I’ve been going down to the Greenville area for the last 5 or so years now. Sometimes it’s to race, but usually it’s just to ride. Geographically it is lower rolling hills spread out below the “Southern Escarpment” where the lowlands meet the mountains and yield some pretty bad-ass mountains. Pisgah Nat’ll Forest and Mount Mitchell to the north, Dupont and Caesars Head to the west, Issequehnna to the south, and Paris Mountain smack dab in the middle. Mentally, after a long hard winter, I am dying to ride some dirt……total cabin fever. So I head south.
The mountain biking is what I’m truly going down for. It’s not the proverbial mecca like Sedona or Moab, but this spot down in Travelers Rest is a wonderful base camp with options and flexibility. SORBA does a ton of work on the trails down there, and it shows. Every year, there is more and more trail. Paris Mountain State Park is good for a solid ride with some repetition. Pleasant Ridge County Park near Marietta is a blast and is good for a morning or afternoon fast ride with berms and whoops slapping a grin on your face. I’ve spent the least time at Issequehnna down near Clemson, but that network seemed good for a longer ride as well.
Here’s a good one: Just about all the bike friendly trails in Paris MNT. Optimized for the longest downhill runs. This route is a bit of a butt kicker, and can either be paired up with another ride, doubled up, or add in shuttle runs at the end on White Sulpher Trail.
The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a paved rail trail/commuter trail that pairs up well with other rides. It’s a staple for being down there.
The road riding is a must for down there as well. When trails are muddy, it’s best to just hit the pave. There are climbs galore, and Caesars Head is a must. My favorite route down there includes the Caesars Head climb, rolling backroads around Dupont, and sections of Dirt Road as well.
Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t epic routes or anything. They are solid rides that give you the flexibility to ride in a normally warmer climate with some dirt under your tires. I pretty much always double up on morning and afternoon rides, a road climb in the AM and some dirt turns in the afternoon. Staying at the Paris MNT State Park Campground is great because it sets me up for just that: a relaxed ride up and over Paris MNT (twice to get back too) to get some coffee or crepes in the morning, lunch back at camp, and a full afternoon on the trails. Or for that matter, riding the road climbs in the park twice, then driving to other mtb trails nearby.
Just a little insight from my travels. Hope you enjoy.