Mountain Biking the
Where to Ride Bike Trails in the
Growing up in South Mississippi, finding mountain bike trails to
ride was always a problem. Nowadays, there are trails everywhere, you just
have to know where to ride.
Mountain biking in the Southeastern
United States is now more popular than the tractor pull at the state
fair. So, I've compiled a list of my top trails in the deep south
for your enjoyment.
You'll also find links here to trail
maps, freeride and downhill venues and maybe even some bootleg
trails. These are trails that I have personally ridden over the
years and you'll hear my personal take on what the trail is like.
Hopefully you'll be motivated to go ride
your bike after you take a look at some of these fun mountain bike
trails. I'll be updating the list as often as I have a chance to
If you have comments, suggestions or
trails that I've missed, contact me and let me know. ed
Comite River Park - Baton Rouge, LA
This trail is in the swamp and it rocks! I had been wanting
to ride there for years and finally got a chance to recently for the
Baton Rouge Battle. I'll be back...
When you first arrive, the looks are
decieving - white sand, so you think it will be sandy. Actually the
trail is hard pack with very few roots and of course no rocks. The first
time you ride there you will think you're lost as the trail weaves and
curls along the river and in between swamp pits, but the trail is well
marked and is only 5 miles for a loop on the race course. You can make
multiple lines though and ride all day.
The trail is loaded with switchbacks,
berms, drops and jumps. You wouldn't expect hills here, but there are
quite a few steep drops and short climbs. Overall, the track is fast and
Click to watch a
video of the BRB race
Click to watch 12 Seconds in the Swamp
Dupont (Pisgah) - Asheville, NC
Probably the mecca for mountain biking on the east coast,
Asheville, NC boasts more trails than you can shake at... We'll start
with Pisgah Mountain and the Dupont Trail System, since I recently rode
Nestled at the top of
Green River Forest is the trailhead. You have several choices, but we
rode Laurel Ridge and Airstrip. Lots of long climbs and butter smooth
singletrack. Plenty of views including the airstrip and slickrock
You'll enjoy the ride at Dupont and Mt
Pisgah. The trails are all well marked and in excellent condition.
Whatever you do, make a point to ride Mt Pisgah. More trail rides from
including Sleep Gap and Bent Creek, are to follow.
Oak Mountain -
This state park has much to offer anyone on a bike. Whether you
are into mountain bikes, bmx bikes, road bikes or just
pedaling around the campground, this place will not
We'll focus on the trail and the track. First,
the trail is smooth, packed, mainly singletrack that winds
through the ridges. There are rocks, roots and your typical
mountain area wooded obstacles. The turns are fun and fast
with berms in spots. The ridges are fun and at times can be
technical. Several fast downhills will have you in the big
gear while most of the climbing can be had in the middle
After you've completed the 17 mile ride you can head
on over to the bmx track which is new and improved. The
track has moved from near the damn and marina to Tranquility
Road. The starting hill is first rate, but the first speed
bump is a little odd. After that a tabletop into a tabletop
step-up into the first turn. Out of the first turn you are
greeted with 2 sets of triples that can be hit in a number
of ways. Into the 2nd turn and out into a long rhythm with a
step-up, doubles, whoops and a table which sends you into
the third turn and what you will probably wish was the last
straight with more jumps and another turn before you head
down the last straight to the finish.
This track is fast and
smooth except for a few rocks from the mountain. Big wheels
are welcome here and you won't notice the rocks at all. A $2
fee per person gets you in the park. ed
Chickasabogue State Park - Mobile, AL
This trail has been around since the 80's and still offers
some good riding. It has improved in some areas and gotten worse in
others over the years.
On the park side you can ride the Indian
Loop, Beach Loop and Cemetary Loop. Here you will find some quick climbs
and drops with lots of roots and washouts. On the East side of I-65
you'll find most of the newer trails and some more challenging climbs.
Here you can ride the Coaster, Black Forest, Dead Man's, 265 and Sand
Park admission is $1 and the trail is
located conveniently off I-65 near the University of Mobile. Just follow
the signs from Saraland.
>click for map ed
Lakes - Meridian, MS
Growing up as a kid I went to elementary school in Meridian,
however mountain biking had not been born at the time. Fortunately,
local riders have now created the trails at Bonita Lakes. Located
conveniently off I-59 behind the mall, this trail is easy to find.
This trail system winds through the
hills and around the lakes giving plenty of options to all levels of
mountain bikers. New trails have recently been added and you can
find yourself riding for hours on end.
>click for Trail Map
The trails saw major damage from
Hurricane Katrina (3 hrs north of beach), but have bounced back with
the hard work of local riders. You'll see plenty of downed and
uprooted trees along the way, but that shouldn't interfere with your
This trail is one of my favorites in
Mississippi, along with Clear Springs. Short, steep climbs with fast
descents and plenty of singletrack.
>click here for pictures ed
BUDE - Clear Springs,
Located in the dense 189,000 acre Homochitto
National Forest near Natchez, Mississippi, this trail boasts more
climbs than your average trail. Dried up river beds and rolling
hills keep the terrain changing constantly. Did I mention that there
are enough climbs here to get your ration for a while.
technical climbs there are gnarly descents. This time of year and
right after heavy rainfalls the trail is made even more treacherous
by exposed roots. There are a couple of routes here including an 11
mile loop and a 7 mile loop.
Whatever you do, you may not want to
get lost or left out here by yourself. Rumor has it that this area
also plays hosts to the nation's largest rattlesnake population.
may want to eat some Wheaties and bring along an extra Powerbar too.
You will definitely have fun and you will feel like you have accomplished
something when you finish the trail. They've also got a neat bike
wash for you to clean your bike from the creek crossings when your done.
>click for more ed
Bethel - Biloxi, MS
Located in the DeSoto National Forest, this trail was set aside for
off-road bicyclists. Other portions of the expansive forest were
partitioned to hikers, equestrians, motorcyclists, atv's and hunters.
While there are several trails to choose from, most of them are shorter
and easy enough for beginners. During hunting season the trail is also
shared by hunters, so you can only ride on Sundays. There are virtually
no hills, but the trail can wear you out. You will encounter sand, roots
and leaves in the fall and winter. The trail is primarily singletrack
that was carved by motorcycles and atv's with some open forestry roads
that are grass covered. The only 2 hills are washed out and can provide
for some fun and danger.
The biggest drawback to this trail is the brush
trees that are often in the trail causing danger to derailleurs and body
parts. You are supposed to fill out a usage card, but they are most often
out. The trail is free to ride.
>click for map ed
Briarpatch Badlands Battle XC
Windrock - Knoxville,
If you are into downhill, then
this trail is for you. The is actually in Oliver Springs, just outside
of Knoxville. Operating as a private club, you can buy a membership or
rider for the day. ATV's, 4WD's and motorcycles also rider here, but have
their own trails.
drops, rockgardens and balls out descents will keep you going back for
more, however there are no lifts; So, make sure you either have a
granny gear or someone to shuttle you back to the top.
>click for more ed
Lock 4 - Gallatin, TN
Just outside Nashville, this trail is my favorite in the area.
Providing beautiful views and fun for all on a mountain bike, this trail
has climbs, downhills, technical sections and is smooth and fast. A few
new loops have been added over the years and you can get in 18 miles or
so in a complete lap. Races are held here yearly and you can ride the
trail year round, free of charge.
>click for more ed
Lock 4 Challenge Video
> wmv 13.2 m
> mpg4 55.9 m
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