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  1. #1
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    Moving to NC from SoCAL

    Hey All!,

    I'm escaping SoCal (Southern California - 25 mil pop.) where I've lived all of my life. I am moving towards the Charlotte, NC area. I've never been there, know I'm in for a slap in the face with the heat\humidity, but it's green, it's pretty, housing is affordable, and seems to me like a great place to raise a family.

    Is there anywhere around Charlotte within 30-45 mins max that has decent trails. Ideally, I'd like to buy a house on the outskirts of Charlotte, ride trails (or road bike if i have to) near my house, and then drive into the city for work. Can anybody recommend a place that my have what I'm looking for?

    Also, FWIW, I'm an tech guy and can probably find work near the Raleigh area as well. Not here to start debate between the two cities, just that I'd consider moving to the Raleigh area if somebody here swears by it.

    I've lightly considered Albemarle, but it looks kind of "out there"? Uwharrie NF has some trails?
    Hickory looks nice, but kind of far away if I did have to work in Charlotte.
    Rock hill\ Fort Mill might have some trails?

    Also open\welcoming opinions on which areas to stay away from? i.e. - ghetto, high crime\drugs, no trails :P

    I like to climb, love single track, am not a jump\air-borne\huck guy. I'm a good all around rider skill level.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Charlotte has some trails near Great Wolf Lodge i believe in the Concord area which is also a nice place to live just outside of the city but not to far from the Speedway. Huntersville and Corneilous is also nice on the other side of the highway. Winston is about an hour away with multiple trails and Pilot Mtn as well as Hanging Rock about 20mins from there. If you are into tech, look at the Innovation quarters in winston for jobs. Its becoming the new version of the Research Park in Raleigh. From Winston, we have greensboro only 20 mins away and kernersville which has new park about 10 mins away.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastslowpronewb View Post
    Hey All!,

    I'm escaping SoCal (Southern California - 25 mil pop.) where I've lived all of my life. I am moving towards the Charlotte, NC area. I've never been there, know I'm in for a slap in the face with the heat\humidity, but it's green, it's pretty, housing is affordable, and seems to me like a great place to raise a family.

    Is there anywhere around Charlotte within 30-45 mins max that has decent trails. Ideally, I'd like to buy a house on the outskirts of Charlotte, ride trails (or road bike if i have to) near my house, and then drive into the city for work. Can anybody recommend a place that my have what I'm looking for?

    Also, FWIW, I'm an tech guy and can probably find work near the Raleigh area as well. Not here to start debate between the two cities, just that I'd consider moving to the Raleigh area if somebody here swears by it.

    I've lightly considered Albemarle, but it looks kind of "out there"? Uwharrie NF has some trails?
    Hickory looks nice, but kind of far away if I did have to work in Charlotte.
    Rock hill\ Fort Mill might have some trails?

    Also open\welcoming opinions on which areas to stay away from? i.e. - ghetto, high crime\drugs, no trails :P

    I like to climb, love single track, am not a jump\air-borne\huck guy. I'm a good all around rider skill level.

    Thanks!
    Iíve been in charlotte for about 5 years now. And if you havenít decided where to stay yet in NC, my money would be on the Asheville area. Right on the doorsteps of Pisgah, the stuff of legends. And just an awesome town. Its about about a 2 hr drive from Charlotte and Iím there as often as possible. Kind of a competitive housing market tho...But Charlotte has a great network of trails in its own right, I live in uptown and there are at least 10 trail systems within a 20ish minute drive. Whitewater center has 25-30 miles of single track, nothing amazing but a solid trail system and food and beer options on site. I do most of my riding west of town (Poston Park, rocky branch, and whitewater center). Rocky river trail and BYT (backyard trails) are great as well. Not a lot of sustained climbs but all solid trails. Check out the tarheel trailblazers website. Uwharrie is okay, if Iím going to drive that far Iím heading towards the mountains tho :P But i donít think youíll be disappointed in the mountain bike scene here at all.


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  4. #4
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    Go to Tarheel Trailblazers to see the listing of all local trails in Charlotte...we have a pretty have a pretty high trail system count in and around the city...then with 2 hours you have the best riding in the East in Pisgah/Brevard, then Uwharrie, Lake Norman State Park, Warrior Creek.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    kernersville which has new park about 10 mins away.
    New riding near Kernersville? I have family who lives there. Might have to include some riding on the itinerary next time I visit.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasec79 View Post
    Iíve been in charlotte for about 5 years now. And if you havenít decided where to stay yet in NC, my money would be on the Asheville area. Right on the doorsteps of Pisgah, the stuff of legends. And just an awesome town. Its about about a 2 hr drive from Charlotte and Iím there as often as possible. Kind of a competitive housing market tho...
    Lol, but there's shit for tech jobs in Asheville unless you want to work as a systems administrator for the local hospital or one of the colleges or you're prepared to start your own tech startup. Fair number of people work remotely from home, too. Sure, the trails are great, but don't move here if you don't have a job lined up. And yeah, that's largely because the housing market is competitive and expensive. I can't afford a place inside the city limits that meets my needs, so I'm just outside the city where I was able to afford just a little bit more than I needed. The house I bought was on the market for a matter of hours before I put in an offer. I had put in offers on other houses, but was beat out on them.

    You're better off visiting Asheville/Pisgah for the things we have to offer if you don't have a job lined up already.

    I have a friend that moved here some years ago and left because he couldn't find any appropriate tech jobs. He now works for Facebook in Austin, TX, if that's any sort of indication of what he was after. I moved here because my wife had a job lined up already that covers our expenses and the market for my field (wildlife conservation) is much better than where we'd been living in the past.

  6. #6
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    Yep. Havenít been to the Kernersville trail yet as Iím new but I have searched and it came up as well as some you tube vids of people riding there. 15-20 mins from me so as I improve, Iíll check it out

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    I moved from So Cal 12 years ago to a suburb of Atlanta. I can't tell you how much I love Pisgah/Dupont. I go about once a month. Air bnb in Brevard. I spent 40 years in So. Cal. and I'd never go back. You're going to love it.

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    Thank you all for the responses! I was kind of stuck in the mentality that I have to move to Charlotte for work, but it seems like there's work all over for the most part. We have not yet decided where we want to land, and are taking a blind leap out to NC. We've never even been, but after months of searching\researching, it seems like the best place that meets our goals as a family ..and for MTB hehe

    @Harold

    I hope to buy a house around 150K, and would be okay taking a mid-pay tech support job where ever I can get one. Hospital is not a bad idea. It's disheartening to see how fast some of these homes are selling for, and it seems there's a steady increase in pricing due to the demand from all the transplants....I hope to jump in before it's too late!

    I will definitely be watching this thread for the next month. We are driving out there the first week of July.

    @Georgia_Rider I can't wait to get out of here. CA is beautiful on the surface, but is really ugly once you look closer. Cost of living, crime, smog, over-pop, real estate, etc. etc.

  9. #9
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    Better look more closely at the housing market in Asheville if you want to add it to your list. 150k won't get you very much. Maybe a run down trailer or a tiny condo inside the city limits. You will find tear downs at around 300k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasec79 View Post
    Iíve been in charlotte for about 5 years now. And if you havenít decided where to stay yet in NC, my money would be on the Asheville area.
    We haven't decided yet, and I don't want to rush into anything blindly. My heart is not set on Charlotte in the slightest. I mostly thought of it as place to get work mostly. Will definitely consider the Asheville area, but as Harold said, it might be tough to get work. I'll check out indeed and stuff to get a feel.

  11. #11
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    I don't know about Charlotte (have been in Brevard for around 4 years), but if you can swing it you should really enjoy it here. I lived in Venice Beach/Santa Monica for around 10 years and don't miss it a bit. Surfing was great, but like everything else in SoCal getting scary crowded. There are some forums at North Carolina Forum - Relocation, Moving, General and Local City Discussions - City-Data Forum that might help your research.

  12. #12
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    I work for a major hospital in the triad area doing Epic build and support. If you get in the Epic side, you ca pretty much go to any medical facility in the country and get work if you are certified. Iíve been in medical for about 12 years and I started off as a service desk analyst, moved to a desktop support manager and then went to the Epic side a couple of years ago. A lot of opportunities in the Medical IT side and you have several large hospitals from Raleigh to Charlotte. Not in any order but you have Wake Forest Baptist hospital in Winston, Moses Cone in Greensboro, UNC Chapel Hill in chapel hill, Duke Medcial, Novant Health also in Winston and they spread out to Charlotte and South Carolina, Carolina Hospital also in Charlotte. Itís a big jump from Ca to NC but I think you have a lot of options this way. You should probably see job opening popping up more and more in the next few weeks as fiscal ends and new budgets start over at least on the Medical IT side. At least with NC, you will get all 4 seasons for the most part. Good luck and keep us posted

  13. #13
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    Whitewater center!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastslowpronewb View Post
    Hey All!,

    I'm escaping SoCal (Southern California - 25 mil pop.) where I've lived all of my life. I am moving towards the Charlotte, NC area. I've never been there, know I'm in for a slap in the face with the heat\humidity, but it's green, it's pretty, housing is affordable, and seems to me like a great place to raise a family.

    Is there anywhere around Charlotte within 30-45 mins max that has decent trails. Ideally, I'd like to buy a house on the outskirts of Charlotte, ride trails (or road bike if i have to) near my house, and then drive into the city for work. Can anybody recommend a place that my have what I'm looking for?

    Also, FWIW, I'm an tech guy and can probably find work near the Raleigh area as well. Not here to start debate between the two cities, just that I'd consider moving to the Raleigh area if somebody here swears by it.

    I've lightly considered Albemarle, but it looks kind of "out there"? Uwharrie NF has some trails?
    Hickory looks nice, but kind of far away if I did have to work in Charlotte.
    Rock hill\ Fort Mill might have some trails?

    Also open\welcoming opinions on which areas to stay away from? i.e. - ghetto, high crime\drugs, no trails

    I like to climb, love single track, am not a jump\air-borne\huck guy. I'm a good all around rider skill level.

    Thanks!
    SoCal native here as well, moved from the 909 to richmond, va (also tech) decided to sell the home and move the family out here for a change in scenery and tour the eastern states as well as break away from the heat but this humidity is killing me although the 4 seasons is nice to experience. Good to know a socal native is down the state from me.

  15. #15
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    I think the biggest difference between Raleigh and Charlotte mountain biking wise is there seems to be a little bit more trail in Raleigh. There are a ton of "bandit" trails around the triangle area that may not show up on some mountain bike websites. they are pretty easy to find if you just ask. If you are into freeride type stuff Raleigh has some trails with some really big jumps and features as well. Another positive about Raleigh is the proximity to the beach if youre into that.

    On the flip side, Charlotte may not have quite as much mileage of trail, but is a hell of a lot closer to the mountains. You can do day trips from Charlotte to Pisgah and the Asheville area, while those are 3.5-5 hour drives from Raleigh.

    I live in Raleigh, and if I had a choice I would choose Charlotte simply for the proximity to the mountains. But, if you are willing to drive a bit further Raleigh may be a better option.

  16. #16
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    I moved from San Diego 9 years ago to the Charlotte area, Huntersville actually. It is 20 minutes north of Charlotte.

    I love it! Sure I miss surfing and being close to the beach.

    However, it is much nicer to raise a family. Affordable homes compared to San Diego, schools are good, good food, good beer and restaurants. Huntersville is one of the safest cities in NC. Has it's own Police Department.

    The mountain biking is better IMO. I like to ride Lake Norman State Park when I can get a few hours way to go ride. It has 36 miles of single track. There are a bunch of 3-6 mile loops you can link together. I love it. Sherman Branch is another place I ride. There is a trail in Huntersville for after work loops. Nothing fancy but I can be there in 10 minutes and get a few laps in.

    There is also Whitewater center, Backyard trail, and a few others.

    Brevard/Pisgah are 2.5 hours away. Warriors Creek is 3 hours away.

    I like Charlotte a lot. Mountains are a few hours, Wilmington Beach is a few hours, Charleston is a few hours away, so lots of weekend getaways.

    Yes it gets HOT! Hot as hell right now. You do get used to it. The first year I was in shock.

  17. #17
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    If you move near Raleigh you will have plenty of trails to ride, and Wrightsville Beach is @ 2 hrs away. I like to surf, so this is important to me. I see you're a So Cal guy, so maybe this is something that would interest you, too (?). And yes, it's hotter than three hells right about now (I love that!), but it doesn't last forever...
    "Caught my first tube this morning....sir!"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by amagad View Post
    SoCal native here as well, moved from the 909 to richmond, va (also tech) decided to sell the home and move the family out here for a change in scenery and tour the eastern states as well as break away from the heat but this humidity is killing me although the 4 seasons is nice to experience. Good to know a socal native is down the state from me.
    Yeah, I'm in between work right now, and it really was a blessing in disguise. We recently went on a road-trip out of state for 2 weeks, and it changed my heart completely about living in SoCal any further.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Ryder View Post
    I moved from San Diego 9 years ago to the Charlotte area, Huntersville actually. It is 20 minutes north of Charlotte.

    I love it! Sure I miss surfing and being close to the beach.

    However, it is much nicer to raise a family. Affordable homes compared to San Diego, schools are good, good food, good beer and restaurants. Huntersville is one of the safest cities in NC. Has it's own Police Department.

    The mountain biking is better IMO. I like to ride Lake Norman State Park when I can get a few hours way to go ride. It has 36 miles of single track. There are a bunch of 3-6 mile loops you can link together. I love it. Sherman Branch is another place I ride. There is a trail in Huntersville for after work loops. Nothing fancy but I can be there in 10 minutes and get a few laps in.

    There is also Whitewater center, Backyard trail, and a few others.

    Brevard/Pisgah are 2.5 hours away. Warriors Creek is 3 hours away.

    I like Charlotte a lot. Mountains are a few hours, Wilmington Beach is a few hours, Charleston is a few hours away, so lots of weekend getaways.

    Yes it gets HOT! Hot as hell right now. You do get used to it. The first year I was in shock.
    Affordability and a nicer place to raise a family is what I am focusing on. It's such a rat-race in Socal, and we're all just ready for something new. Thanks for the helpful reply. I'd consider moving closer to the mountain's, but not sure what work for me would be like out there. 2-3 hours seems like a lot of time to drive to ride unless I stayed out there for the weekends. I have not been in hot as hell weather yet, so this will be a first! haha

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelMTB View Post
    I work for a major hospital in the triad area doing Epic build and support. If you get in the Epic side, you ca pretty much go to any medical facility in the country and get work if you are certified. Iíve been in medical for about 12 years and I started off as a service desk analyst, moved to a desktop support manager and then went to the Epic side a couple of years ago. A lot of opportunities in the Medical IT side and you have several large hospitals from Raleigh to Charlotte. Not in any order but you have Wake Forest Baptist hospital in Winston, Moses Cone in Greensboro, UNC Chapel Hill in chapel hill, Duke Medcial, Novant Health also in Winston and they spread out to Charlotte and South Carolina, Carolina Hospital also in Charlotte. Itís a big jump from Ca to NC but I think you have a lot of options this way. You should probably see job opening popping up more and more in the next few weeks as fiscal ends and new budgets start over at least on the Medical IT side. At least with NC, you will get all 4 seasons for the most part. Good luck and keep us posted
    Thanks for the info. Will do! I'd love to get into a house ASAP, but I'd like to learn the lay of the land first, and get a feel for the area's before rooting down. Thought I'd ask my mtb fam for local info.

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    Hey Guys! Just chiming in to let you know that we settled near Clemmons\Winston-Salem. We drove all over the place before picking an area that we liked. I drove through Charlotte and Raleigh and they reminded me too much of SoCal so I had to flee. Ashville was nice, but the economy did seem rough there. Talking to many locals and other NC people confirmed the same thought.

    Some of the places like Lenoir \Morganton were too underdeveloped for us. We also noticed the humidity isn't as bad in W-S so that helped, too!

    I've been to tanglewood many times now, and plan on going to hobby park soon. I see a bunch of trails nearby, but I am doing the job search thing right now and will visit them soon.

    All in all, we are very happy with our decision. It's green, it's beautiful, and the BBQ is AWESOME in NC.

    I.T. Support guy looking for work if you have any leads!

    Thanks again to everyone for their input!

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    I work in IT for a major hospital here in Winston. We are hiring in IT. I'll send you a private message.

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    I lived in Greensboro for several years, the triad's not a bad place to be. You couldn't pay me to move back from Asheville though ha!

    I'd definitely recommend checking out the trails around Greensboro, they're not far from you. Owl's Roost, Country Park etc are certainly worth the short drive.

    Uwharrie had some good trails (south), as does Moore's Springs (North), for something a little less "urban".

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastslowpronewb View Post
    Hey Guys! Just chiming in to let you know that we settled near Clemmons\Winston-Salem...
    Awesome man, great choice IMO - welcome to NC. Raleigh and Charlotte are big city living for sure. You have some solid trails for half day trips out of W-S. Moores Springs is great. And a easy day trip to Warrior Creek. Been itching to get back there myself.

    Climbing up at Moore's Wall (Hanging Rock State Park) is some of the best in the state. Not sure how the climbing was in SoCal but get ready for some trad hard liners here in NC. We don't bolt sh!t....we plug gear and roll.....

    And BBQ....yes....omg yes....so love NC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    Awesome man, great choice IMO - welcome to NC. Raleigh and Charlotte are big city living for sure. You have some solid trails for half day trips out of W-S. Moores Springs is great. And a easy day trip to Warrior Creek. Been itching to get back there myself.

    Climbing up at Moore's Wall (Hanging Rock State Park) is some of the best in the state. Not sure how the climbing was in SoCal but get ready for some trad hard liners here in NC. We don't bolt sh!t....we plug gear and roll.....

    And BBQ....yes....omg yes....so love NC.
    Ha, Moore's Wall, home to the infamous "North Carolina + grade", e.g. where 5.9+ means "anything but 5.9". Good times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbeh View Post
    Ha, Moore's Wall, home to the infamous "North Carolina + grade", e.g. where 5.9+ means "anything but 5.9". Good times.
    It's like riding Pisgah. "Wait isn't this trail rated a blue?!"

    North Carolina hard men. Yaaaaaas.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    It's like riding Pisgah. "Wait isn't this trail rated a blue?!"

    North Carolina hard men. Yaaaaaas.

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    Nice, one of my favorite little loops is to go up Cove creak, around to Daniel ridge, take it down and make the loop back up the other side of Daniel ridge and head back around to take Cove creak back down to the fish parking lot. God I love that place!
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastslowpronewb View Post
    Hey Guys! Just chiming in to let you know that we settled near Clemmons\Winston-Salem. We drove all over the place before picking an area that we liked. I drove through Charlotte and Raleigh and they reminded me too much of SoCal so I had to flee. Ashville was nice, but the economy did seem rough there. Talking to many locals and other NC people confirmed the same thought.

    Some of the places like Lenoir \Morganton were too underdeveloped for us. We also noticed the humidity isn't as bad in W-S so that helped, too!

    I've been to tanglewood many times now, and plan on going to hobby park soon. I see a bunch of trails nearby, but I am doing the job search thing right now and will visit them soon.

    All in all, we are very happy with our decision. It's green, it's beautiful, and the BBQ is AWESOME in NC.

    I.T. Support guy looking for work if you have any leads!

    Thanks again to everyone for their input!
    I thought you came out because of work? Hmm Charlotte and Raleigh similar to socal? In what respect?


    Edit: nm, I reread post

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasec79 View Post
    Iíve been in charlotte for about 5 years now. And if you havenít decided where to stay yet in NC, my money would be on the Asheville area. Right on the doorsteps of Pisgah, the stuff of legends. And just an awesome town. Its about about a 2 hr drive from Charlotte and Iím there as often as possible. Kind of a competitive housing market tho...But Charlotte has a great network of trails in its own right, I live in uptown and there are at least 10 trail systems within a 20ish minute drive. Whitewater center has 25-30 miles of single track, nothing amazing but a solid trail system and food and beer options on site. I do most of my riding west of town (Poston Park, rocky branch, and whitewater center). Rocky river trail and BYT (backyard trails) are great as well. Not a lot of sustained climbs but all solid trails. Check out the tarheel trailblazers website. Uwharrie is okay, if Iím going to drive that far Iím heading towards the mountains tho :P But i donít think youíll be disappointed in the mountain bike scene here at all.


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    Rocky River (Steve's) has some climbing!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bannerman View Post
    Rocky River (Steve's) has some climbing!
    Yeah, but they are still short, steep but still short.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Yeah, but they are still short, steep but still short.
    Correct! Does not meet my interpretation of Ďsustainedí by any means. Lol.


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    Iím in Clemmons as well. Good choice! As Iím sure youíre learning, the trails here are nothing like they are out West. Most of the trails in central NC are purpose built for MTB and donít really go anywhere like Tanglewood, Hobby Park, and Kernersville. Out west the trails are often old hiking trails that cover more terrain and actually go someplace (I miss that). Western NC has more trails youíre probably use to. Brevard is central to a lot of great riding and always makes for a great weekend destination. Also, the Kerr Scott trails (Warrior Creek etc) are great purpose built mtb trails that actually cover some miles. The system is only an hour up 421 from us.
    If youíre ever up for a ride or more local info send a pm. Welcome to Clemmons!

  33. #33
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    Enjoy your new nest. Wife and I are talking about selling our home and moving just south of Charlotte, preferably Mint Hill.

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