Moving to Charlotte, NC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Moving to Charlotte, NC

    Hey all. Potentially moving to Charlotte from Maryland and am curious about trails and conditions. I usually ride areas with about 20+ miles of trail.

    Usually my rides are between 15-20 miles with around 1000ft of climbing. Is there the same amount of elevation in Charlotte? I know the further west you go seems to be the sweet spot for biking, but have to save those for weekend trips.

    I'm used to having a nice state park about 15 minutes from my house. What can I have to look forward to in Charlotte.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dclark091 View Post
    Hey all. Potentially moving to Charlotte from Maryland and am curious about trails and conditions. I usually ride areas with about 20+ miles of trail.

    Usually my rides are between 15-20 miles with around 1000ft of climbing. Is there the same amount of elevation in Charlotte? I know the further west you go seems to be the sweet spot for biking, but have to save those for weekend trips.

    I'm used to having a nice state park about 15 minutes from my house. What can I have to look forward to in Charlotte.

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    In Charlotte you have the whitewater center which has over 30 miles of trail and over 2k ft of climbing if you do it all. Also in the suburbs of Charlotte is Rocky River with 13 miles and over 1k ft. Backyard Trails is near center city with less than 1k of climbing but over 10miles over more techy features and jumplines.

    Very close to Charlotte is Uwharrie, which is about an 1-1 1/2 hr East with 11 miles and 1k+ climbing. Lake Norman State park, slightly North, which has 25+ miles, but little climbing. Then to the west 2 1/2 hrs you have the legit stuff, Pisgah, with as more climbing, techy descending and fun then you could ever ask for (not for the faint of heart)! There are also about 10 other smaller trail systems in Charlotte I haven't mentioned.

    www.tarheeltrailblazers.com is the local Charlotte club with Social rides, trail work days and friendly locals.

    Also I have found trailforks and MTBProject are pretty good apps for hunting down trails/elevations/distances.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wytemike21 View Post
    In Charlotte you have the whitewater center which has over 30 miles of trail and over 2k ft of climbing if you do it all. Also in the suburbs of Charlotte is Rocky River with 13 miles and over 1k ft. Backyard Trails is near center city with less than 1k of climbing but over 10miles over more techy features and jumplines.

    Very close to Charlotte is Uwharrie, which is about an 1-1 1/2 hr East with 11 miles and 1k+ climbing. Lake Norman State park, slightly North, which has 25+ miles, but little climbing. Then to the west 2 1/2 hrs you have the legit stuff, Pisgah, with as more climbing, techy descending and fun then you could ever ask for (not for the faint of heart)! There are also about 10 other smaller trail systems in Charlotte I haven't mentioned.

    www.tarheeltrailblazers.com is the local Charlotte club with Social rides, trail work days and friendly locals.

    Also I have found trailforks and MTBProject are pretty good apps for hunting down trails/elevations/distances.


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    Awesome! That's great to hear. Not that lack of mountain biking would deter me from an area (eh yea it would), but great to hear that Charlotte doesn't lack in trails at all!

    If I'm moving down I'll definitely want to meet people at social rides. That's what it's all about right. Anyways thanks for the heads up. I have a better idea of what to expect

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  4. #4
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    Where in Maryland are you from and what trails did you ride?

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    There's enough here locally to scratch the itch. I agree with wytemike21, he mentioned the best three trails around town. Those three are the ones I visit most.

    I live right near uptown and I can be in Dupont State Forest in less than 2hrs and Brevard area Pisgah in just over 2hrs. There's also the Kitsuma/Heartbreak area of Pisgah 1:40 minutes away and some great XC in Wilksboro about 1.5hrs away. Pisgah is world class backcountry riding. You'll be just fine here in NC!

  6. #6
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    If the OP rides places like Patapsco, Greenbrier, Gambrill, and the Fredrick Watershed, the one thing he will notice is the lack of rocks and "technical riding". As people mentioned, I guess you have to go to Dupont or Pisgah to find those (still searching).

    Places like the White-water center and Lake Norman are nice but are not similar to what is found in the Mid-Atlantic region.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  7. #7
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    I usually ride Gunpowder, Susquehanna, Patapsco and Whie Clay in Delaware.

    White Clay is by far my favorite but furthest away at 45 min away. Gunpowder is my go to at 10 min away

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    not to de-rail, but did you ever ride Fair Hill?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclark091 View Post
    I usually ride Gunpowder, Susquehanna, Patapsco and Whie Clay in Delaware.

    White Clay is by far my favorite but furthest away at 45 min away. Gunpowder is my go to at 10 min away

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    If you like White clay you will be happy. Places like White-water and lake norman are very much like white-clay - actually they are even smoother. I grew up next to White-clay but rode Fair Hill most of the time. Miss that place every day.

    My wife was from the DC area and I loved, just loved Gambrill in Fredrick. Riding down here is different. More about flow and speed.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  10. #10
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    I've haven't actually rode fair hill yet. I know it's a massive trail system though. I frequent white clay on the weekends but always enjoy those trails so much I never go to fair hill. Need to check it out though.

    Good to hear that it's like white clay. Those trails are easily my favorite in the area besides Patapsco. Patapsco is awesome too, terrain is a little different though. Much more technical than white clay

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    If you like White clay you will be happy. Places like White-water and lake norman are very much like white-clay - actually they are even smoother. I grew up next to White-clay but rode Fair Hill most of the time. Miss that place every day.

    My wife was from the DC area and I loved, just loved Gambrill in Fredrick. Riding down here is different. More about flow and speed.
    Have you ridden RRT and BYT or maybe San Lee if you want to go a bit farther? There's definitely a little tech to be found though I always wish there was a bit more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    Have you ridden RRT and BYT or maybe San Lee if you want to go a bit farther? There's definitely a little tech to be found though I always wish there was a bit more.
    I think asheville is around the same distance from CLT as San Lee. Same with rocky knob. Wilson Creek is closer yet. San lee is rocky but most of that rock is on flat or slightly up hill terrain. So it is more slow speed tech. I like my tech in more of the downhill grade. So Wilson, RK and places like bennett, farlow et la (in avl area) are more the tech I'd be looking for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matty22c View Post
    I think asheville is around the same distance from CLT as San Lee. Same with rocky knob. Wilson Creek is closer yet. San lee is rocky but most of that rock is on flat or slightly up hill terrain. So it is more slow speed tech. I like my tech in more of the downhill grade. So Wilson, RK and places like bennett, farlow et la (in avl area) are more the tech I'd be looking for.
    Well yeah, I'm not saying anything in Charlotte is in the same league as any of the stuff you listed (I did Farlow, Daniels, Butter, Black loop last weekend) but I don't think it's half bad given the relative lack of elevation.

    For the OP, I think Rocky River Trail offers the best tech and Downhills inside a 1hr radius from the city.

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    I've got not clue on the CLT stuff as I unfortunately have never ridden there. I was just commenting on the the part where you mentioned San Lee. I'm in the triangle and have ridden there many times. It is a great trail, but from CLT there are better trails the same distance or closer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    For the OP, I think Rocky River Trail offers the best tech and Downhills inside a 1hr radius from the city.
    Dont forget Uwharrie Nat'l Forest. Great riding out there and is more of a "woodsy" vibe. If you do the double loop you get around 20 miles and 2K' of climbing/descending.

    Not super technical but its the closest thing to riding mountains without driving to the mountains.
    On your left!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by matty22c View Post
    I've got not clue on the CLT stuff as I unfortunately have never ridden there. I was just commenting on the the part where you mentioned San Lee. I'm in the triangle and have ridden there many times. It is a great trail, but from CLT there are better trails the same distance or closer.
    Yeah, I haven't returned their since I move to Charlotte from Winston Salem

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    Have you ridden RRT and BYT or maybe San Lee if you want to go a bit farther? There's definitely a little tech to be found though I always wish there was a bit more.
    I have not ridden RRT yet but have ridden the Backyard trail - which is great! Still different than some of the places up north but fun. I would also make sure to emphasize that all these trails are fun and a blast to ride, just different.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

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    How old are you? What are you into? I was 27 when I moved down to CLT from New England (have left since).

    The riding in the city is good for a city. RRT and WWC were favorites, because they were the most technical and climby. Sherman was boring, I rode there from the city on the CX and did a lap then rode home for a nice mix.

    As for the city, as a young guy into beer it rocked. Coming from NYC and Boston types it was easy to navigate and traffic was not bad. Good food and better beer.

    Its blowing up though, which got annoying. Seeing cookie cutter apartment buildings take down everything.

    Go to Pisgah, I spent every weekend I could out there. Many a day trip too.
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

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