Visiting Santos June 8th & 9th- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Visiting Santos June 8th & 9th

    Hello everyone,

    I'm very excited to be camping at Santos two weekends from now. I've been into mountain biking for almost a year now and live in the Daytona Beach area. This will be my first time traveling to visit new trails beyond what is in my general area.

    So, for those who are familiar with the Santos trail system: What trails should I be sure to hit? I will have about 2 days to bike. I would call myself an intermediate rider. I don't do any crazy jumps or stunts, but I'm getting to be fairly proficient navigating the local trails like Graham Swamp, Chuck Lennon, Spruce Creek Preserve, etc... Graham Swamp still has a couple climbs I can't quite seem to carry the right momentum into, but other than that I can complete them all...

    Also, is there anything in particular I need to know or look out for before I go?

    Thanks in advance-

    J.

  2. #2
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    You'll have a blast out there at Santos, if you can ride everything at those trails I assure you you'll be fine. No big stunts or many man-made features on the trails out there.More like lots of fun natural features like chutes, rocky techy, and tight line choices. Just good challenges nothing insane, I personally think the climbs are tougher than the descents out there.( Referring to the red trails) However that's just my opinion. I'm new to the area as well, but having been to Santos a few times now I kinda have a loop I like to do. The first time I ever went I knew it would be my favorite place to ride. I can't say enough good things about how awesome Santos is. Especially myself not being from the area. You'll enjoy yourself out there and anyone I've ever rode with there is more than willing to give advice or let you tag along. Never ran into anyone with their nose in the air. Make sure and stop by the shop on the way there and grab a map it will help out tremendously.

  3. #3
    Rodizio
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    I was there last weekend for the first time. I enjoyed the red trails the most, especially the Vortex section.

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    I would def. Hit twister which is on the vortex side, its just a fun trail to ride fast. Ease into the reds. Do sinkhole first. Then Magic Mtn. John Brown I would say next, just take it slow and learn it, those rocks hurt. You can burn yourself up in one day if you get too excited. Oh and you can ride at night.
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    Thanks for the input everyone. I'm sure it will be a rewarding time for me out there!

    @Rowe925 - thanks for the suggestions. I'm working on mapping out a plan right now, so that info helps a lot. So, you can ride at night there? Are some of the trails lighted?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheeljack View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone. I'm sure it will be a rewarding time for me out there!

    @Rowe925 - thanks for the suggestions. I'm working on mapping out a plan right now, so that info helps a lot. So, you can ride at night there? Are some of the trails lighted?
    Oh no not lighted. If you got a good light its even more intense, especially the vortex.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rowe925 View Post
    Oh no not lighted. If you got a good light its even more intense, especially the vortex.
    Lol, I'm so concrete in thought... Maybe I will pick up a light kit before I go.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
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    twister is very fun and fast!. Definitely hit the red trail by the vortex section. My personal favorite because it actually has some big (well for Florida) climbs in it. Rattlesnake ridge is also very fun just watch your derailleur on the rocks. I broke my hanger on that trail and had to walk the bike back. But there is a store right next to the trailhead that should have anything you would need.

  9. #9
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    A lot depends on your age and the type of riding you like to do (more specifically than your opening post) - Do you want Miles or Features ... or Miles and Features. I have led some first timers thru the Vortex ... and they hated it. I have led some people on long cross country rides and that was not what they were looking for ... so it really all depends on the "features" you want. There is really something out there for everyone.

    From the Santos side, My usual ride is to head out from the parking lot:
    - go Left on the first fork on Pine Tree
    - Ride that up to Cow Bone
    - Take Cow Bone to the John Brown Pit and do the shelf drops right on the pit
    - From there you can ride John Brown (red tech trail)
    - Take Cow Bone on out to its end at Blue Hwy
    - Cross the road and Run Dog Bone to the left
    - Pic up Twister and ride it to back door,
    - Head into the Vortex and loop it Then out and back to the lot on the other side of Pine Tree, usually taking in Marshmellow and Sink Hole somewhere in there.

    BUT if you would prefer some good XC riding. Ride all the way across (or drive the car over to the land bridge or 49th street trail heads - but I'd rather ride if for the milage) and hit Nyles and Earn and Burn ... now those are some fun rides.

    If you park at the Land Bridge TH and go out from there and do Nayles, Earn and Burn and back ... that is 25 miles + or - Going from Santos to the Land Bridge TH the short way is about 7 miles each way if you go the quickest route. So that would give you a good 35-40 mile ride ... if you like the XC with some good challenge at the middle 25 miles.

  10. #10
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    I plan on being out there Saturday, If you would like I can show you around. PM me for my number. I drive a Yellow Mustang So if it is there so am I. above suggestions are spot on.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrm1 View Post
    A lot depends on your age and the type of riding you like to do (more specifically than your opening post) - Do you want Miles or Features ... or Miles and Features. I have led some first timers thru the Vortex ... and they hated it. I have led some people on long cross country rides and that was not what they were looking for ... so it really all depends on the "features" you want. There is really something out there for everyone.

    From the Santos side, My usual ride is to head out from the parking lot:
    - go Left on the first fork on Pine Tree
    - Ride that up to Cow Bone
    - Take Cow Bone to the John Brown Pit and do the shelf drops right on the pit
    - From there you can ride John Brown (red tech trail)
    - Take Cow Bone on out to its end at Blue Hwy
    - Cross the road and Run Dog Bone to the left
    - Pic up Twister and ride it to back door,
    - Head into the Vortex and loop it Then out and back to the lot on the other side of Pine Tree, usually taking in Marshmellow and Sink Hole somewhere in there.

    BUT if you would prefer some good XC riding. Ride all the way across (or drive the car over to the land bridge or 49th street trail heads - but I'd rather ride if for the milage) and hit Nyles and Earn and Burn ... now those are some fun rides.

    If you park at the Land Bridge TH and go out from there and do Nayles, Earn and Burn and back ... that is 25 miles + or - Going from Santos to the Land Bridge TH the short way is about 7 miles each way if you go the quickest route. So that would give you a good 35-40 mile ride ... if you like the XC with some good challenge at the middle 25 miles.
    I appreciate the input. I like a mixture of riding. Basically, if it's not a paved road then I'm happy

    I have only rode the local trails in Volusia and Flagler Counties. They are a mixture of techical features, climbs, open riding, etc...

    I'm getting ready to head out now. We are driving to the 49th St. trailhead first and do Nyles and Earn N' Burn. Then go to check in after that. I hope it's not too rainy this weekend, but I'll have fun no matter what

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellowyellow01 View Post
    I plan on being out there Saturday, If you would like I can show you around. PM me for my number. I drive a Yellow Mustang So if it is there so am I. above suggestions are spot on.
    Messaging now. Hope to see you out there. Thanks!

  13. #13
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    I'll be out there tomorrow morning with my rank newbie dad.
    I like to hit pine tree to marshmallow, to sinkhole, to dr ruth into the red section. There I'd loop anthill, john brown, magic mtn, and then ride ratttle snake to the blue highway. Follow the blue hwy to the road and cross into the votex side. Then pick up twister to the backdoor then loop the vortex reds. That's a pretty awesome ride and can easily turn epic if you double it all up.
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    Here's a good map for your mobile

    http://omba.org/maps/santos3b.pdf
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  15. #15
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    Better bring a canoe.
    "That which does not kill you makes you stronger"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjudy13 View Post
    Better bring a canoe.
    Have you been out there in the past couple of days? I know it's been steady raining in jax.
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  17. #17
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    What r u thinking camping in fl in june? That wont make for a good night's rest. You will have fun on Nayl's and ern and burn. Then i would head up to the main trailhead and do sinkhole, dr. Ruth, cowbone, john brown, then vortex.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Possum Jones View Post
    Have you been out there in the past couple of days? I know it's been steady raining in jax.
    Nope, just been looking at the radar...
    "That which does not kill you makes you stronger"

  19. #19
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    So how was your weekend ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrm1 View Post
    So how was your weekend ride?
    I'd have to say that all-in-all it was a great experience! It did rain on and off both Friday and Saturday, but I got to fit a lot of good riding in there anyway.

    My step-dad went with me. We started out driving from Ormond Beach to the Ross Prairie Trail Head to fit in Nyles and Ern N' Burn before going to check in at the campsite. I realize now that it would have been better to hit those trails from one of the other trail heads, but that's okay.



    Ern N' Burn was probably my favorite trail in the Santos system. It was the 'hardest' blue, to me anyways, and had a good mixture of a little of everything. I basically rode that trail 2 times in one direction and 1 time in another. On my last trip I hit a rock and flipped over my bike. The chain ring sliced my calf open in the process. Here's a picture of the stitched up wound:



    I was very lucky, though, that I didn't hit any arteries or anything and the wound did not bleed that bad. I made a tourniquet out of a towel and zip-ties and had to ride about 5 miles back to the truck. So, the biking day ended there and I was off to the hospital. I told the doc to stitch me up tight because I had a lot of riding left to do...

    Saturday, we went out and rode from the Santos Trailhead down to the Vortex section following a mixture of blues and yellows. The entire experience was great. I've never seen so many trails. It was not raining, but was very overcast and it had rained that night. The BMX sections were tarped and closed. I was hoping to watch some of that. The Vortex section was awesome. I loved the climbs.

    In the afternoon we got to go out with 'Dan' from the campsite across from ours and MellowYellow01 from here on the forum. MellowYellow turned out to be a great tour guide. He took me and Dan through John Brown and Ant Hill and gave my step-dad good directions for where to meet us since he was better suited for the yellows/blues. It started raining on our parade after a while. The rain made my first time on those red traills all that much more exciting/difficult/scary... I went through a range of emotions, lol.



    Sunday was, weatherwise, the best day of the trip. We got up early and packed up camp then did a good ride in the morning checking out some of the trails we had not hit the day before and redoing some of the one's we really liked. After that we headed out and said goodbye to Santos. We ended our morning with a trip to Ray Wayside Park for some kayaking near Silver Springs. Kayaking is something I really enjoy, too, and that place had some of the best clear water I've ever seen...



    It was a beautiful day.

    So, I'm definitely going back. I'll probably head there soon for a good day trip. I'm under 2 hours away. If I leave by 7 then I can be riding by 9am on a Saturday morning and can fit a hell of a lot of riding in before dark. I still have so much to explore there. I also have to go show Ern N' Burn that I'm not scared of a little blood off that papercut it gave me

    Thanks again to everyone for the advice and especially to MellowYellow for taking the time to actually follow through with meeting me and showing me around!

    Good riding-

    J.

  21. #21
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    Very cool. Bummer about your leg, but looks like it did not slow you down. Yes it is a very good trail network. If you like the long XC riding I would set out from Santos (Looong ride) or the Land Bridge Trail toward Earn n Burn. Nyles is probably my favorite section of the whole trial network - semi-tech, but great flow. EnB is probably right up there, just have not ridden it enough to say for sure.

    Riding Santos Saturday I think. I am an hour NE of the Santos Network and it is pretty much my home "turf" for the past 6 years. Would be fun to ride with you out there ... but probably not really your "cup of tea" as I am probably older than your Step dad ... LoL

    Keep watching the Gone Riding web site for races out there. Most are done for the year, but the 12 hrs of Santos in Feb (vortex trails) and the Hammerhead 100 (Nayls) are a real blast. I hurt my back pre riding the week before the 12 hr, but got to do the Hammerhead again this year. I so enjoy it ... and crushing the kiddies

    Have fun riding. That is what it is all about.

  22. #22
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    You are a beast for riding with a wound like that.
    "That which does not kill you makes you stronger"

  23. #23
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    Nice "chain ring tattoo" that will make.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrm1 View Post
    Very cool. Bummer about your leg, but looks like it did not slow you down. Yes it is a very good trail network. If you like the long XC riding I would set out from Santos (Looong ride) or the Land Bridge Trail toward Earn n Burn. Nyles is probably my favorite section of the whole trial network - semi-tech, but great flow. EnB is probably right up there, just have not ridden it enough to say for sure.

    Riding Santos Saturday I think. I am an hour NE of the Santos Network and it is pretty much my home "turf" for the past 6 years. Would be fun to ride with you out there ... but probably not really your "cup of tea" as I am probably older than your Step dad ... LoL

    Keep watching the Gone Riding web site for races out there. Most are done for the year, but the 12 hrs of Santos in Feb (vortex trails) and the Hammerhead 100 (Nayls) are a real blast. I hurt my back pre riding the week before the 12 hr, but got to do the Hammerhead again this year. I so enjoy it ... and crushing the kiddies

    Have fun riding. That is what it is all about.
    I probably won't be able to get back out that way until August, realistically, but would love to meet up and ride. Sounds like you would ride circles around me. My step-dad is 63. In good shape, but not really into riding and only does it occasionally. I'm 36. In good shape, but still trying to build a real skillset and acquire some real technique. I really could use a lesson from someone who knows what they are doing!

    If it's alright I will PM you when I have a date to be out that way again...

    @msimmons: Yep, it's a looker, alright. I might have some art put over it just to pretty it up, a little...

    @jayjudy13: I came out there to ride. I wasn't letting that ruin my trip. Thanks!

    Good riding everyone-

  25. #25
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    Hey good deal ... and at 63 your step dad has a few good years on me

    Looking forward to it.

  26. #26
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    Any advice for a complete noob going out to Santos for the first time?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamspartacus View Post
    Any advice for a complete noob going out to Santos for the first time?
    This is from mrm1's earlier post:

    "From the Santos side, My usual ride is to head out from the parking lot:
    - go Left on the first fork on Pine Tree
    - Ride that up to Cow Bone
    - Take Cow Bone to the John Brown Pit and do the shelf drops right on the pit
    - From there you can ride John Brown (red tech trail)
    - Take Cow Bone on out to its end at Blue Hwy
    - Cross the road and Run Dog Bone to the left
    - Pic up Twister and ride it to back door,
    - Head into the Vortex and loop it Then out and back to the lot on the other side of Pine Tree, usually taking in Marshmellow and Sink Hole somewhere in there.

    BUT if you would prefer some good XC riding. Ride all the way across (or drive the car over to the land bridge or 49th street trail heads - but I'd rather ride if for the milage) and hit Nyles and Earn and Burn ... now those are some fun rides.

    If you park at the Land Bridge TH and go out from there and do Nayles, Earn and Burn and back ... that is 25 miles + or - Going from Santos to the Land Bridge TH the short way is about 7 miles each way if you go the quickest route. So that would give you a good 35-40 mile ride ... if you like the XC with some good challenge at the middle 25 miles."


    Honestly, this was very helpful. I actually printed it out along with some other info and took it with me. These are good starter directions.

    Take a trail map out with you! It is too much to remember and (if you're like me) you will get mixed-up. I printed out a color copy of the map on the OMBA site and used it, a lot. Worth it's weight in gold...

    Look out for poison ivy. I did come back with some. Take bug spray. Have fun!

    Good riding-

    J.

  28. #28
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    wheeljack, thanks for your note, and I did read that post earlier. My only concern was when it said to go down John Brown and the back door. I am not sure I am ready for red trails. I may be misreading this, but again, I am a noob.

    So I am looking at the map, if I start at Santos and take Pine Tree to the Land Bridge and back, that is about 14 miles? From Pine Tree, do I get on Dog Bone?

    Or, if I leave Sanots, go down Pine Tree, cross 25th to Dog Bone and loop around Vortex then back over 25th to Pine Tree and back.......how far is that?

    Thanks in advance for everyones help.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamspartacus View Post
    wheeljack, thanks for your note, and I did read that post earlier. My only concern was when it said to go down John Brown and the back door. I am not sure I am ready for red trails. I may be misreading this, but again, I am a noob.

    So I am looking at the map, if I start at Santos and take Pine Tree to the Land Bridge and back, that is about 14 miles? From Pine Tree, do I get on Dog Bone?

    Or, if I leave Sanots, go down Pine Tree, cross 25th to Dog Bone and loop around Vortex then back over 25th to Pine Tree and back.......how far is that?

    Thanks in advance for everyones help.
    OK ... when are you going out? I was going tomorrow ... then decided not to go (my back is hurting after 32 mile ride today - but now feeling better). If you are going tomorrow, I can meet you at either of the trails heads to ride: Santos or Land Bridge.

    Let me know.

    I really wanna ride the new 29er.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamspartacus View Post
    wheeljack, thanks for your note, and I did read that post earlier. My only concern was when it said to go down John Brown and the back door. I am not sure I am ready for red trails. I may be misreading this, but again, I am a noob.

    So I am looking at the map, if I start at Santos and take Pine Tree to the Land Bridge and back, that is about 14 miles? From Pine Tree, do I get on Dog Bone?

    Or, if I leave Sanots, go down Pine Tree, cross 25th to Dog Bone and loop around Vortex then back over 25th to Pine Tree and back.......how far is that?

    Thanks in advance for everyones help.
    If you meet up with mrm1 then I'm sure he'll be able to take care of you.

    The cool thing about the way the trails are set-up is that you can easily by-pass the reds, or any other trail you want, and keep a steady flow to your next destination.

    Someone else will have to chime in about the distance of everything. I had one printout that gave the distances of each section.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamspartacus View Post
    So I am looking at the map, if I start at Santos and take Pine Tree to the Land Bridge and back, that is about 14 miles? From Pine Tree, do I get on Dog Bone?

    Or, if I leave Sanots, go down Pine Tree, cross 25th to Dog Bone and loop around Vortex then back over 25th to Pine Tree and back.......how far is that?
    Here you go. First map is a ride i did that was
    - Out Pine Tree North side
    - Twister
    - Out to LB
    - Return on the South spur by-passing the Land Bridge TH ... BUT the horse park section is now closed to bike traffic
    - Dog Bone South
    - Bunny Blue Trail
    - Total Round Trip: 22.12 miles

    Second map is to Land Bridge
    - Out Cow Bone
    - Did the NW end of the Vortex around the cliff rims
    - out to LB and back
    - Return Dog Bone South Side
    - Back into Santos lot via Canopy and Pine Tree N
    - Total RT: about 21 miles

    Hope this helps
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Visiting Santos June 8th & 9th-lb-via-twister.jpg  

    Visiting Santos June 8th & 9th-lv-some-vortex-22-12.jpg  


  32. #32
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    Any one wanna ride out at Santos in the morning?

  33. #33
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    Well for anyone interested from Future Reference, I rode from the Land Bridge Trail Head out west doing the Christmas and Diggings sections, Nayles Loop, and Earn-n-Burn Loop.

    Totals:
    - 22.87 miles
    - 2 hrs 23 min
    - 10 mph ave
    - 22 mph max
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Visiting Santos June 8th & 9th-hammerhead-race-coarse-redo-29er.jpg  


  34. #34
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    The rain has been keeping me away, but I do want to meet out there and ride one day. Weekends or after work some night might work. This noob is looking forward to the addiction, as long as the addiction doesn't kill me before I can get in shape.

  35. #35
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    SUbscribed.. good info on this thread.. I'm hoping to hit Santos in July..
    Better 2 ask 4 pardon than 2 ask for permission. Recall that nxt time U feel you have 2 ask ur wife if U can buy something

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