Life Without FATS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Life Without FATS

    A mountain-biking buddy and I just spent five days camping at Petersburg Campground on Lake Strom Thurmond which is not far from FATS. With the exception of Sunday, FATS was closed for deer hunting so we donned our blaze orange vests and spent our time riding other trails in the area. By avoiding early mornings and late afternoons, we saw only two deer hunters in the woods during the entire week and one of them was a bowhunter.

    Modoc, Wine Creek and Turkey Creek trails are actually a bit closer to Petersburg than FATs and since we prefer old-school trails over the manicured type such as FATS. we consider those three the very best in the area with Modoc our favorite . But they are not the only options. The lake loop at Hickory Knob State Park is not very far away and while more beginner level than intermediate, it too is quite nice. While there you may as well scoot across the road and do Turkey Ridge as well.

    Much closer to Petersbug is Keg Creek which is more technical due mainly to an abundance of huge roots that can be very challenging when wet. We have yet to ride Mistletoe but will eventually get around to it as well. .

    Among the many nice things about Petersburg is you can ride Bartram Trail right from your campsite. To the dam and back is easy but great fun because it is big-chain-ring fast. A there-and-back in the opposite direction to Wildwood Park is a bit more technical and while still quite easy, it is one of my favorite rides in the area. During the past few years I have ridden Bartram in both directions many times and have never gotten enough of it, especially the Wildwood side.

    FATS is wonderful but too many mountain bikers go there without realizing just how great other trails in the area are. You will find good information on them including maps and driving directions on the below CSRA/SORBA website.

    TRAILS

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpbumper View Post
    A mountain-biking buddy and I just spent five days camping at Petersburg Campground on Lake Strom Thurmond which is not far from FATS. With the exception of Sunday, FATS was closed for deer hunting so we donned our blaze orange vests and spent our time riding other trails in the area. By avoiding early mornings and late afternoons, we saw only two deer hunters in the woods during the entire week and one of them was a bowhunter.

    Modoc, Wine Creek and Turkey Creek trails are actually a bit closer to Petersburg than FATs and since we prefer old-school trails over the manicured type such as FATS. we consider those three the very best in the area with Modoc our favorite . But they are not the only options. The lake loop at Hickory Knob State Park is not very far away and while more beginner level than intermediate, it too is quite nice. While there you may as well scoot across the road and do Turkey Ridge as well.

    Much closer to Petersbug is Keg Creek which is more technical due mainly to an abundance of huge roots that can be very challenging when wet. We have yet to ride Mistletoe but will eventually get around to it as well. .

    Among the many nice things about Petersburg is you can ride Bartram Trail right from your campsite. To the dam and back is easy but great fun because it is big-chain-ring fast. A there-and-back in the opposite direction to Wildwood Park is a bit more technical and while still quite easy, it is one of my favorite rides in the area. During the past few years I have ridden Bartram in both directions many times and have never gotten enough of it, especially the Wildwood side.
    FATS is wonderful but too many mountain bikers go there without realizing just how great other trails in the area are. You will find good information on them including maps and driving directions on the below CSRA/SORBA website.

    TRAILS




    Bartram trail is boooooring as hell!...........it might be considered technical or challenging for someone who just got rid of their training wheels ......Fats is so much better and diverse.....fast and technical with steeper climbs and fast descents....especially "Tower" if you go clockwise.....much narrower trails, not as open as on Bartram...one little mistake will cost ya' big time.....
    Bartram is ok for 29'er folks, hardtail guys and racers....if you go there with a squishy trail bike you'll be more than disappointed....
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac View Post
    Bartram trail is boooooring as hell!...........it might be considered technical or challenging for someone who just got rid of their training wheels ......Fats is so much better and diverse.....fast and technical with steeper climbs and fast descents....especially "Tower" if you go clockwise.....much narrower trails, not as open as on Bartram...one little mistake will cost ya' big time.....
    Bartram is ok for 29'er folks, hardtail guys and racers....if you go there with a squishy trail bike you'll be more than disappointed....
    Hope you are better at riding than reading a post. I said Bartram is EASY. Also never said it is better than FATS.

  4. #4
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    The CSRA is home to 150 miles of singletrack, with FATS only making up 35ish miles of it. Great place for riding. glad you got a chance to explore some of the other trails. Hickory Knob is an awesome trail. If you have not tried it yet I would highly recommend Long Cane. Very fun trail system. Mistletoe IMO is the most technical trail in the CSRA.

    As far as Bartram, some people enjoy it, some find it boring. I for one ride it a lot for many reasons, great views, can really get your spinning legs going and fly, and I for one enjoy taking the whole family (5,10,14,16 girls) and ride.

    ps I ride a rigid 29er ss on all the trails in the CSRA, some ride squishy bikes, everyone has their own preference for the bike they ride.

  5. #5
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    It doesn't matter what bike you're riding or which trail you're riding it on, we have great trails in the CSRA and you're going to have fun. Good post Stumpbumper, thanks.
    I'm enjoying my childhood way too much to ever give it up.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your positive comments guys.

    Yes, I have ridden Long Cane Horse Trail and it is great. For the benefit of those who have not tried it, here is a photo report I posted on the CSRA/SORBA website sometime back.

    SORBA-CSRA Community Bulletin Board - Long Cane Horse Trail North & South Loops

    Happy Trails.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac View Post
    Fats is so much better and diverse.....fast and technical with steeper climbs and fast descents....especially "Tower"
    While I agree that FATS is fast, calling it technical and diverse is really a stretch. There is nothing even remotely technical out there and almost every trail is buff rollers. Tower and Big Rock are more difficult in both aspects than all of the trails across the road but even those aren't tech.

    With that said, it's still an amazing set of trails and it's a ton of fun out there. The only other trail I've ridden in the district is Long Cane which is also a lot of fun. Based on this thread it sounds like I need to check out Modoc next time I'm in the area.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun Burn View Post
    While I agree that FATS is fast, calling it technical and diverse is really a stretch. There is nothing even remotely technical out there and almost every trail is buff rollers. Tower and Big Rock are more difficult in both aspects than all of the trails across the road but even those aren't tech.

    With that said, it's still an amazing set of trails and it's a ton of fun out there. The only other trail I've ridden in the district is Long Cane which is also a lot of fun. Based on this thread it sounds like I need to check out Modoc next time I'm in the area.

    Compared to Bartram I guess it is more technical...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpbumper View Post
    Hope you are better at riding than reading a post. I said Bartram is EASY. Also never said it is better than FATS.

    I didn't say you said it's better than FATS....I merely pointed out that FATS is simply put better than Bartram IMO.
    You wrote that "FATS is wonderful but too many mountain bikers go there without realizing just how great other trails in the area are."
    I fundamentally disagree with Bartram being a great trail. That's it.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac View Post
    Compared to Bartram I guess it is more technical...
    Haha if that's the case I'll make sure to avoid Bartram in favor of other places in the area!

  11. #11
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    If you and a budy were spending 5 days camping and riding, you should have just drove a few hours and came up here to WNC where the trails are unarguably better.

  12. #12
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    I rode FATS for the first time a couple of weekends ago, and I was not impressed. A couple of trails were fun, but I was very disappointed after driving the 3 hours to get there. On a related note, many of the other riders and runners there were some of the rudest people I have ever met. One guy tried to run my buddy and me off of the trail, and actually did push a couple of beginners and some runners off of the trail on his way down. I apologized on his behalf, but I was not impressed with any aspect of the trails or area, other than the few very attractive women sharing the trails. I will not be going back there any time soon. You guys enjoy it, though! I hope none of you were any of the jerks we ran into.

  13. #13
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    Unfortunately, you will find jerks everywhere in any sport and that includes mountain biking. FATS is a destination for riders from all over the country and the fact that you encountered rude people there does not give a true picture of the locals who ride there often. I don't live in the area but since I do ride there a few times each year I have met many very nice people, most from the Augusta area..

    Incidentally, about a month prior to that trip we spent a week camping at Davidson Camground near Brevard NC and rode a number of the trails in Pisgah. We encountered several jerks there and saw not a single attractive woman on the trails. Despite that, we will be back.
    Last edited by stumpbumper; 10-22-2012 at 08:50 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    One guy tried to run my buddy and me off of the trail, and actually did push a couple of beginners and some runners off of the trail on his way down.
    That's the only way I can get some speed on the downhills there.... jk.
    I have to admit that since there are a lot of beginners on FATS trail courtesy is pretty much non existent over there....you better hurry up on the climbs, or otherwise they'll run you over on their way down......no such thing as courtesy right of way for the uphillers....
    They should have directional signs like most other trails so you don't have to worry about head on collisions.....
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  15. #15
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    I prefer 2 way trails but I find very little discourteous riders here in WNC.
    (I mostly ride Bent Creek and Dupont along with some of the other Pisgah trails)
    However, there are a few but I just ignore them and keep doing my thing.

    Accidents will happen though.
    I am sure most of us like to bomb down hill and sometimes there will be some close calls. If I am at fault, I apologize and usually find the same from other riders.
    I also make it a habit to try not and climb trails that well known for being the ones that people fly down.

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    New to the CSRA

    Just moved to the CSRA about 6 months ago from Ohio. Living in aiken area. I've been riding the greenway in north Augusta and the canal trail just for fitness and fun, but curious if any of you locals know of some good trails within about 30 minutes of Augusta or aiken? I'm not really skilled yet at mountain biking but wanting to get back into the sport.
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  17. #17
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    Sure, there are jerks everywhere, including Western NC. However, the sheer number of them at FATS was ridiculous. No trail courtesy by many of the riders or other trail users. Some people were very friendly, but the majority of mountain bikers were complete jerks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNickels View Post
    Just moved to the CSRA about 6 months ago from Ohio. Living in aiken area. I've been riding the greenway in north Augusta and the canal trail just for fitness and fun, but curious if any of you locals know of some good trails within about 30 minutes of Augusta or aiken? I'm not really skilled yet at mountain biking but wanting to get back into the sport.


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    I'm enjoying my childhood way too much to ever give it up.

  19. #19
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    I have not encounted many rude trail users at FATS. Then again I may be a little bias since I live very close to it and over the years seldom ride during busy times but ride the other trails in the area. What is that saying 99% of the people are nice, the other 1% are a$$ holes?

    As for more friendly trails for beginers, I always mention Bartram Trail. Good place to get trail experience. Again I am a little bias here also since I ride it a lot. I personally would not discourage someone from riding it, let them be beginners or more advanced riders. As I mentioned earlier it is a fun trail that you can get your spinning legs moving. At the same time I can go there with the whole family and know it is safe for them to ride it.

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    Stumpy - next time you over here, drop a line. You need to ride the Christmas Party Ride....Mistletoe and Keg Creek. Nice 25 mile ride on two old school style trails. Keg is dead flat, and Mtoe goes up and down the fall quite a bit. It sees little use from wheels but I usually see hikers on it (folks camping in the park). Both somewhat primitive.

    I haven't been to FATS since May. And it's 15 minutes away. My riding has curtailed alot because of a new business start up, but when I do ride, I go to the places you wrote about.

    I'd say the fella who caught a slew of rude riders at FATS just had some bad luck. My experience is no better or worse there vs. anywhere else. I usually see alot of cars in the lot, but few encounters with riders on the trails. Most of those are near the parking lot on the out/back entrance trail.

  21. #21
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    It's good to know that my experience was an anomaly. The trails at FATS were fun, and I'm sure I'll be back again. Enjoy it!

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    FATS Trail System

    Hello i am from miami Fl and will be in the area this weekend to ride FATS...Any locals going to be around these trails?

  23. #23
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    If you're looking for someone to ride with or trail info, you might want to try here.
    I'm enjoying my childhood way too much to ever give it up.

  24. #24
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    I heard everyone there is really rude. They probably won't help you.

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    I am sure there will be some locals around to answer any questions. Saturday mornings there tends to be a large herd of trail runners also. Most are very helpful. I will up there sometime Monday to ride but nothing is firm. My suggestion is to ride Great Wall, Skinny, and Brown Wave all ccw. If planning to ride all loops in a day hit deep step, big rock, tower and back to the lot first before doing the first. Three I mentioned. The loops are fun either direction but most ride ccw.

  26. #26
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    Be there tomorrow morning, looking forward to it, have not been in a year or more. Come on out and ride with me Bill.
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  27. #27
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    Had a blast at FATS, people say I must be crazy to drive a total of 310 miles just to ride 30 plus miles.
    All I can say to that is the smile is still on my face, and may take a day or two more to wear off.
    Trail Builder, Trail Rider,and Trail Protector

  28. #28
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    Don, did you camp in your truck there? If so I was the guy on the ss you talked to.

  29. #29
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    Sorry, wasn't me.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianW. View Post
    I am sure there will be some locals around to answer any questions. Saturday mornings there tends to be a large herd of trail runners also. Most are very helpful. I will up there sometime Monday to ride but nothing is firm. My suggestion is to ride Great Wall, Skinny, and Brown Wave all ccw. If planning to ride all loops in a day hit deep step, big rock, tower and back to the lot first before doing the first. Three I mentioned. The loops are fun either direction but most ride ccw.
    I've always ridden the main 4 CCW; however, the last couple of times we've ridden Brown CW and it is a lot of fun that way as well. Not sure which I like better. Gotta watch that last set of rollers before last gravel road going down to river though. Easy to jump right into the face of the next one.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrkmind View Post
    I've always ridden the main 4 CCW; however, the last couple of times we've ridden Brown CW and it is a lot of fun that way as well. Not sure which I like better. Gotta watch that last set of rollers before last gravel road going down to river though. Easy to jump right into the face of the next one.
    You know I've always ridden everything CCW and then I switched up and started riding Brown Wave CW for a while. I've recently gone back to CCW on that one when I ride it. I think it's better that way. I've ridden all the trails in both directions and I just think that CCW is the way to go for all of them.

    I may take some crap for this but I really don't like BW. It's my least favorite trail out there. The only time I ride it is if I just really feel like I need to stroke every sweet inch of trail out there.

    Typical ride would be Deep Step > Connector > Tower > Big Rock > Connector > Deep Step > Great Wall > Skinny all CCW and then throw in BW at the end if I want the miles.

  32. #32
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    I think GW is my favorite trail there. Which way to you prefer Tower? I've only ridden that trail once and I believe we did it CCW (both Tower and BR).

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrkmind View Post
    I think GW is my favorite trail there. Which way to you prefer Tower? I've only ridden that trail once and I believe we did it CCW (both Tower and BR).
    GW CCW is definitely my favorite trail out there also. I vote CCW for Tower and Big Rock. I think it's a lot more fun that way and one of the locals I ran into out there last week said that he agrees.

  34. #34
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    Deep Step is the only trail I always go in the same direstion (ccw) The others are fun either way IMO. I understand about BW. For the longest time I avoided it. I prefer cw a little more on it also. If you combine Tower and Big Rock try ccw on BR and cw on Tower. This combination with the forest service road gives you on on the longer mostly down hill rides out there from the fire tower down to BR and the the forest service road. Great Wall is my all out favorite loop either direction.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpbumper View Post
    A mountain-biking buddy and I just spent five days camping at Petersburg Campground on Lake Strom Thurmond which is not far from FATS. With the exception of Sunday, FATS was closed for deer hunting so we donned our blaze orange vests and spent our time riding other trails in the area. By avoiding early mornings and late afternoons, we saw only two deer hunters in the woods during the entire week and one of them was a bowhunter.
    TRAILS
    The Uwharries (Keyauwee/Supertree) trails are like that during hunting season..thats why I normally ride sundays (only bowhunting on private land is allowed on sundays)...but I have a special jersey I wear just for hunting season...I really wish it was not like this..it makes me nervous sometimes riding in the woods wondering if some hunter has me in his sights thinking Im a deer.
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