History/Future of South Mills River Trail Between Cantrell and Squirrel Gap?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    History/Future of South Mills River Trail Between Cantrell and Squirrel Gap?

    Last Saturday I rode South Mills River Trail and, uh yeah, I definitely should have thoroughly searched this forum before making that decision.

    From the consensus of non-maintained Pisgah "no man's land",
    - Overgrown...thoroughly.
    - Muddy in spots...not too many places were unrideable. Maybe that's because there are seldom any bikes on this stretch of trail to make muddy sections worse? Even the signs of recent horse-traffic were minimal.
    - Downed trees...most were small and rideable, and had clearly been there for several seasons. One section of trail had an enormous pair(?) of trees fall and uproot/block a section of the trail. It was more a challenge to work the bike through a thicket of limbs in order to climb/crawl over the largest of the 2 trees. It might have been easier just ford the river to get around them.
    - River crossings...t'was refreshing.

    I'm curious...what's the history of this trail? Did this section have a history of maintenance, and when/why did that stop? Is there a future plan to maintain the trail, and why/why not?

  2. #2
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    Not sure of the history, well distant history, anyway, but that trail is in a floodplain. It's been like that for as long as I remember, and because of the way it is, it's one of the lesser traveled trails; particularly the section you note. Usually avoided in the winter months for obvious reasons. Currently there are no plans to do anything to that trail.

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  3. #3
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    That trail at the end of a long ride running out of day light lead me to some dark moments...

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wytemike21 View Post
    That trail at the end of a long ride running out of day light lead me to some dark moments...

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    Forgot, I took it past cantrell to turkey pen/mullinax...totaled a crap ton of river crossings

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  5. #5
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    The trail is clear from Cantrell to Turkey Pen, and from Squirrel up to the FSR. But, knowing that this trail would also be at the end of ~75 mile day while running out of daylight, I had the foresight to bring my lights. Still, it doesn't help a wet chamois.

  6. #6
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    It has been that way for the 25 years I've been playing in Pisgah. it is a different kind of fun and would be a shame for that to change.

  7. #7
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    Yes, I actually like it when I'm up for a character building adventure ride. Next time I'm bringing my fishing rod cause there are some nice holes back there.

  8. #8
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    Agreed. My shins need a good lashing once a year.

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  9. #9
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    A great summer time loop!...

    TP parking:
    Bradley Creek all the way to 1206 , left on 476, funnel top rd up, down Horse Cove, right on Squirrely to S. Mills, then left on S. Mills for a full pull back to TP parking.

    All the creek crossings you could ever want and still plenty of fun descending too.
    On your left!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    A great summer time loop!...

    TP parking:
    Bradley Creek all the way to 1206 , left on 476, funnel top rd up, down Horse Cove, right on Squirrely to S. Mills, then left on S. Mills for a full pull back to TP parking.

    All the creek crossings you could ever want and still plenty of fun descending too.
    Is Bradley all the way up to 1206 fresh gravel? Last year the lower part was, making it much more enjoyable than the horrible mud pit it used to be. This kept me from exploring the route you suggest.

    Personally, I do TP to Vineyard to Riverside to Squirrel to South Mills to Buckhorn to Black to Turkey and back.

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  11. #11
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    Every year we point the new-to-PMBAR guys in our crew to take that wonderful flow trail that is SMR from Cantrell to Wolf Ford.....a real time saver.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    Every year we point the new-to-PMBAR guys in our crew to take that wonderful flow trail that is SMR from Cantrell to Wolf Ford.....a real time saver.

    Yeah, I received similar advice regarding Turkey Pen Gap from a fellow racer at the Pisgah 36.

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