South Carolina Trail Questions - Columbia/Greenville- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    South Carolina Trail Questions - Columbia/Greenville

    I ride SS and can ride most anything (at my own pace) and enjoy longer rides to shorter ones. I understand the "which trail is better" question is highly subjective but I'm looking for all opinions at this point.

    Columbia - Have ridden Harbison/Lost Creek a lot during visits to the area but looking for something new to mix it up. Enjoy Lost Creek and Harbison including SWII for the most part. So...

    Is Sesqui worth anything?
    Is the Fort Jackson Passage of the Palmetto Trail interesting?
    Or is the drive to Manchester a better option than both? I understand that's a Sunday only option at this time of the year.
    If Manchester is the way to go but I wanted a longer ride is it possible to link up to the Palmetto Trail there or is it a boring ride and not worth it?
    Anything else to consider within an hour? (Won't have the time to make it to FATS for example)

    Between Columbia and Greenville, has the Enoree Passage of the Palmetto Trail gotten any better this year or is it still pretty difficult to follow and slow to ride?

    Greenville - Have only ridden there once, at Paris Mountain (Brissy to Pipsissewa, around the lake, back up Pip to a left on Brissy and the road back to parking once it turned hiker only)

    What's a good route for Paris for an extended afternoon/evening?
    Issaqueena and/or Fant's Grove worth the drive? Which is the better of the two?
    Any other notable options within an hour's drive? (Won't have time to go to Pisgah I don't think, won't go there alone regardless as I haven't been yet)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Well it sounds like you have done most of Paris mtn. I especially like the Kanuga trail, I will be up there riding it tomorrow. As for Issaqueena I usually stick to the downhill/freeride course, but there is a very easy lake loop I have done a few times. Haven't been to Fants Grove yet

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    I would love to hear from anyone who has been on the Enoree passage lately. I rode it once last winter and it was a mess. Just wondering it anything has improved there.

    If you want a long ride at Paris Mountain, plan on doing all the trails several times.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I would love to hear from anyone who has been on the Enoree passage lately. I rode it once last winter and it was a mess. Just wondering it anything has improved there.
    I'm all for exploratory missions but not solo at this point if anyone is interested next Sunday.

  5. #5
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    Is Sesqui worth anything?--No

    Is the Fort Jackson Passage of the Palmetto Trail interesting? --No

    Or is the drive to Manchester a better option than both? --Yes

    If Manchester is the way to go but I wanted a longer ride is it possible to link up to the Palmetto Trail there or is it a boring ride and not worth it?--Possible, but probably not worth it if you don't like difficult to follow and slow to ride.

    Anything else to consider within an hour?--Lynches Wood in Newberry sounds right up your alley. The middle part of the Enoree Passage starting at the Brick House trailhead (assuming the horses haven't trashed it out) is usually all rideable, but kinda flat. Last, there's trail in Sumter Natl Forest on the Broad River west of Chester called, I think, Woods Ferry. Horse trail, but might be worth checking out.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  6. #6
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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin View Post
    Anything else to consider within an hour?--Lynches Wood in Newberry sounds right up your alley. The middle part of the Enoree Passage starting at the Brick House trailhead (assuming the horses haven't trashed it out) is usually all rideable, but kinda flat. Last, there's trail in Sumter Natl Forest on the Broad River west of Chester called, I think, Woods Ferry. Horse trail, but might be worth checking out.
    Thanks. Lynch's Woods looks decent, may hit that on the way to ride some or all of the Enoree Passage on Sunday. My weekend rides are genrally 40-60miles so that 7.5miles would get pretty old pretty quick.

    Depending on how I feel I may do the whole 35 out and back and make a day of it, using the car as a refeuling point mid-day. What do you think an average pace may be assuming the trail can actually be followed? If I only did half which direction is best - northwest or southeast? Or a bit of both? I figure if I start by 7am I could possibly do all 72ish miles by 5pm with some breaks and a longer lunch stop?

    Weather looks to be about perfect if it holds. Sunny and 70 degrees. Company is welcome if anyone out there is interested.

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    I think sesqui is a good occasional option. If you ride it too often, you will get bored of it. I have ridden everything in our region from Pisgah to Charleston and have yet to find something i regretted doing. I like sesqui for its flat and fast character. Just dont ride it in the summer when the sand is fluffy. It is good training becasue it resembles road riding. Do this loop and time it: park at polo road rec center. take trail into woods. take first left. ride trail in that direction about 4 miles. When you come out on the sandy road, go left. ride the road in that direction by the education center and keep going. this is about three miles. take a left after the chain gate. go straight uphill on the lollypop out and back. When you come back down the hill take a left back onto the sandy road. Continue to where you started. This is about a ten mile loop. I guarantee you this will flat whoop your ass. I do this about three times and end up with 30 miles and about 2.5 hours.

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    If you're willing to drive to Columbia or Manchester, take an extra hour and head to FATS. That can keep you busy for a day. Check the trail status at the SORBA-CSRA website first!
    Last edited by TallChris; 09-27-2011 at 10:32 AM. Reason: additional info

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    I'll be IN Columbia, then going to Greenville. I would go to FATS but it turns a 1hr40min drive into 3hr30min one. That's another 110 mins I could be riding We'll see, may end up going with a group somewhere but likely end up in Newberry area.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    Thanks. Lynch's Woods looks decent, may hit that on the way to ride some or all of the Enoree Passage on Sunday. My weekend rides are genrally 40-60miles so that 7.5miles would get pretty old pretty quick.

    Depending on how I feel I may do the whole 35 out and back and make a day of it, using the car as a refeuling point mid-day. What do you think an average pace may be assuming the trail can actually be followed? If I only did half which direction is best - northwest or southeast? Or a bit of both? I figure if I start by 7am I could possibly do all 72ish miles by 5pm with some breaks and a longer lunch stop?

    Weather looks to be about perfect if it holds. Sunny and 70 degrees. Company is welcome if anyone out there is interested.
    Dunno on the Enoree passage beyond the fact that it needs wheels. I think 70+ miles is wishful thinking though, unless the trail was clear and ridden in the whole way. I tried it 4-5 years ago and failed miserably despite the fact that I was definitely in shape for it. I think I'd start at Brick House and go south until it gets un-fun, then turn around and go north. Most of the traffic is in that area so that's where you'll have the best tread. If the trail is clear figure a 10-12 mph average.

    Also, consider Long Cane Horse Trail in Greenwood. And if you're going all the way to FATS there are far better alternatives with the kind of mileage you're looking at. Just gotta be adventurous.

    ROUTES

    I recommend the long connector route on the above. I usually start at Key Bridge between Turkey and Wine, ride Turkey and Modoc as an out and back, the do Wine if I've got any gas left.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin View Post
    Dunno on the Enoree passage beyond the fact that it needs wheels. I think 70+ miles is wishful thinking though, unless the trail was clear and ridden in the whole way. I tried it 4-5 years ago and failed miserably despite the fact that I was definitely in shape for it. I think I'd start at Brick House and go south until it gets un-fun, then turn around and go north. Most of the traffic is in that area so that's where you'll have the best tread. If the trail is clear figure a 10-12 mph average.

    Also, consider Long Cane Horse Trail in Greenwood. And if you're going all the way to FATS there are far better alternatives with the kind of mileage you're looking at. Just gotta be adventurous.

    ROUTES

    I recommend the long connector route on the above. I usually start at Key Bridge between Turkey and Wine, ride Turkey and Modoc as an out and back, the do Wine if I've got any gas left.
    Thanks for the info. I'm hoping the Enoree is better than it was in the past (wishful though it is), but if I don't get enough miles there I'll head back to Lynchs Woods and do a few loops.

    Thanks for the link! That stuff looks great, although I'd certainly end up spinning out a bit on the roads as an SSer. That whole area looked ripe for that type of riding when I drove through it the one time I've been to FATS. Put it in my bookmarks to come back to that sometime when I have more time to ride.

    LCHT looks interesting and a good amount of miles, and a bit closer as well. I may end up taking your advice... Your last line would indicate the connector loops or something else altogether?

  12. #12
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    Yeah, the connector is what I'm talking about with Turkey Wine Modoc. And yes, the road miles can be a drag, but it still beats riding around in circles for 6+ hours.

    For LCHT, try to find a local guide. There's lots of trail out there, much of it the best SC has to offer. But other sections are largely unmaintained and kinda nasty. Here's a direct link to the local web site.

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  13. #13
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    Thanks again. May have to wait on LCHT when I've had more time to line up a guide and make sure I've got some good GPS tracks to follow in case of emergency. I'm amazed that nobody I've spoken with have ridden (or heard of) that trail, seems like a great one judging by the pics and descriptions.

  14. #14
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    Enoree Passage of the Palmetto Trail

    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin View Post
    Dunno on the Enoree passage beyond the fact that it needs wheels. I think 70+ miles is wishful thinking though, unless the trail was clear and ridden in the whole way. I tried it 4-5 years ago and failed miserably despite the fact that I was definitely in shape for it. I think I'd start at Brick House and go south until it gets un-fun, then turn around and go north. Most of the traffic is in that area so that's where you'll have the best tread. If the trail is clear figure a 10-12 mph average.

    Also, consider Long Cane Horse Trail in Greenwood. And if you're going all the way to FATS there are far better alternatives with the kind of mileage you're looking at. Just gotta be adventurous.
    Well you could not have been more correct which was quite unfortunate for such a great idea of a trail. I think its the only time I've legitimate;y thought that opening a trail to horses would be a solution to better trails. Started at Brick House a few hours late, took the Palmetto until the horse trails ended. Continued more slowly as the trail was hard to find, hard to read (hidden logs in heavy ferns/weeds/etc), until I found the second bridge crushed by a tree and unpassable. So that's 9+ miles of good horse trail, 0.5 miles of terrible hiking/biking trail with weeds above my head in places.

    I turned around and continued the Buncombe loop notrth, taking the connectors back to the parking area (about 15 mile loop). Some of the trail was great and seemed to have lots of use, other times the ubiquitous fall line trail building was a pain to climb and descend on, and most horse TTFs were unridable on the bike, even with my big wheels.

    I tried the other end of the Palmetto, and again made it 0.5 miles before I couldn't follow the trail. Legs were getting torn up, dismounting every 20 yards to climb over blowdowns, lots of snakey hike a bike that quickly disolved my resolve. Last two pics are of the trail in front of me, and behind me when I turned around on the north end. If I had been dropped off there I wouldn't have known a trail existed.

    Went back to the parking lot and attenpted to take the north loop of the horse trail for another 13 miles but after 2 miles realized it was more of the same - fall line descent, blowdown, good trail for 20 yards, blowdown, hidden turn (thank goodness for the blazes), blowdown, etc. Bailed on the next gravel road back to the car. Total avg speed was 8.7mph on the SS geared pretty light so 10-12mph would be pretty good but probably doable on a geared bike.

    Didn't see a soul on the trails but ran into a couple equestrians in the parking lot that echoed your LCHT recommendation as it's in their back yard (mentioned black bear, black snakes, and black panthers BTW). Will be my next trip when I'm in the area.
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  15. #15
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    Lcht

    For info on LCHT checkout greenwoodmtb.com. I can't post links.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    Well you could not have been more correct which was quite unfortunate for such a great idea of a trail.
    Yup. A shame for sure. Wish it were otherwise but there's just not enough wheels in that area to keep it open.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

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