The Triangle has a lot to offer for the mountain biking enthusiast. From beginner to advanced, you are sure to find a trail you will enjoy. For beginners, the go to trails are at Lake Crabtree County Park. This park, located near RDU airport, is the perfect place to practice your biking skills. The park features a “Pump Track” and skills course where you can practice log-hops, bridge rides and jumps. A trail map is located here: Crabtree Creek MTB Trail Map. With picnic tables, kayaking, sailing and a hiking only trail, the park offers something for the entire family. Load up the bikes, pack a picnic basket and get out there!
My next go to location for a variety of activities is Harris Lake County Park. Located in New Hill, the park is located on Harris Lake and offers a full menu of outdoor activities. The park offers a kayak launch, picnic tables, 18-hole Disc Golf course, fishing, hiking trails, restrooms, and 8 miles of mountain bike trails! There are three connected loops, beginner, intermediate and advanced.
The beginner trail is very easy, a good place to warm up those biking skills or to get the entire family out on the trails. Connected to the beginner trail is the intermediate trail, which requires a little more stamina and biking skills to navigate the hills, turns, roots and rocks. If the intermediate trail wasn’t enough, you can proceed to the advanced trail which offers a number of challenges for the experienced rider. The really difficult sections have “ride arounds”, so don’t hesitate to explore the trail. Most of the trail is intermediate if you bypass the difficult sections. There are also several “bail-out” points if you decide you’ve had enough and are ready to try out a picnic table.
For those of you who prefer hiking to biking, there is the Peninsula Hiking Trail, which is a fairly flat loop along the bank of the Harris Lake. In my short lived and less than stellar trail running days, this was a favorite workout hike/run. With the lake views and amenities (like water and restrooms), it is a great place to train for that running event you’ve been wanting to do.
Another choice is Briar Chapel, which is a large community located on Hwy 15-501 between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. Briar Chapel has over 900 acres of green space with miles of biking and hiking trails. The biking trails are being planned and built in partnership with Triangle Off-Road Cyclists which is a volunteer organization dedicated to the support of mountain biking in the Triangle. Recent reviews of the Briar Chapel Trails can be found on the TriangleMTB website along with information on all fourteen MTB trails in the area. TriangleMTB also offers an interactive map of area trails.
If you like night rides, TORC often organizes night rides of area trails. Most of the trails are closed at night and organized rides are typically the only way you can access the trails after dark. So, getting involved with TORC will open up a number of opportunities!
What is your favorite Triangle biking trail?
About Frank Cordell
Frank Cordell is a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Preston office.
Frank is a member of the Raleigh Association of REALTORS®, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.
Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region. FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit www.fmrealty.com.