.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin
    That, and Lynches Wood, about sum it up. All are reviewed in the trails section. I live in Columbia so PM me your travel dates and maybe I can show you around. At the very least I can give you some detailed directions.
    Thanks to everybody that responded! I really appreciate it. I'll let you know when I figure out the exact times and dates that I'll be there.

  11. #11
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    well this sucks!

    I ask if anyone intresed in riding in Columbia & I get blown off guess maybe I dont have the right bike or something....theres also Manchester forest too but thats outseife of Columbia a bit,,

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS-Rider
    I ask if anyone intresed in riding in Columbia & I get blown off guess maybe I dont have the right bike or something....theres also Manchester forest too but thats outseife of Columbia a bit,,

    Hey now, don't forget I agreed to meet up with you!

    Yes, Manchester/Poinsette is probably 40 miles from Columbia. It's about 25 miles from 77 to 261, then another 10-12 miles out 261.

  13. #13
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    I havent

    yeah I remember

  14. #14
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    Visiting Columbia....

    Hello all -- I'm fairly new to mountain-biking, enjoy it, and might be visiting Columbia this month. Is there a bike shop within riding distance of Harbison that rents mountain bikes or has demos available for riding/rental? I'd have neither bike nor rental car, so once get to bike shop, would prefer to just ride to the trails if possible.

    Thanks much for any info.

  15. #15
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    used to be..

    There was a cyclecenter off broad river RD once but they close all the store's down expect Two Notch & Devine,, too bad to that was the only cyclecenter worth going to now they are all a bunch of snob's & will only honor your free lifetime of adjustment's IF you bought the GOLD package!!!

  16. #16
    paintbucket
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    Harrell's is a couple miles down the road from Harbison. They might be able to help you out. Broad River Road is a busy street, so if you're going to ride to the trails don't do it during rush hour.

    2515 BROAD RIVER RD
    (803) 798-2020

    SS-rider, is there anyone who isn't a snob?
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  17. #17
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin
    Harrell's is a couple miles down the road from Harbison. They might be able to help you out. Broad River Road is a busy street, so if you're going to ride to the trails don't do it during rush hour.

    2515 BROAD RIVER RD
    (803) 798-2020

    SS-rider, is there anyone who isn't a snob?

    Thanks much Wooglin -- I'll give them a ring. Much appreciate the info and number. It's a balmy 30 degrees outside right now in my home state of Minnesota, so even if the riding does not work out, I'll be very pleased to be in your neck of the woods. Take care and thanks again.

  18. #18
    paintbucket
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    Its a chilly 70 here. Brrr....
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  19. #19
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    I forgot about Harrell's.. ok how about greddy? backstabber's that better? come on they tell me that I have free lifetime of adjustments & then take it back sound's like what we used to call indiangiver's when I was a kid... & now you have to BUY that? That's the first I've ever heard of any bike shop pulling that crap!

  20. #20
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    Harrell's told you that (about the lifetime adjustements and then not come through on the deal)?

  21. #21
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    not Harrell's

    Remember when Cyclecenter had a shop on Broad River Rd? Well as you know they closed that one & they had one on Devine across from Grouch's they close that one too & moved up the road but still on Devine Rd.. They did late last summer so I decided not to go there anymore.. The guys who used to run the Cyclecenter on Broad River were great, I talked to them last time they we're in town told them about what had been said. They told me that they have heard that alot sense they closed the shop down they have heard the same thing about CycleCenter. Not that they care if I shop there or not anymore but it make's me feel better that I don't!

  22. #22
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    Kudos to Harrell's and Thanks Again

    Quote Originally Posted by SS-Rider
    Remember when Cyclecenter had a shop on Broad River Rd? Well as you know they closed that one & they had one on Devine across from Grouch's they close that one too & moved up the road but still on Devine Rd.. They did late last summer so I decided not to go there anymore.. The guys who used to run the Cyclecenter on Broad River were great, I talked to them last time they we're in town told them about what had been said. They told me that they have heard that alot sense they closed the shop down they have heard the same thing about CycleCenter. Not that they care if I shop there or not anymore but it make's me feel better that I don't!

    Hi all -- Gave Harrell's a call this morning and spoke to Paul, the owner of the shop. He was of great help, extremely friendly, and is going to set me up with a bike. He says his shop is within a 15-20 minute ride of Harbison, so should work out great. Thanks again for the tip, and huge kudos to Harrell's for helping out!!

  23. #23
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by genny1
    Hi all -- Gave Harrell's a call this morning and spoke to Paul, the owner of the shop. He was of great help, extremely friendly, and is going to set me up with a bike. He says his shop is within a 15-20 minute ride of Harbison, so should work out great. Thanks again for the tip, and huge kudos to Harrell's for helping out!!
    Good deal, glad to hear it. Paul is a Fisher dealer and usually has 29ers on the floor. If there's a demo that fits you should give it a shot. Don't forget to buy a water bottle or something.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  24. #24
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    Yes...

    ...am looking forward to trying a different bike (I have a Marin) and will thaw out my water bottle before heading down.

    I'm going to print out the Harbison trail maps from here:

    http://www.state.sc.us/forest/harb05.pdf

    Any advice on what route or routes to take in Harbison? I'll have a couple of hours I hope. Looks like Firebreak, Midlands, Stewardship, Lost Creek, and Spider Woman II are open to MTBers? Having just started last summer with moderately difficult singletrack, thinking Firebreak East to Midlands trail, with Lost Creek as a possibility. Do you hook into the Lost Creek trail through the "gate" found to the left of the letter "X" on the map linked above? Understanding it would vary depending on ability, how long would the Lost Creek loop take to complete for a beginning-intermediate rider? Any route advice welcome.

    Thanks again for the help.

  25. #25
    paintbucket
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    Ok. Typically folks ride the main loop clockwise. Go out the trail marked A from the end of the main parking lot by the entrance. Follow that along until it is crossed by a grassy road (marked B on the map, and yes, it does cross). You can go left there, cross the pavement, and do Lost Creek. I'd guess about 1:20 to ride Lost Creek (which most folks do counterclockwise). It'll be a challenging but I think doable trail. There's a couple of drainage crossings that look scary, but you can just roll through them, so they're not as bad as they look. Otherwise LC is narrow twisting singletrack. If that's all you've got time to ride you'll have hit the best trail in the Forest barring Spiderwoman II, which is considerably more difficult. Its not as pretty as the main loop though.

    If you don't want to do LC, continue straight across the grassy road. Hook up with Stewardship at the X and go left. There's nothing hard about Stewardship. Follow it around to the Middle Connector trail near the S, and go left on Middle Connector. If you go too far you'll know it quickly when you hit the dirt parking lot at S. Stay straight on Middle Connector, crossing the small stream rather than using the bridge, then take your next left crossing a larger bridge and then climbing the switchbacks. At the top of the switchbacks just keep going, ignoring Spiderwoman which will be marked "more difficult" on your left. After you've passed it bear left though, and you'll be on Midlands Mountain (the blue trail). Just follow that all the way around. That means when in doubt bear right except for one spot between the stretch from H to J where an old logging road goes straight (its there on the map past the Bluffs) and you bear left, soon to cross a small wooden bridge. Then go up a gradual climb til you top out and when you see a gate bear right again. Follow that (Firebreak East) back out to the parking lot (bearing left for this part but crossing and continuing straight at the dirt road). You'll know you're done when you hit pavement.

    If you don't do Lost Creek and just do the main loop as above, you'll cover about 12 miles. Its much faster trail than LC though, so it'll take about the same amount of time. Hope that helps. And I hope I didn't get myself confused in the middle of all that.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  26. #26
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    Very cool...

    ...thanks for taking the time to put that together wooglin. Knowing the clockwise-counterclockwise direction will be particularly helpful, and hopefully prevent me from going the wrong way and taking down one of SC's finest. I'll probably end up trying Lost Creek based on your description, as the challenge will be welcome.

    Two quick follow-ups, and then hopefully I'll be out of everyone's hair on this thread.

    First, on Lost Creek trail I take it I should go from AA toward KK on the map rather than AA toward BB, consistent with the general practice of riding that loop counterclockwise?

    Second, if I finish Lost Creek and am going to head back out, can I just retrace the route back down Firebreak West to the entrance, or should I go a different route to avoid going counterclockwise on a trail that is usually run clockwise?

    Followed the rest of the directions well, and have the route traced out on the map. Thanks again wooglin.

  27. #27
    paintbucket
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    Its perfectly fine to go in either direction, but in my experience people generally go in the directions I mentioned, mostly out of convenience. Its easiest to leave the parking lot for a CW ride on the main loop, and the beginning of Lost Creek tends to channel you CCW. No one will look twice if you go the opposite directions though. I've ridden out there a lot (hence the detailed directions, which are no big deal) so I do both myself, depending on my mood. And yes, go back out from Lost Creek the way you came in. Most importantly, have fun.

    Have both routes in mind btw. Lost Creek has been wet and closed a lot of late due to typical winter weather. I expect that to change now that spring is springing (they just opened it back up), but you never know....
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  28. #28
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    Ready to Ride

    THANKS wooglin. The info is going to make riding Harbison much more enjoyable, as I won't have to sit in the parking lot trying to figure out which trails to ride and in what direction. Can just grab bike and go, and get the most riding time out of the visit. I truly appreciate the time you've taken to lay the info out. You're a real asset to this board.

    Take care, and I'll post again in a couple weeks with a report after I get back.

    Thanks again

  29. #29
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by genny1
    You're a real asset to this board.
    Handsome, too. Also modest.

    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  30. #30
    Two wheels are best
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    Ok...I'll give ya "helpful"...no way you get "Handsome" or "Modest"!
    Never be afraid to try something new.

    Remember amateurs built the Ark.
    Professionals built the Titanic.

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