Palmetto Trail, Croft, DR, trail Closed? WT Heck?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    New question here. Palmetto Trail, Croft, DR, trail Closed? WT Heck?

    What is up with all the trails being closed out at Croft off of Dairey Ridge and through out. When are they going to open them back up? I read at least 3 different signs explaining different things. I think it is bogus and something strange is afoot.

  2. #2
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    Just keep riding. This has been going on for years, Croft is an equestrian park. The horse people can throw trash and beer cans around and do what ever they want with no repercussions. The Palmetto trail has brought more cyclists out to the park, the rangers are trying to slow traffic with scare tactics.

  3. #3
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    On the Dairy Ridge side of things, they are in the process of legalizing a couple of trails that had not been officially OK to ride in the past. However, they have also put up lots of trail closed signs on other trails that we have been riding for several years. They even went to the trouble of completely blocking one trail with logs for it's entire length. I have heard all kinds of crazy rumors about $500 fines and spy cameras on the trail to catch riders. I have no idea if any of these rumors are valid or not.

    If you only stay on the trails that are in the process of becoming official, you can get about a 1 1/2 hour ride in on the Dairy Ridge side. These are the Palmetto Trail, the "New Addition" which is accross the creek from the PT, and the "Chapters," which runs from the PT out to the double-track connector road that intersects the pool road.

    TC is correct in saying that this park has always catered to horses first, even though you rarely see any horses over in the Dairy Ridge area. This is unfortunate, because there are thousands of acres of land that are basically unused out there.

    Southside is still there and is still fun. Erosion has made the roots taller over the years. Not as many people ride there these days, but it is still a good place to get in a 2 hour loop.

    If you are willing to ride about 3 miles of pavement, you can connect Southside to Dairy Ridge and get a really long ride in.
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  4. #4
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    The water oozing from the old landfill at southside is especially delicious right now. Yum Yum!

  5. #5
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    Hey guys, I've been riding for about a month at Croft, after riding a month or so at Southside (I started riding about 3 months ago). My fitness has progressed a ton (I started off struggling to do a mile or more and am now riding about 10-12 miles per session 2-3 times a week + running the trails another time or 2 a week). I've seen the bridge that connects Southside to the Palmetto Trail from the Southside Loop, but how do you get there from the parking lot at Dairy Ridge? I usually ride up to Country Club Road a couple times (from the Dairy Ridge Lot) then ride out onto the other side and wander a bit (sorry, I'm not familiar with the names of the trails as much here as at Southside). Any tips on good routes to take to get more mileage and how to connect the two trails would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    At the end of the Palmetto trail when you hit the gravel road you need to take a right. Go to the paved road and take a right, when you come to a T take a left and the Southside trail should be down on your right near the horse ring. I think it is about 3 miles on paved roads all together. You can easily get 17+ miles on this ride. Feel free to come out to South Side this afternoon at 5:30pm. I can show you where I am talking about!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the directions and the invite! I would love to come out and ride, but Friday nights are, unfortunately, off-limits (I teach high school band = Football games). I will be riding tomorrow around 6 with some beginners - even more beginner than me - and again Sunday around 3 or 4 with "more experienced" riders (both rides will be from Dairy Ridge). Maybe we can meet up another time; I've been dying to go out with some strong riders to push myself. Have a great ride!

    Edit: I meant to ask if the mileage includes riding back to the car at Dairy Ridge.

  8. #8
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    I may be able to ride sunday. If so I will show you how to ride to southside on singletrack.

  9. #9
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    What kind of pace do you run?
    I can do average 9 mph pace (13-16 in the flats, 4-8on the up hills, and too fast to look at my speedo on the downs)

  10. #10
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    It's hard to say since I'm usually riding with people that I have to wait on every mile or 2. I rode with a guy who has been regularing (is that a word?) Croft and Southside for about 15 years 4 weeks ago. I passed him uphill, he passed me downhill, and I could hang on the flats. My strength and endurance have improved since then, but I could use that kind of push again (it's nice having to chase someone from time to time). I'm sure I'd be slower than anyone who's been riding a while; I'll try and get some decent numbers from Sunday's ride to let you know (hopefully it'll be a fast enough ride to let me get some true numbers).

    PS: in my super short experience, the worst part of having to wait on other people is my legs getting heavy and stiff. I don't want to do that to anyone else

  11. #11
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    What happened to the (horse) trail shortcut from the bottom of the pool road (McFadden) to the top, the one that comes out at the picnic bench? Last time I was there, it had been opened to bikers. They also had opened the trail which runs alongside Croft State Park Rd. so you could get to the ranger office from the end of Palmetto Trail without riding on the roads, only crossing them. Is all of that now closed to bikers?

  12. #12
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    Ride on. You can keep riding all of the above.

  13. #13
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    So, I think I followed the directions insufficiently. We ended up crossing the creek and riding the Lake Johnson Connector (taking a right at the first set of picnic tables), which had tons and tons of rocky/rooty climbs. Also, in regards to average speeds, they seem to be in line with what you've posted. However, I will say that the Lake Johnson Connector took a whole lot of wind out of my sails, but riding down those hills sure was fun, lol. Oh, and it was good to "meet" you, Senor Strongbad.

  14. #14
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    I have only ridden the South Side loop and Palmetto trail together 2 times. I did not know there where single track trails all the way that you could take. I am very bad at remembering names of trails and what not. Any one out there want to give a good explination of how to do it all on single track, that are open to bikes? Or TCSTONED, could you show me some time, maybe on a weekend?

  15. #15
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    Im probably going to ride sunday afternoon at the ridge. Shoot me a pm if you want a tour guide.

  16. #16
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    All Croft trails are closed tomorrow and Thurs for a deer hunt.
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  17. #17
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    So what you are saying if we go ride we need to look like deer. I have a pretty sweet rudolph costume I wear to Christmas parties that is just asking to be worn while on a bike. Hunters are usually pretty smart... they will find the joke very funny!

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